PRINT UPDATES

Albino Accord V2: CHIFFON SAMPLES ARE HERE & RESERVATIONS ARE NOW OPEN!

UPDATE: ADDED A 3RD PICTURE OF THE PINK COLORWAY, AS I'VE BEEN GETTING A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT IT LOOKING IVORY/NOT PINK.

UGH they're finally here! The chiffon samples have arrived, so now the party can properly begin!


Last week was a complete mess - the samples were supposed to get to me on Thursday, which is why I had reservations slated to start on Friday.
Welp, Thursday came and went, as did Friday. No samples. WTF. I was livid. Turns out they were sent to the wrong address (not the first time this has happened), and fury ensued. Long story short, they reprinted and resent them super quick to the CORRECT address and they came in just a few hours ago! :D


AND THEY'RE GORGEOUS.

I was a little nervous because of how poorly the printing quality on the cotton voile was - turns out, it's just the way their printers print on that particular fabric that made it all... washed out and gross looking. Because the chiffon, like I said above, is absolutely GORGEOUS. If you bought/have seen the Eat Your Heart Out print in person - it's that same chiffon fabric, and is just as soft. So not only does it look beautiful, but it feels like heaven as well. 

Anyways, enough talk - let's get to the pics! I took unaltered photos in natural light of the samples next to some left over cotton voile so you can see the enormous difference side-by-side. And yes, the black turned out EVEN BETTER than expected - and it's BLACK too. Like real dark. It's beautiful. And I'm SO happy I can offer the black colorway with confidence now ❤︎

^I've been getting a lot of questions about the pink looking... ivory, so I tried my best to get another pic in better light with a piece of cream fabric next to it, to show that it definitely is pink.

MUCH better, yeah? I really hope it was worth the extra wait time on top of all the confusion and stupidity.

And like I mentioned above, RESERVATIONS ARE NOW OPEN! ❤︎ Thank you so much for all your continued support and patience throughout all the fabric drama and release debacles that have happened over the years. I'm sure this isn't the last time, lol.

A DAY IN THE LIFE, PERSONAL

Entry 8: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

That moment when..
You get locked out of your business email account. You've been locked out for almost a week now and Google doesn't believe you own the account.
The fabric samples you were expecting to get on Thursday still haven't arrived, it's now Friday and you find out they were sent to your old apartment address. You call your old apartment, and no they don't have any packages for you.
The company that prints your tights goes MIA and you can't get in touch about sizing or if they'll be back up in time to print your order.

I haven't slept well at all this week. 
And when I do, I have nightmares about not being able to get back into my email account to handle all your questions/orders, etc. I dream about my fabric not getting here because they couldn't verify my order through my email that I can't access.

And then I spend the whole day in an anxious, super stressed state where I feel like I'm on the verge of crying or just taking my dog and running away from all this.


Welcome to my life.

PRINT UPDATES

Albino Accord V2: Where's the black colorway? And other fabric misadventures

(APOLOGIES IN ADVANCE FOR THE LONG WINDEDNESS OF THIS POST, BUT YOU GUYS DESERVE TO KNOW WTF IS GOING ON.)

I've been planning on doing a re-release of Albino Accord since sometime late last summer. In addition to re-releasing it, I also wanted to redesign it and perhaps print it on a different fabric. So that's what I did. Honestly, I'm always looking back at my old designs and seeing how I can improve things and I'm always challenging myself to do better.
I wanted a totally different look for this re-print - more delicate and ethereal. I wanted to do something light-weight and easy/breezy for the warmer weather. I love voile and lightweight cotton fabrics, and so that's what I ordered.
Last year.
I can't remember if it was right before or after I moved, but it was around that time. I looked at it briefly when I got it, but started to stress out and panic so I put it away for months until it was time to work on it.

Honestly I was feeling really anxious and stressed out about the whole thing. Albino Accord was extremely popular, and I felt I had huge expectations to live up to and didn't want to disappoint. But I also needed to redesign the dresses for my own sanity. I could not sew another one of those dresses from the first release. KILL ME PLEASE.


I really wanted to re-release this thing earlier this year - like in February or something. But of course I was hit with a HUGE bought of several-month-long depression and I kept putting it off and trying not to think about it. 

When I finally dug the fabric out like a month ago and actually for real set to work on this thing, I noticed... things. I noticed the quality of the print. I noticed how the black and grey colorways were stiff and smelled strongly of ink. I noticed how abhorrently off the colors were. I was upset. The black colorway was so thick with ink that it rubbed off onto my fingers while I was looking at it. There was no way I could sew with it, let alone actually sell dresses made with this stuff. But trying to take matters into my own hands, I decided to throw it into the washer for a light cycle to maybe help set the ink/get rid of any excess.
LOL.
Get rid of excess it did.
The fabric was completely ruined - the black was completely faded and had stained the lighter parts of the print as well. It was awful.
It was at this point that I finally contacted my printer to ask why things had printed in the way they had and why the ink wasn't at least colorfast.
The answer I got back in short was... their printers just aren't good with the cotton voile and suggested a few other fabrics to me that they feel print better.
At this point I had already sewn at least one of the dresses in the voile, and there was no way I was simply going to slap down another few hundred more dollars to get all this reprinted, wait around for another two weeks, and get even further into the year without releasing this.
So I decided to just go ahead with what I had and eventually figure out a solution.
(*THIS IS WHY I DON'T HAVE A BLACK COLORWAY AS OF NOW. I WASN'T SURE AT THIS POINT WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO, SO I DECIDED TO CUT THE BLACK COLORWAY FOR THE TIME BEING AND WENT AHEAD WITH MAKING THE SAMPLES IN THE USABLE FABRIC I HAD.)

And that's where we are now. I decided that instead of the voile, I'm going to be printing on chiffon again. The chiffon we used for Eat Your Heart Out was so gorgeous and soft, I figure it can't go wrong. And it'll have the same sheer/lightweight properties of the voile that I just love so much. 

I've ordered some samples in the chiffon and should have them later this week. So now, we wait. I should have them RIGHT before reservations open, and I will upload photos comparing everything as soon as I can. AND THE BLACK COLORWAY WILL PROBABLY BE COMING BACK AFTER ALL.

OH. And the same thing happened with the fabric for the Fox Tote too - the fabric was so thick with ink and already smearing just being out of the mail packaging. I also decided to throw this into the wash with the black colorway, and this was ruined even more thoroughly. Luckily in contacting the printer, they not only replaced it free of charge, but printed on a higher quality fabric (that I didn't even know they printed on) that's simply gorgeous in person. So at least there's one happy ending to this story.

It seems that I always have issues with fabric printing/colors being weird/things taking longer than expected, and I sincerely apologize for this. The confusion and unprofessionalism it conveys on my part is not lost on me. But I guess being with my 3rd printer in 5 years of doing this will no doubt bring about unforeseen issues. 
C'est la vie. Or whatever.

ANNOUNCEMENT?

INSOMNIA is now live! :D

Well, I finally did it. This collection's only been in the works for like 8 months now, eh. 

Go have a look, the pieces are now up and shopable! Unlike print collections, this won't have a limited release/3-month waiting period or anything like that. It's here to stay forever. And unlike Melancholia, this collection doesn't have any super-hard-to-find fabrics, like the nice quality lace fabric that went MIA from this planet like a month after I released it.

I typically write a little blurb about my inspiration/meaning behind a given collection under the lookbook area. Well... I don't have a lookbook for this collection, so it's going right here instead:

This collection was designed during my production of Eat Your Heart Out. Typically when I work on crazy print reservation orders, I don't sleep because I'm so stressed out and worked to the edge of sanity. Well, this time I couldn't sleep for other reasons - I was... too inspired to sleep? Yeah that's dumb. But whatever. I found myself staying up sketching and making plans for future releases. I was just so excited to create. I even went so far as to design 2 other brands (one of which is non-Lolita); I had so many creative juices flowing for some unknown reason. Which again, is dumb.

INSOMNIA is inspired by my love of Mori fashion. I find it so gorgeous and interesting - I love the texture and layering details and sort of disheveled, carefree look it has. And while yes, Melancholia had a slight touch of Mori influence, I hadn't felt like I'd done a proper Mori tribute just yet. For me, Mori also has this creepy side to it - like a Blair Witch/woodland-witchy type feel to it, which really intrigues me. 
I was also inspired by... the nightgowns typically worn by little girls in horror movies. (Sorrynotsorry.) Creepy children and little girls are my favorite in horror movies (my heart has a special place for Samara), and as I feel like a bit of a shut-in most of the time, constantly sewing/working in solitude, I sorta feel like I'd be that creepy girl coming out of the house in the middle of the night scaring the neighbors while wearing this dress with blood on my hands. 

PERSONAL

Welcome to the new site! (Trying not to drown)

So far this year hasn't been a great start. I had all the intentions and plans for lots of things in January - prints planned and releases scheduled. But then everything... kind of fell apart. I got preoccupied with preparing for Ohayocon, had the absolute worst sales I've ever had at an anime con bar none, and things... sorta fell off from there. 

Depression sucks, and I hate that it keeps me from being a responsible business owner. When I get really bad I can hardly get out of bed/function as a human being, let alone run a business, create, respond to emails, or even message friends/family back. It's kinda like drowning for me - I'm just sinking and sinking and no one can reach out to help me. I wish I didn't have this illness and that I could be normal and function properly on a day to day basis, but I'm not and I can't. 

I'm sorry for being the worst and for seeming flaky at times and not staying on schedule with things and not responding to emails. It's not my intention to ignore and blow everyone off, it's just an unfortunate by-product of my depression, and I struggle every single day with it. I absolutely LOVE my job though, and I'm so incredibly thankful that I get to do this for a living. If I had a 'real job' in the 'real world', I'd've probably already off'd myself by now, been fired, or at the very least I'd hate my job, and fantasize about this. So thanks guys. Thanks for supporting me for all these years and giving me a reason to live - for making me feel special and needed and valued in some way.


ANYWAYS.
WELCOME TO THE NEW SITE!
 Ha. I've been wanting to transfer to a new site for a little bit now - my old site's servers would randomly go down and things on my end were clunky and slow and I was tired of it. I actually started working on this site on like.. New Year's I think? Lol. So I've had it done for nearly 2 months now, I just was preoccupied with Ohayocon, and then kept putting off transferring everything over and switching my domain shit and yeah. So far I love it, and I hope you do too? Things are lot easier on my end and I think the layout's a lot nicer looking/easier to navigate.

I do have actual new things coming too - last week I finished a delicious mori-inspired mini collection that I originally planned to put out last November (lol oops). So sometime this week I'll be unveiling it - I still need to take decent photos of it. I've posted a few teaser shots on my instagram though, so if you're interested...

If you've read this far, then thanks.
Thanks for sticking with me and not giving up on me. I promise I'll try my best and stay on track for the rest of the year - the worst is (probably) over.

meet ups

Meet-up: HP Themed

Earlier this month I attended my first meet up! My first one in nearly two years, that is. So it kinda felt like a first time since it'd been so long, and there were so many new people there who were also first timers or I've never met before. This meet-up had a Harry Potter theme, which I think was just the magic touch needed - it was such a HUGE turnout, omg. The biggest meet-up of our comm in my city at least, if not for our whole comm (I think the total count ended up being some like ~30-40 people? Which is a big deal to us as our comm is kinda spread out all over the state.). Everyone brought dishes of sweets and treats mentioned in the books, so we feasted, watched the Prisoner of Azkaban, chatted with lots of people both old and new, and I had a tarot card reading. I suck, so I have almost zero photos lol, but I did end up baking cauldron cakes which were delicious and looked magical (take my word for it since I was lazy/busy and didn't get any :P), and was kind of a nice reprieve from all the sewing I'd been doing for Eat Your Heart Out.

Speaking of sewing, I did end up making the coords for both my bf and I. Of course I had nothing Harry Potter or witch appropriate (I don't even own a wand and the only capes I have are lame ones I made years ago, back when I was like a level 3 seamstress), so I needed to make something from scratch. I've known about this meet-up for well over a month, so I did a lot of brainstorming and thinking on it while working on EYHO throughout the month. So when the time came, I was able to quickly throw something together. (Also, I do go by the sacred scripture of the books, so blue and bronze are my Ravenclaw colors, not blue and silver, ugh stupid movies getting it all wrong.) Insert shitty cell phone pics now:

I did manage to get a few worn photos at the meet-up, but of course they were taken on my phone while the sun was going down, ha. I'll eventually get around to taking some decent shots. I've also been contemplating releasing this dress in a variety of colors to represent the different houses, but we'll see. And the dress is made of a nice wool blend, so it's a really good quality and wears quite nicely. I'll probably need to post about it on my FB page though to get a measurable response. And I'm really stoked with the way my bf's coord turned out - makes me want to seriously pursue aristocrat looks ❤︎

IMG_2779.jpg

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Entry 7: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

And, that's a wrap folks!
Actually, not really. But close. Very close.
I've officially shipped all orders that have been paid for in full! That of course includes both Eat Your Heart Out orders placed through the shop and payment plans that have been paid off. There's only a few stragglers left at this point, and it may be premature, but that's cause for celebrating to me. I've put so much work into getting these orders out in the past ~2 months, and it feels great to get to this milestone. Since this print is rather comparable in terms of success and workload to Albino, I'm going to rundown a quick list of lessons I've learned from working on that print last year:

PROBLEM Never underestimate The Power of Sleep. Last year I killed myself with the amount of work I was putting out per day. I successfully turned myself into a sewbot in order to get enough orders out per day/week to feel like I was actually putting a dent into the huge list. Anytime I went to bed before 4a or even though about taking a weekend off, I felt extreme guilt and anxiety. I developed a bad case of insomnia and couldn't even fall asleep most nights because of the panic I felt from all the work that still needed to be done. In my head I was always thinking of how disappointed and pissed off my customers were getting for having to wait and it kept me from ever really relaxing at all during those months of production. Seriously. Even taking short breaks to watch shows like The Walking Dead or the final season of Parks and Recreation, I found myself not being able to pay attention at all. ((True story: my bf and I were re-watching the last season of Parks and Rec not too long ago, and I completely didn't remember whole episodes - it was like watching a whole new story so that was cool I guess, but it also showed how in-my-head and stressed out I was last year. I guess I just blanked out on the couch and got into my head about how much work I needed to do and how bad of a person I was for not doing it.))
SOLUTION This time around I actually took weekends off! Sometimes I took the full weekend, some weekends I found myself just taking one day off, but actually giving myself that time to recuperate was immensely valuable. I also made sure to get better sleep. Yes, I did stay up until ~10a once or twice, but that was it. I tried to get to bed before 6a most nights. And I actually let myself sleep as close to 8 hours as I could. Last year I'd get up early to start working and stay up all night and it was a death sentence. I actually even managed to make it to a meet up as well! (Will be posting about this soon.) Who knew a balanced work/play life could be so beneficial? Yes, I still had a few nights of not being able to sleep due to panicky feelings and generally being overwhelmed, but nothing like last year.
BENEFIT Apart from feeling a lot happier, I'm not at all burnt out. Yes I'm a little tired from the workload, but nothing even close to last year. Last year I wanted to quit after Albino, I was that burnt out. I didn't sew for months and that's part of the reason it took Eat Your Heart Out so long to put out (we began work on it last November-ish, very close to the end of Albino). This also means I won't have to take several weeks/months off to catch up on sleep, etc. and work out how to turn into a human again, which is nice.


PROBLEM Generally feeling shitty. Last year my body felt terrible. I'm sure that not sleeping much/sleeping super weird hours didn't help, but to then hunch over my sewing machine all day and turn around and do it again and again was awful. I think that's also part of why I had trouble sleeping last year as well - my body was just always sore and hurting all over, my back especially.
SOLUTION I can't believe I'm going to talk about this here, but yoga. I actually started doing (nearly) daily yoga at the beginning of this year, purely for the benefit of not feeling physically shitty anymore. And it's worked miracles. I continued to do yoga everyday throughout production of Eat Your Heart Out, and my body's felt wonderful. I didn't feel achy or sore or anything, and I never had issues falling asleep due to back pain from hunching over all day at the sewing machine. Who knew that actually stretching your muscles daily could lead to such amazing results? I don't know how I ever got on without it.
BENEFIT In addition to the obvious physical effects, it also gives me a few moments alone to just let my brain chill the fuck out. I do my best to forget about all the shit I still have to sew/do/ship, and it just puts everything into perspective for me.


PROBLEM Grossly outrageous expectations of myself. I know I'm my own worst enemy. I always beat myself up for not being quick enough, not sewing better, not being good enough, etc. So that's part of the reason why I felt the need to crank out shit as fast as humanely possible last year. I always think to myself, "just imagine all the stuff you could get done if you just didn't sleep?" Yeah it sounds dumb and it doesn't make a lick of sense, but that's where my head was at the time. Sleep/personal time was selfish, and every moment of everyday could be spent sewing another thing to ship.
SOLUTION This of course was not only unhealthy, but just plain unrealistic and ridiculous. So this time around I didn't do that. Yeah I still had that voice in my head yelling at me that I could sew one more thing/start on one more order, but I chose to ignore it for the sake of my sanity and so I wouldn't have to go through the same thing as last year. Coupled with doing yoga and getting a better sleep/recuperation schedule, I also adjusted the expectations I had for myself. I already had to slow it down because the EYHO dresses are way more complex and take a lot longer to get finished than Albino, so of course there was already no way I could compare production of the two series. I did as much as I could in the time given, and that's the best I could do. Yeah it took ~6 weeks or so to get to this point, but I don't think that's terrible for one human. I don't have a team of seamstresses/3rd world country workers to do my work for me, and that's alright. Slow and steady wins the race, or whatever the hell.
BENEFIT Omg I am so much happier. Not only due to the aforementioned changes, but I believe happiness comes from a place inside myself, so when I'm happy and content with myself/my work (instead of yelling at myself all the time with unrealistic expectations), I'm generally in a better mood/feeling more positive and happy about things. This time around I've also continued to be inspired and sketch and work on future collections. Weird, right? Last year it took literal months for me to finally come up with the dress designs for EYHO, and this time I was actually stopping in the middle of seams to hurry over to my desk to sketch out a thing. So yeah, that difference is HUGE. Losing my inspiration and will to create as someone who makes their living as a creator, is the worst thing that can happen. ((Speaking of which, I actually spent... Saturday? working out a new sort-of-print design thing that I'm not really going to get into but I'msoexcitedtogetstartedonitomggg. Should be done in Novemberrrrrr! HINT: I've already mentioned the name of the series in this post, ha.))

^It's a great feeling when the rolls get down this much :D For comparison: I believe I posted huge rolls of the fabric when it first came in.

^It's a great feeling when the rolls get down this much :D For comparison: I believe I posted huge rolls of the fabric when it first came in.

All in all, a much better experience this time around! Maybe someday I'll actually have other humans to help (no, not 3rd country factories or anything like that), but until then it's just me and I've got to take care of myself so that I can keep sewing beautiful dresses for you all ❤︎ I really cannot wait to unveil what's to come in the next 2 months before the year's out, so stay tuned! Until then, I've got a plethora of orders to work on that were placed during EYHO production and maybe, actually, for real moving to our house, ha.

Entry 6: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

I'm neck deep in Eat Your Heart Out production.
No sleep and working like a slave.
It's hot as hell in my studio.
I've been posting more frequent/pretty much daily updates on my instagram if you want more, because right now I should be sewing another dress and don't really have time for this.

Oh. I'll be moving at the end of the month, so I've got an even bigger motivation to get more things finished faster. Sadly, it's mathematically/humanly impossible for me to ship all of them before I move, but I want to get as many shipped as I can before that.
Stress on top of stress on top of stress.
Ugh.
I cannot wait for mid-October, when I'm moved and all orders are finished and I can sleep again x___x

Welcome to my life.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Entry 5: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

And so, the circus begins.
Yep, the Eat Your Heart Out reservation orders have officially begun!

Tuesday was a great day, as SO many things came in. SO MANY! The print fabric arrived, which was a nice start to the day, and I also received about 6 packages that had been waiting on me in the office (stupid apartment package retrieval sucks). I had lots of packages to open and go through. So as much as I would've loved to get started sewing this day, I wasn't able to and had to devote most of my time to organizing new fabrics, beads/jewelry supplies, re-rolling the print fabric + looking it over, etc.

^Yay for fabric :D Sorry for the crap lighting - it was super overcast when I first took these, so the original photos with natural lighting were so dark I had to retake them with the lighting in my studio. Even though the putrid colorway looks dark and grungy here, I promise it's not! It's just as lovely and grey as in the samples I posted <3 All the fabric actually came on one roll, so I had the pleasure of rolling the putrid onto a new one, which is tedious and annoying and explains why the putrid colorway is on the roll so sloppy.

^Yay for fabric :D Sorry for the crap lighting - it was super overcast when I first took these, so the original photos with natural lighting were so dark I had to retake them with the lighting in my studio. Even though the putrid colorway looks dark and grungy here, I promise it's not! It's just as lovely and grey as in the samples I posted <3 All the fabric actually came on one roll, so I had the pleasure of rolling the putrid onto a new one, which is tedious and annoying and explains why the putrid colorway is on the roll so sloppy.

IMG_2636.JPG
^Lining for daaaaays! ❤︎❤︎

^Lining for daaaaays! ❤︎❤︎

The lace came in on Wednesday at last, and my long train of Expected Packages to be Delivered concluded with the lining, finally taking it's time and getting here on Thursday. *Official Production* officially started on Thursday, when I at last had everything I needed to begin my work. Yeah, I technically could've started on Wednesday, but I hate having things half-finished/pieces laying around my studio - I'm more apt to forget wtf they're for/misplace something when I do stuff like this.


Despite being the end of the week, I still managed to get a few dresses finished and shipped <3 Yes, I did have to pull an all-nighter on Friday in order to have things ready in time to ship on Saturday, and yes I did forget to include the waistbows with 2 of the OPs, but things happen sometimes and I'll just try not to forget things going forward .___. I took two 3-hour naps on Saturday and managed to get another dress sewn and finished.

I'm posting this late on Tuesday night due to being out of town the last 2 days. I'm exhausted and sore from spending a very hot day riding roller coasters all day yesterday (a trip we'd planned months ago for my birthday, as I'm required to go every year ❤︎), so I didn't get a lot of sewing done today unfortunately. But I have no regrets and think that trip was much needed and a good way to begin really diving into these orders. (I think last year with the Albino orders I ended up making a huge Ikea journey (it's a 3-4 hour round trip for me) the first weekend of production as well - I was in dire need of a proper sewing/cutting table and had to Ikea-hack my way to one, and vastly reorganize my studio for an optimal work environment.)


Oh. I also went ahead and made an instagram. I thought it might be a fun way to make small posts/updates daily. I'm still trying to familiarize myself with how it works and such, but I think I've got the hang of it thus far. Now I've just gotta keep my word and actually post frequently/not abandon it ;>_>

One more thing. We're also buying a house. We should be moving as soon as I'm finished with the orders for this series. I'm super stoked.

Welcome to my life.

Entry 4: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

So many things came this past week! :D

^The underlining fabric for the print - not the lining, and the not the print fabric, but the layer of cotton/poly that goes in between to give the garment stability.

^The underlining fabric for the print - not the lining, and the not the print fabric, but the layer of cotton/poly that goes in between to give the garment stability.

^Lots of silver notions: Rectangle adjusters/slider thingies - these are used in the adjustable straps in both types of JSKs; ribbon crimpies - (I don't know why I find these so cute, but they are) these are of course used for the ends of the waist ties; lastly, the silver buttons used throughout the series. (I believe I also got a hella ton of headbands in this week as well, but it slipped my mind to get a picture.)

^Lots of silver notions: Rectangle adjusters/slider thingies - these are used in the adjustable straps in both types of JSKs; ribbon crimpies - (I don't know why I find these so cute, but they are) these are of course used for the ends of the waist ties; lastly, the silver buttons used throughout the series. (I believe I also got a hella ton of headbands in this week as well, but it slipped my mind to get a picture.)

And other boring sewing notions like a butt-ton of zippers and thread that I didn't take a picture of.

And the highlight of this week is: both the tights and print fabric is on it's way! - they both shipped out on Thursday, so I should have them early this week! So pumped to get started on this mountain of orders <3 (Even though it's a ton of nightmarish, sleepless work, it feels awesome to be able to ship things out like every single day and feel like a legitimate brand or that people like me/my work or something.)

As for what I actually did this week..
I think I'm finally at last finished with ordering allllll the materials needed for this series. The last thing I kept putting off was ordering more beads/jewelry supplies. Only because it's soo tedious to do go through these poorly designed jewelry websites and find what I need -_-

I think I mentioned in a previous post about how I usually plan things out well in advance. I pretty much have all of next year mapped out (woops) now. I made a few changes (which means nothing to anyone but me, because you don't even know what I'm talking about), and re-thought-out/re-designed what I'll be putting out next. Like early Octoberish, maybe? So I accidentally ended up spending most of Wednesday sketching and shopping around for lace/fabrics and... I'm so pumped, I wish I could tell you everything!

Also, Sunday was my birthday, so ice cream cake happened. I'm basically a recluse, so no parties/gatherings of humans ever really takes place, and I'm okay with this. The highlight of my day was getting my septum pierced, but I won't post it here because that's just.. I don't know, obnoxious and irrelevant?

Welcome to my life.

Entry 3: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

I have this problem where I base my productivity on how many orders I ship, or how many dresses/garments I make in a given week.

But I shouldn't do that, because that's an incredibly skewed view as there's so much more to what I do than just bringing dresses to life. (But it does feel pretty damn good when I finish/ship several things in a week, not gonna lie.)

I spent a lot of last week continuing to order fabric and other things for the Eat Your Heart Out reservation madness. Surprisingly, the swiss dot fabric I used for the blouses turned into a nightmare hunt, as the source I'd purchased the fabric from to make the samples was out of stock in one of the colors, and completely discontinued the other (why would you ever discontinue black swiss dot? Some questions can never be answered. But of course black represented the majority of blouse orders, meaning it wasn't just like 1 blouse I'd have to refund/replace the fabric for). I spent the majority of one work day hunting the interwebs for this fabric. That's probably the most stressful thing - having to search and search and search, and thinking about what I'm gonna do when I can't find this fabric. Do I need to refund all these people? Should I backtrack and fulfill the orders, but just use a different fabric? I never want to do either (which is partially why I ended up discontinuing Melancholia - the lace fabric I used on those dresses up and left this planet), which is why I didn't give up my search. After several hours I eventually found some in the least likeliest of places, but hey. At least I got my hands on it and all blouses will be created as planned.

Back to the beginning of the week.
On Monday my bf and I'd planned on seeing Die Antwoord ❤︎ I found out they were playing in Columbus months ago, but kept forgetting/putting off buying the tickets. And then the show was moved to an outside venue, and then the weekend before I saw that it was supposed to rain. And since it's been raining like every single day here this summer (which is awesome imo and makes me want to move to like Washington or something where it rains a lot all the time), I knew there was a pretty good chance it actually would. We still hadn't purchased the tickets which turned out to be a good thing, as it stormed like the whole day on Monday. Since the bf already took the day off of work, I sorta did too and we ended up running a bunch of errands, going shopping (for him, not me), hunting down fabric (for me, not him), and finished the night with a late showing of Ant-Man -_- This movie looked dumb as hell, but the bf really wanted to see it so I gave in and had a really good time, surprisingly (oh gosh what I'd give to have a cute army of ants helping me sew XD). The day was also pleasant due to the rain + it being a Monday, which meant there weren't a lot of people out <3

In addition to hunting the interwebs looking for non-existent swiss dot and putting in a bunch of tiny orders for various materials for EYHO (a bunch of the oft forgotten/miscellaneous things like the strap adjusters for both the Apron & JSK, headbands, and the ribbon clamp things for the end of the waist ties, oh yeah, and the tights too!), I also did some sketches for a new commission, and successfully completed and shipped a dress order. Oh! And samples arrived as well (see previous entry here) - after not being able to sleep well due to the stress about these samples, finally receiving them and seeing that they printed even better than expected was an enormous relief.

Katsucon artist alley applications opened on Saturday, but I decided not to apply. I've never been to Katsu and I always hear good things about it, but my decision to not apply is based on my experience with Otakon and cons in general this year. I've decided to mainly just stick to localish anime cons - I learned with Otakon that I don't necessarily make more sales, and I just end up spending more on travel + parking. That, and when I do go to cons, I just end up neglecting emails/orders I already have in the weeks leading up to said con (panic & preparation), and the days afterwards (reorganization & recovery), so it's not really fair to my loyal customers.
But that doesn't mean I won't travel anymore...
Especially in the wake of Anime Matsuri (did I mention how I wasn't welcome to sell there?), and not doing exceptionally well at anime cons anyways, I'd much rather support community driven events and lolita cons/events. So I'm going to try super hard to actually, fully commit to getting to Rufflecon next year (this year I did apply and got a booth, but decided to back out because I'm paranoid as hell and convinced any lolita event will go as poorly as Frill did for me), and possibly Nightfall if that ends up being a thing again (I did get invited to participate last year but decided not to, given the AM drama we were caught up in). Speaking of lolita events, I've already committed to going to Dream Fantasy Theatre, so I'll definitely be there this year, and depending on how that goes, possibly next year as well.

On a lighter note, I also, finally, at last, dropped my scissors off to be sharpened and I'm so proud of myself! I think I should get a few Responsible Adult Points. I don't even want to talk about how long it's been since I've had them sharpened (never), as it's extremely embarrassing and unprofessional and lazy of me. Of course I didn't drop all of them off - only 3 pairs, as I still have 2 here I can use, and then once I get those back later this week I'll make the switch. I got into a bad habit of just buying new scissors when mine would go dull. Which is dumb, but seemed easier than tracking down a scissor sharpening place for whatever reason.

Welcome to my life.

Eat Your Heart Out | New Fabric Samples!

Today I got something exciting in the mail. Fabric samples! Okay, so a bit of explanation. After reservations end is when I make huge bulk orders for all the fabric, lace, buttons, zippers, and any other materials I need to fulfill said orders. When I went to order the print fabric, I was informed that the fabric printers had upgraded their equipment, and they would send me samples to ensure the colors were still on par. Of course I went for this, because I'd rather not purchase tons of fabric in blind a rush to get to work on orders, and then have to get it reprinted because the colors printed totally off. So today, said samples arrived, and upon comparing them to the original fabric I used for the garment samples, I was pleasantly surprised. The colors are so much prettier and closer to the original design files, I'm over the moon with joy! I took a few comparison shots in natural lighting with minimal/no editing to present the most accurate colors.


^Up first is the Fresh colorway! As you can see, the new sample is brighter than the old print. The changes are more subtle here than the other colorway, but check out that bloody knife! And way more detail can be seen in the heart as well ❤︎ The old print also looks rather muddy when compared to the new.


^Another sample comparing the prints a bit higher up on the design. Doesn't the new sample just look brighter and more... fresh? ❤︎


^Now here's the change I'm most happy about! The Putrid colorway is printing much more accurate to the design file and I could not be happier. I was dismayed with how dark the old print came out, and a bit upset because a lot of the detail blends right into the background /: But not anymore! The background actually printed the grey that we had in mind, which means the knives and other details can actually be seen now ❤︎


^A bit higher up on the design. Just look at how much more detail can be seeeeen! And whoa, those cleavers actually have handles now, who knew?


^Since this colorway has the most change, I wanted to include a few more detail shots. It always irked me how much you can't see these knife/heart illustrations.


^Soo much better, and so many more gory details to appreciate ❤︎ I also believe the tights will match this colorway a lot better now, which is definitely a plus.

Now that I've received the samples, I've already contacted the fabric people to let them know to proceed with my order. Right now the estimated time I was given was 1-2 weeks, so I will be sure to update when that comes in!

Entry 2: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

I really need to figure out a good day to publish these - I was thinking the end of the week, but so far I haven't been good at picking a day and sticking with it.

Anyhow, this past week was pretty uneventful, in terms of creating/making new things, fulfilling orders, and that sort of thing. This past week was more about getting organized and my studio prepped and ready for the extraordinary amount of work that'll be entitled, "Fulfilling Eat Your Heart Out Reservations" very soon. Despite what it may look like or seem (since y'know, I kind of run a brand independently), I'm definitely not the organized type - I tend to work in a chaotic environment, as I'm usually more concerned about getting work finished rather than cleaning up after myself and putting things back in their place. So like, when I am preparing for cons, my studio (and most of the house) gets turned upside down in my panic-stricken, create-all-the-things headspace I get into. So I really took the time to go through each area of my studio and reorganize things. I planned for this in advance too - I actually took a trip to Ikea quite a while ago because I knew I would eventually have the time to do this much needed task (which is always a pre-planned, whole day adventure, because the closest Ikea is like ~2 hours away). So that was relieving to finally put all my new totes, bins, jars and things to use organizing this ever-growing collection of fabric (both on bolts and on rolls, not to mention a wall of basket shelves bursting with the stuff), pin backs and alligator clips, samples (I've pretty much run out of closet/hanging space for garments at this point), lace (OMG where did this all come from?! O_O), trims, and scraps (oh god, I bet I could make a quilt to cover my whole apartment building with the amount I have, yet I'm convinced someday I'll put them all to use). Oh, and did I mention I'm still working out of a smallish bedroom? Ha. (Hopefully for not much longer though - more on that when things get more.. finalized! I actually got some really uplifting news today too, so I'm really, really excited for things to come.)

In addition to cleaning/reorganizing my life I also had to continue ordering things for EYHO. Namely, the fabric. So in one of my fb posts about this series I mentioned possibly being able to get the fabric sooner than I typically do (like maybe in 1-2 weeks instead of the typical 3 or so), but I probably spoke too soon. The fabric people have new equipment, so I'm having to get (yes, still waiting on them) samples printed to ensure the colors will still be on par. So that's the only main issue, which I don't think is really an issue at all, I just don't like having to go back on my word and having to wait longer than originally thought. But I'd much rather things look good and be of quality printing than not get the samples and purchase an ungodly amount of fabric with color distortions. But it's this type of stuff that I lose sleep over. I always get so nervous when ordering the massive amount of fabric to fulfill reservations - I'm afraid of things going wrong. I've definitely had fabric printed in the wrong format before (luckily only with smaller orders when I'm making the initial samples), but I'm scared to death of something like that happening with these bigger orders.

This weekend I took a trip out to Dayton to meet and discuss future projects with my friend/makeup artist who pretty much does the makeup for all my shoots/director of the Eat Your Heart Out video, Jessa. Unfortunately, we don't spend much time hanging out in real life, so it was a nice treat to be able to sit down and brainstorm/discuss things in real time. I can't really share what was discussed for obvious reasons, but I can say that we both ended the night being super excited for projects to come and we've got 2 more video projects planned for future collections! (<-- That might sound like a lot (maybe?), but I typically have collections planned out in my head a good 6-9-ish months in advance. For instance at the present, I have 3 releases already planned up until Spring-ish of next year, and then other things sort of brewing in the background for even more in the future.) I ended up spending like the entire day with her, and got back home a little after midnight.

Even though I didn't sew it this past week, I did post about it: the Batty Wednesday OP. Ahhh. This dress! I actually made it back in June for a super sweet friend of mine, and I was so incredibly happy and in love with the way it turned out, I couldn't not add it to the shop. True story: So when I was making this dress back in like June or whatever, I fucked it up. When I make things for friend/people I know, I get incredibly nervous and super weird and second guess everything and always end up making mistakes. And that's exactly what I did. When I was cutting out the pattern for the front (I think?) of the dress, I cut it too short initially, and realized it as soon as I made the cut. Like as soon as the scissors snipped I realized I screwed up. And that's the worst feeling ever. I was already taking longer to get the dress finished than I should've, and I don't own a car, so I had to scramble to find a way to run to the fabric store to buy more fabric (because of course I didn't have any extra on hand at this time). Luckily, my friend/model, Kendyl came to the rescue and chauffeured me across town ❤︎ Also true: I completely forgot that my friend wanted the bat wing details on the back, so I made the whole dress and sent her pictures, and she was all like 'dude wtf where's the wings?! -_-' and then I got to have a second freak out. But at least now I have pictures of the dress both with and without wings which was convenient. And then I got to figure out how to add the appliques without taking the dress apart or sewing through the lining. Which I did, and you'd never be able to tell the wings were the very last thing I added :p

Welcome to my life.

Entry 1: A Day in the Life of a Lolita Designer

This is a new project/thing I’m going to try to stick to and make weekly entries for, to help me reflect and sort of vent/document what I’ve been working on. Besides, I thought it might be an interesting (read: boring) glimpse into my life and what I actually do on a weekly/daily basis as a full-time Lolita Designer. I think that sounds a lot more fascinating than it actually is though, ha. Unfortunately I don’t dress in full OTT Lolita and surround myself with cats and doilies, as I delicately stitch lace onto a dress with Bach playing in the background, while a butler fetches me tea every few minutes (lol dresses would take like a month to get finished at that pace). I actually wear the comfiest/rattiest of clothes and sweat in my stuffy, fabric-filled studio and do pretty much the same thing everyday - (try to) manage my emails/messages, maybe order fabric for a new project, and most importantly, sew. Occasionally I’ll go to a con, which means nothing but panic and chaos as I try and prepare for it, but mostly my life is pretty tame as I work from home and don’t have to deal with the real world most days.

Since this is technically the first entry, I suppose I’ll quickly go through what this past week has been like.

Over the weekend was Otakon - that huge con that takes place on the east coast. Leading up to this con I’ve only heard (mostly) good things, and I’ve only heard about how popular and huge it is, and I’ve only been excited yet nervous as I prepared for it. I’m not here to write a con review, but I will say I probably won’t be returning next year. It was a lot of stress and a lot of driving for not a ton of return (as in, I’ve done better at much smaller, closer cons).

We drove back Sunday afternoon/early evening, and finally made it home a little past midnight.

I spent the early part of the week catching up on sleep and basically, just taking some time off. The past several weeks (few months?) have been nothing but GO GO GO, and I really just needed to take some time to recoup. I finally saw Inside Out (loved it), binged a good deal on Reese’s cups, and spent a good deal of time playing Divinity with the bf (definitely our favorite way to spend time together - we have nearly 100 hours of playtime invested, ha. Unfortunately we only get to play maybe once a month though /: ). I also accidentally fell into Her Story and ended up finishing it in one sitting.

Oh, and Eat Your Heart Out reservations closed early this week too! So all of Monday was spent gaming + dealing with last minute emails/payment plans/questions and such about the release.

Once the middle of the week rolled around I realized the month was almost over, which means the first half of the year is nearly over, which means… sales tax time -__- Which is always super boring, but needs to be done because laws. In addition to some bookkeeping, I also had to finally get my junk together from Otakon (seriously, I still had my merch and stuff all over the house because I’d simply been too tired and meh to deal with it), take inventory, and all that responsibility stuff that needs to be done post-con.

The end of the week was spent catching up on a Melancholia order that was SO super delayed due to getting more orders for that dress than I was expecting (honestly those dresses take about double the time to make as any standard dress), and Otakon and Eat Your Heart Out taking over my life temporarily.

Uhm.. so I think that’s it? A pretty boring, pretty standard, post-con week.

Welcome to my life.

Albino Accord Giveaway!

Freaking finally. I hit 3 likes on my facebook page a few months ago, and I'm finally getting the giveaway together. Most of what took me a while was deciding on what to give away. I like to give away things people will actually want/like, and went through a myriad of other prize ideas before settling on this - an Albino Accord skirt, headbow, tassel cuffs, and rosette. All in the white colorway. The winner will be able to choose whether they'd like the fox or rabbit for their rosette, and the skirt will be made to their measurements of course.

And since I'm bringing this subject back up I'd like to know how many people would be interested in another run of this print? I've had no shortage of emails/messages asking about it, but I'd like to know for certain so I know whether it's worth it or not. So please, let me know in the comments whether or not you'd be interested - it does count as an entry for the giveaway after all! ^_~

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now some fine print:
The giveaway starts now, and runs through March 17th at 11:59 pm est. The winner is randomly selected and will be announced the next day, and an email will be sent to them. They'll have 3 days to respond and claim their prize, otherwise another winner will be drawn. Once the winner claims their prize, it'll be about a week at most for me to get everything finished before shipping. The skirt will be made in the winner's measurements, and only be offered in white. I can ship worldwide, so the giveaway's open to anyone, anywhere. Shipping will be done via USPS, sent Priority - which means 2-3 days for the US, and 6-10 days everywhere else. And of course a tracking number will be sent.
For more information about the items being given away, check out their listings here: 

The Post-Albino Craziness

It's been a few weeks since I shipped the last fully-paid Albino Accord order, and I'm only just now recovering. The amount of orders I got was ridiculous. I know I should've cut it off just a few days into the reservation window or somehow limited the amount of orders, but I didn't think that'd be really fair and honestly, 'getting too many orders' is something I've never had to worry about (or even dreamed would happen) before. The Albino release took a lot out of me - not just energy-wise, but mentally and physically as well. I worked pretty much non-stop for several weeks on a handful of hours of sleep a night. I was constantly stressed out and worried about how much work needed to get finished everyday, and had next to no time to 'de-stress' or simply chill the fuck out. And... so that's kind of what I've been doing for the past two weeks. At this point I'm still trying to get my motivation and creative energy back, but I've definitely had a chance to catch up on sleep, and spend a lot of time simply doing nothing and de-stressing. It's hard doing all of this alone, and I know I've seriously got to think about either hiring some help or something. It'd be kind of a challenge to do at this point though - my living situation/studio size is quite small and I'm not at all set up to accommodate multiple people - in fact my studio is pretty much only big enough for one person to work in. But I guess in a way this is a good problem to have and hiring or taking on help is a huge factor that I never dreamed I'd have to consider. It's exciting, but at the same time extremely stressful and overwhelming. But for now, I suppose I'll jump back into things, get to work on the next print, and keep figuring it out as I go.

1500 Facebook Likes Giveaway!

At last, it's giveaway time! Even though I hit the '1500 likes' milestone a while ago, it wasn't until... today that I was able to get things together for it. It's been quite a while since I've done a giveaway, and I wanted to be sure the prize was something spectacular! I've had this floral fabric in my stash since Elegy began - I just couldn't decide on the right dress/project to use it on. I had to figure out the right way to 'goth it up' a bit too - it's beautiful as is, but it was just a little too Classic and cream for my taste.

This dress is fully lined, and the back features full shirring. I'm not sure of the fabric content of the floral print, but it's on the heavier side as far as weight goes - this is definitely not your *standard* quilting cotton. The black overlay is 100% polyester chiffon, finished with black lace. I hate that it won't be able to fit all sizes and therefore excludes some of  you, that being said it can accommodate a ~38" bust, and the skirt is 25" long. The overlay is about one inch longer.

Since I'm closing the gap on 2000 Fans - if I hit that while this giveaway is going on, I'll throw in a headpiece as well!

You can enter through my facebook page through the 'Giveaway' tab at the top, or at the bottom of this post. Good luck to you all!~ 

Ohayocon 2014

This past weekend was my second time selling at Ohayocon, and it went pretty well! Luckily this con is in my home city, so I don't have to worry about travel or hotel accommodations. And with the weather the way it was... I'm super glad I didn't have to worry about a long drive home. It snowed pretty heavily on both Saturday and Sunday, and tromping through several inches of snow in 5" platforms was not at all fun. I'm seriously surprised I didn't break both of my ankles, and I regret not having the time to get some nice photos of my coords in the snow /:

The only real complaint I have is the fact that my table was situated under an area where there was no lights, so I was basically just cloaked in a shadow all weekend. I was a little irritated, as the booths next to me were well-lit and visible, and I had people telling me they didn't even see my booth until their second pass through. That Friday after the con I did my best to find last-minute lighting, and bought a string of starry lights to help draw attention - it helped a bit, but my table was still pretty dark. Since I couldn't really do much else to fix it, I ended up just embracing the darkness, and let the shadows become part of the gothiness that was my table. Sunday I did end up getting a lamp from the staff though which helped tremendously. I guess you could say I learned a valuable lesson to always bring lights when selling at cons from now on.

That's pretty much it - I'm really boring when I sell at cons, and just end up going back home to sleep once the alley closes, lol. Waking up super early in the morning throws my sleep schedule off so badly, as I'm super nocturnal and typically go to sleep around the time I had to be up. (Which explains why I look incredibly pissy in some of the photos below - I'm not upset, just severely exhausted ;A;)

This was my second anime convention selling, apart from selling once at Frill. I'm still experimenting with my booth setup - trying to figure out something that looks nice/displays my clothing nicely, but at the same time is easy to set up/take down and doesn't weigh a ton. I think I did pretty well this time around as I fit everything into just 2 suitcases and a large tote bag. Hopefully my table will look a little better at my next con, which I recently found out will be Tekko in PA the first weekend of April!
With that, I'll end this post with the handful of photos I did end up taking.

The BIG Frill 2013 Blogpost!

And so begins the task of condensing this weekend into a readable, concise (pfft, yea right) blog post.

WARNING: THIS POST IS SUPER PICTURE HEAVY, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. Also, if there's a picture of you posted here and you don't want it to be, please let me know so I can take it down. ((UPDATE: LOL IT WAS ORIGINALLY, BUT TRANSFERRING BLOGPOSTS FROM MY OLD SITE TO THIS ONE MEANS I DON'T HAVE THE PATIENCE TO RE-ADD THOSE BILLION PHOTOS. MAYBE SOMEDAY, BUT NOT RIGHT NOW SORRYNOTSORRY.))

In case you didn't know, I'm located in central Ohio. Frill is located in central Georgia. That's 10 hours of driving, so making this trip is kind of a big deal. Flying is not really an option since I'm selling at Frill and cramming everything into 1-2 suitcases is just not going to happen.

FRIDAY

We started out on Friday morning, drove a few hours to pick up another loli, Jessa, and continued our trek. We arrived in Decatur (which I was sadly surprised is pronounced like DEE-KAY-TER, and not DECK-AH-TEUR, like I'd thought) a little after 6pm, and they had scheduled a Fashion Walk "tour" through the cute town at 7pm. I was so worried that we'd miss it, and we almost did. By the time we got checked in and all our stuff into our room, it was nearly 7. Luckily I had all my coords and such arranged for the weekend, so I could just throw everything on. Not-so-luckily, my makeup was all melty from camping out in the car most of the day =__=; We made it down to the massive group of lolis in the lobby just as they were lining up to begin the walk. But somehow I managed to get a minute to take some video while we were waiting on Jessa to finish getting ready (I would embed it below, but I'm having issues with YT, ugh).

The Fashion Walk consisted of a big group of lolis trouping around town, slowing traffic and causing stares. It was fun. The walk ended in this super cute little shop where we were treated to wine and scones and other cute treats. So many lolis & petticoats - I was afraid we'd end up breaking something.

 

((I enjoy re-looking through all these pictures that we took on our first night, because most of these people started out as strangers, but by the end of the weekend I pretty much knew most of them. ^^))

Friday ended with a pool party, which I chose to forgo and instead take the time to set up my booth for the next day (which come to find out, there were mermaids present, and I'm sad I missed it). Once we were finished with my table set up, it was time to hunt down food. We hadn't really eaten anything but snacks in the car on the way over, and whatever tiny breakfast we had at Tim Horton's on our way out of Ohio, so food is something that we were really excited for. Unfortunately, it was super late and the only thing really open was Taco Mac, which was just a block or so away from the hotel. Now.. wtf is Taco Mac, you ask? Yeah we said the same thing. I was picturing maybe a crappy taco joint for stoners or something, and I couldn't've been more wrong. It was basically a BW3s, with wings & burgers and stuff - no tacos in sight! So we ate like there was no tomorrow and hurried back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep before the next day.

SATURDAY

We were so exhausted this whole trip. We never really recovered from the drive (oh, did I forget to mention that we didn't go to sleep the night before we left?), so this whole weekend I felt like I was functioning on borrowed energy. Saturday began bright and early, as I had to finish stocking my booth before things opened early for the VIPs. There was a lot of shopping to be done at Frill this year, whereas last year there was only the boutique & consignment, this year included an artist alley and designer's dealer room on top of the boutique & consignment, so there was a lot to take in. I still don't think I got the chance to walk around and look at everything - every time I tried to, I always ended up getting stuck talking to someone or taking pictures, or whatever. Which is definitely not a bad thing! This weekend was definitely filled with a lot of friends & feelings.

I also received some bad news, that one of my models would not be showing up. Unfortunately there were some transportation issues so she wasn't even able to make it to the con. I felt super bad upon hearing this, because I know part of the reason she decided to come to Frill in the first place was to model for me. Despite this let down, I had to spend that afternoon scrambling about to find a replacement. Most of the short girls were taken for the show (contrary to most fashions, I prefer short models - the shorter, the cuter, the better imo!), as I ran around asking every one I saw whether or not she was already modeling. Luckily, as I was giving up hope, I stumbled across the most adorable loli, and somehow she wasn't modeling! I had won the lottery (she's the cutie wearing the white jsk, down in the photos below).

 

Saturday evening concluded with the 'Frill After Dark' events, which included things like the Dandies & Darlings dance, and of course - the Fashion Show. Part of the reason I brought along my loli friend, Jessa, was because of how kick ass of an a make up artist she is. I'm so happy that I had her backstage, making all my models look super gorgeous. Model call was at 5pm, but the fashion show didn't start 'til 10pm, so if I wasn't running around getting wigs from my room or whatever, I was backstage most of the evening. I ended up missing the dance, but somehow my boyfriend still enjoyed it without me. That's another thing I've yet to bring up. He was super popular this weekend, and I feel like I didn't even see him most of the days because he was off in panels or being popular or something. But that makes me happy knowing he wasn't just sitting around being bored all weekend.

When the fashion show was getting ready to start, Jessa ran out to watch and record the show in it's entirety. I'm so happy she did this, as I was still backstage with the models, (so all I have is this, lol) and I wouldn't have been able to see it otherwise. Click Here to watch the fashion show.

 Once the fashion show was over, so was I. Exhaustion hit me like a brick wall and I was ready for bed. There was (a surprise, at least to me) an after-party for the Frill VIPs & designers, and although I would've liked to have taken part, I was so freaking tired on top of not eating for ~13 hours, that I simply did not have the energy. I made a quick appearance and said hello to a few people, but then we were out the door and on our way to... Waffle House. There was nothing else open at this time. Not even pizza places. Granted, it was 1am, but still. Anything would've been better than Waffle House, ugh. I should've taken a picture of what I wore, because I wore my bloomers with a t-shirt which made a surprisingly cute coord, and something I've never tried before. (Definitely remembering that for other times when I'm lazy but still need to look cute.) Somehow we managed to not die from the awful food and horrid vomit-smell inside the restaurant, and got back to our hotel once again for only a handful of hours of sleep.

SUNDAY

Sunday morning I slept in a little bit. I was so exhausted, so I awarded myself an extra 40 minutes of sleep, but despite that I was incredibly cranky. I feel awful admitting that, but I was just so irritated from lack of sleep, so that morning all I wanted was to stay in bed all day. But I forced myself to get up and open up my table for one last day of sales.

Sunday afternoon before the Tea Party Luncheon, there was a Designer Q & A Panel, which I nervously participated in. I really wish I had a photo to post of all of us sitting up on the stage answering questions, but sadly neither my bf or Jessa were present to take one :( They were off being popular elsewhere, which in hindsight, is totally fine with me, because I'd probably be too nervous if they were present anyways.

This panel was probably one of my favorite parts of the entire weekend. I've never participated in a panel like this or talked about my brand in such a public setting, so I was filled with a lot of nerves. In addition to myself; Moss Badger, Lily of the Valley, Megan Maude, Alice Doll, & Kinki Kitty (I think that's everyone...) were there. I felt so intimidated by the designers who've been at this for several years, and I'm sure my voice was all shaky as I answered questions about Elegy and how I came up with the name and talking about printing fabric and whatnot. The end was full of feelings & tears, as one sweet girl talked about how much she appreciates what we do as indie designers, and how she sees what we do is truly from the heart and out of love. It really made my weekend, and reinforced why I keep Elegy running, despite the low points, slow sales, and hard times.

After the tears, it was onto the tea! Now this is where things really differed from last year, and not for the better in my opinion. Last year's tea was super precious. We had actual tea sets, and a gorgeous spread of scones and such. This year.. there was neither. I'm not sure if it was because it was put on by the hotel, but the "tea wear" was definitely just generic coffee mugs, and there were no cutey treat set-ups - our food was just brought to us on a boring plate. I don't mean to criticize or bash the tea party, I just think last year felt more authentic and full of love than this year's. We had to leave pretty soon after the tea had started, so I sadly didn't get to stay for the feedback session, so I'm not sure what was brought up at the end or suggestions people made or anything :(

 

 

You see, my bf wanted to get a headstart on the road, and not be driving all through the night. So by the time we got the car all packed up and everything, it was about 5pm. It wasn't until a few hours down the road that we stopped for gas & treats, that Jessa noticed.. her debit card/ID was missing! We ripped the car apart searching for it, to no avail. I finally suggested that she call the hotel, and.. of course, they had it. Jessa had changed in the bathroom before we left (I'm totally skanky and changed in the parking lot, heh), and they must've fallen out at some point during that. Of course we had to turn around and get them, putting us behind, which means with all the lost time... we could've stayed for the feedback session after all =__=

Since I didn't get to have input at the actual Frill event, I'll just leave it here:

OVERALL FRILL EXPERIENCE:

Since I attended both last year's and this year's, I feel like I'm in a position to compare things well.

LOCATION: Definitely an improvement. Last year's was in a small banquet hall type thing, with no room for growth. The Marriott Courtyard is really big, so we have plenty of room to grow there. I really like how the hotel is set up as well - the windows overlook the lobby, so you can see what's going on, and it feels more integrated.

BOUTIQUE: As I mentioned above in my post, the shopping experience has drastically improved, and there is so much more. With the addition of artist's alley and the dealer's room, that makes finding specific sellers much easier, whereas last year I really feel like my stuff got lost in the mix with everyone else's in the boutique. I appreciate that I was able to have my own space this time.

ATTENDANCE: With Frill only being in it's second year, and Lolita being such a niche thing, it's expected that there's not thousands in attendance (but could you imagine, one thousand lolitas?! O:). There has been some growth, which is definitely good, and I really hope it continues to do so. It's still pretty small though, as attendance is >200 lolitas.

SELLER EXPERIENCE: ((As a seller, my experience is definitely different than just an attendee, which is why I'm separating the two.)) As far as my table and set-up went, that was a breeze. There was no charts, so we got to choose our own spots - I chose a table right across from the Dealer's room, so I could be close to the other clothing designers. The selling areas were open on Friday pretty much all day until midnight for set up, which was something I was worried about since we were coming into Georgia later in the day.
As I mentioned above with attendance, well that really effects sales. I did way better than last year, and I suspect that's from having my own space, but I still didn't do tremendously well. I did get my work shown and my name out there by having my own table and participating in the fashion show, which is certainly a plus, but making the huge trip that we did is almost a little crazy. I wasn't able to cover our hotel/travel costs, but I know I did better than a few of the other tables I talked to.
Disclaimer: This is only the second "actual table" that I've had at a con (the first being Ohayocon earlier this year, in which I did amazing), so I still don't know what's "normal", or what to expect in terms of sales for cons/events. I'll keep on supporting Frill though, because I do believe in what they're trying to do, and I really want to see it grow and be an amazing con for Lolitas. Once the attendance gets up, it only makes sense the sales will go up as well.
I feel really lucky to have met and made connections with other sellers - I hope to participate in more cons in the near future~

ATTENDEE EXPERIENCE: I had a blast at Frill. I met so many lovely, amazing people, and I really felt like a part of the community. Last year, I didn't know anyone, so it felt like I was walking into a room full of strangers. This year I recognized a lot of people, so it was easier to integrate and feel less like an outsider. The drive is super long and ugh, but super worth it in my opinion if Lolita is something you're really passionate about. Having to leave and go back into the boring, ugly, real world was super sad, as I wish that everyday could be filled with as many lolitas as this weekend was.

Rozen's Romance: The Poem

Putting Rozen's Romance together happened a little differently than previous prints. This time I worked a lot with a close friend of mine on the concept, after I got to a point where I felt completely stuck. She can put into words what I can't, and has written a short story/poem for this print. I fell so in love with it, and I can't wait to share it with you.

 

Rozen's Romance

 

She gives a sigh and checks the hour.

A heart in full bloom, much like a flower.

 

Would she had fallen, had she known,

her days and nights would be alone.

 

Dark shadowy eyes gaze towards the dawn.

Sweet Rozen sings her haunting song.

 

A lover's lullaby, between sleep and waking.

A lonely heart, that's slowly breaking.

 

Dearest Rozen whispers his name with every breath.

A delicate artist meeting and untimely death.

 

Trembling hands paint her emotion.

Unwavering concentration and devotion.

 

Crimson lips, true beauty, yet forsaken.

Inside efflorescent spirits awaken.

 

 He the one who captured her soul,

Can return and make her whole.

 

Colors and tears drop and splatter.

Will she finish, does it matter?

 

Will he ever look upon her adoration?

Accepting her gift, leads to salvation.

 

A love so strong, it prickles like thorns.

In her locks, a brier crown adorns.

 

Dizzy and faint, falling to the ground.

Colorful arrays of roses spinning round.

 

Trapped in a world of pain and obsession,

A young artisan paints a vivid confession.

 

A master piece for the master of her heart.

Madness and infatuation tearing her apart.

 

Poor Rozen, beautiful Rozen...

 

-Babo Kinns