Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goth Challenge Week Three

20. How Satisfied I Am With My Current Wardrobe


I think there's a problem when you take a glance into your closet and all you can come up with is a "What am I going to wear now...?" Right now, my wardrobe is a hodge-podge of stuff and styles that, frankly, just don't match. I have a solid chunk of poofy Lolita things taking up one half and the rest is all a jumble of sheer black blouses, tank tops, jeans, maxi dresses, skirts, and socks that don't seem to go with any particular outfit. Nevermind that I seem to acquire new shoes regularly that I can't seem to make work with any one style or another. 

Finding an outfit for the day is a battle of wits, it seems. Okay, I can wear this top with this cardigan and oh dear, is it too cold for a skirt? Where are my jeans? Maybe leggings, but I don't have any in that color....No, but I really want to wear those boots too and this simply doesn't match and....

Do you see where I'm going? I used to love saying that my wardrobe was eclectic, but that's really just a fancy way of saying that absolutely nothing goes together and while some days that doesn't really bother me, lately it has. I want to be able to get up at 7:30 am and throw together a fabulous (but comfortable) outfit in less than fifteen. If most of my pieces simply don't work together, this is an impossibility. I'm really beginning to see the brilliance in owning all black, how simple that must be. But even those people will complain about their blacks clashing - this one has a red undertone and this one looks blue in the right light.....damn. 

So is it even possible to be really satisfied with the garments currently comprising your wardrobe? I'm not sure. I know that if I had the funds and the means, I would do a whole closet overhaul and I know exactly what sort of items I would add or make basic. 

1. Lots of black leggings, simple black skirts, and numerous black tank tops.

2. A variety of cardigans, some of that fit nicely over tanks and others that are roamy enough to slide over a blouse or long sleeves.

3. More socks.....and a bigger variety. 

4. Lots of long sleeved tops - it's pretty cold here in Minnesota on a regular basis. 

5. And then finally some accessories that go with everything I like and own - cameos, skull rings, ravens and owls, black feathers, tea party paraphernalia, and lace.








Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fashion Bands!

I got the idea for this post from Sary, over at The Walrus Room, because she was talking about bands or musicians that inspire her fashion-wise on one of our FB communities. So this got me thinking....are there any bands I like more for their style than their actual music and this is a resounding: YES.


1. 

Exist Trace is a visual kei band from Japan featuring an all girl line up. The girl on the left, Miko, is the most feminine in the group, often donning full on aristocrat or Gothic lolita outfits. The rest of the girls are strikingly androgynous and very gorgeous. 

I only like a few of their songs; the vocalist often indulges in using the same sort of vocal screeching common in the more modern visual kei bands, but she does occasionally sing like a woman. Her voice is quite deep though, so it suits the genre nicely. 

2.

Moi Dix Mois is a group I have a love/hate relationship with. They look frakking awesome, but Mana is such a douche that it makes it really hard for me to have any respect for the group as a whole. Their look is often characterized by frilly Victorian blouses, long coats, stompy boots, and huge hair. The makeup is classically Gothic and certain hair elements are easily death-rock influenced.

Musically, everything sounds exactly the same. Mana has not deviated from his melodic cathedral angle since Malice Mizer and it makes me wonder why on earth they're still popular as a musical act.....

 3.

Don't get me wrong. I love Switchblade Symphony. And their look is.....very kinderwhore, bubblegoth, and sloppy Lolita all rolled together into one hot mess. And strangely enough, I kind of like it. It's really difficult to kind decent photos of these girls, but I'm digging the whole pigtail look with dark makeup and cutesy dresses. It seems to at odds with their very dark and elegant musical style though. 

4.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is Japan's current biggest (and strangest) pop star. Her looks could rival that of Lady Gaga any day and she takes them to even greater extremes with maximum cuteness and what-the-fuckery. Even before becoming a household name in the music world, she was infamous in Harajuku for her wild style and crazy hair-dos. 

A few of her songs are super cute and the most well known is probably Pon Pon Pon, but I like Fashion Monster the best. Her look in the video is a subtle blend of Gothic Lolita, Batman, and Beetlejuice. Don't believe me? Go look for yourself!

5.

Halestorm is probably one of the last hard rock bands out there featuring a female vocalist and man, can Lizzy Hale sing. Her voice is raw and powerful and her look is that of the 90's badass rocker chick. On those days when I just want to throw something on and still look untouchable, I try to channel Lizzy's wild natural hair, sultry makeup, and casual jeans and t-shirts. A pair of biker boots pulls it together flawlessly. If you walk out the door looking like you're gonna punch someone's lights out, you've nailed it.



What artists or bands inspire you, style-wise? 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Goth Challenge Week Two

4. Favorite Thing to Put on My Head



Why, hats of course! And all manner of hats are fair game. From top hats to tea hats to sun hats to even the occasional slouchy beanie. 







Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wait...I hear the internet calling!

So this is pretty much the sort of thing I do when Japanese homework begins to boggle my mind:



Courtesy of Doll Divine and thank you very much, but no I will not visit again. Too much time wasted.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Some Things Never Change



I brought a good chunk of my finery back up here with me after winter break. Guess where it's sitting? If you guessed my closet, you'd be 100% correct. It's not that I don't want to wear it. It's not that I'm afraid of people reacting strangely. It's not that I just want to fit in and be invisible.....

St. Cloud makes me a really lazy person. I'll admit it. When it comes down to it, when I get up at 7:00 am the last thing I want to do is make sure my petticoat is fluffy enough and that my eyeliner is even. Mostly I just want to throw on some clothing, grab coffee, and survive the day. Mostly. 

It doesn't help that it's been COLD AS FUCK pretty much all week. We're well below freezing here and bordering on "frostbite in seconds" territory. It kind of blows, but right now my entire focus has been on layering up to stay really really warm and not much else. 

And then there's the added perk of coming down with something like a really bad cold. I get back from campus and crawl into my warmest pajamas before cozy-ing up here in front of my PC with some hot tea. I've already got homework to deal with too.

Maybe when it warms up a tad bit (like four months from now...) I'll dress up around campus again. Maybe when I get used to waking up super early and not feeling like death I'll dress up again. Maybe one day I won't let this place turn me into something I don't like.



The funny thing is, all the people I've talked to over various forums have told me that the more you dress up and stuff around people, the more they're drawn to you. Especially if you're friendly about it. They ask questions, compliment you, you become kind of notorious (but in a good way) for your style. It doesn't sound so bad, right?

I just need to get out of my rut, I suppose. 

And damn you, Minnesota! Hurry up and warm up. I'm sick of winter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Goth Challenge Week One

 10. How I first found out about Goth fashion



I'm inclined to say I've always been into Goth fashion, but perhaps I didn't always know to call it Goth or what-have-you. From an early age I was very inspired by the characters in Tim Burton movies and as a child Edward Scissorhands was a fascinating display of pale skin, wild hair, and a black body suit. 



From the very beginning Beetlejuice was a hit for me. I loved Lydia's gelled to death spiky bangs and her large black sunhats. And black and white stripes will always have a place in my art. 



I suppose, even as a child I was drawn to more "gothy" things - a friend in elementary school had a pair of black witchy boots that I used to beg her to let me borrow. I wore my black swimsuit with all my skirts and dresses too, just to know I had something black underneath even though my mom insisted on dressing me in pink and purple as a child. She really didn't like those witch boots. 

It was't really until high school that I even discovered there was a whole coveted subculture based around darkness and good music. Enter the mallgoths and spooky kids. One of my best friends in high school was a proud Manson fan and regularly frequented Hot Topic. The term Goth got tossed around a lot back then and even though most of them didn't really know what it meant, I was intrigued and started digging deeper.



The few things I ever got from Hot Topic were some frilly skirts, lacy arm-warmers, and a mini top hat - so maybe I was predisposed towards Lolita before I even knew what that was too! 

I had a cyber Goth phase when I was still in Montreal - complete with monster Demonia boots and dreadfalls. 



That came and went pretty quickly but I do still miss the boots. Perhaps someday in the future I'll own another similar pair. Though probably not....

It's been the blogging sphere, a handful of wonderfully illustrated Goth books, and Lolita fashion that's really helped me come into my own - style wise. I look a lot different now than when I did back in high school with parachute bondage pants and black tank tops....





Monday, January 14, 2013

"takko raisu" and the start of the semester!

So guys....today marks the beginning of spring semester 2013. Can you believe it's really 2013 now? We survived the apocalypse!

I only had one class today, which was very strange because the first day of the semester is usually the busiest, no? But just one class and that was Japanese (which I've had before) at 5 pm so I was free to do pretty much whatever I wanted most of the day.

Because I'm low on funds, I chose to head over to Biolife to pimp out some of my inner fluids and make some quick cash. So that was the earlier portion of my day.

Once back on campus for real, I decided to get some food but there was no more premade sushi in the marketplace! Whhaaa! And there was no one at the sushi bar either, so I couldn't order any. That was tragic. Instead I headed over to 6th Street Grill because I chat up the manager lady who's always there and she explained to me that everything was now made to order. Very different system but I was able to navigate it. Not sure how I feel about all of these new changes in the food system.

Can't even imagine what new crap Garvey has now.....

To make up for it, I decided to make some "taco rice" when I got home from class. Now this is a Japanese spin on traditional tacos and hails from Okinawa and I've made it before. But not here...where I don't have any taco seasoning.

I figured...what the heck, let's use some Asian spices. Just not the same. But here are some photographs documenting my cooking adventure regardless:




Prepare your food groups!


Sautee your beef (and onions). If you're vegan, you can totally do this with tofu!


Chop your veggies!


Dish out your rice!


Layer with beef! Or tofu!


Add your veggies!

  
Top with salsa and sour cream (f you have any. I don't!)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I will never get anything else done!


  1.  5 pieces that every Goth wardrobe should have, regardless of style
  2.  5 movies for Goths
  3.  What my own Goth lifestyle is like 
  4.  Favorite thing to put on my head
  5.  My wardrobe turnover
  6.  My favorite Goth brand
  7.  Why I wear Goth fashion?
  8.  Why don't I wear Goth all the time?
  9.  5 keywords that describe my personal Goth style
  10.  How I first found out about Goth fashion
  11.  3 trends I wish would come back
  12.  Combining other fashions with Goth
  13.  Goths I have met in real life
  14.  Goths I would love to meet
  15.  3 things I wish I was told when I was a Baby Bat
  16.  10 facts about my Goth wardrobe
  17.  My first concert/festival
  18.  Trends I thought I would never get into, but I now love
  19.  Trends I thought I loved, but now I'm not too keen on
  20.  How satisfied I am with my current wardrobe
  21.  Plan for a trip! A week's worth of Goth outfits I can fit in a small suitcase
  22.  How I accessorize
  23.  What influences my Goth style
  24.  What's in my makeup bag
  25.  Best places to wear Goth fashions
  26.  How I get out of a wardrobe slump
  27.  Purses that I love
  28.  Corsets or no?
  29.  Goth-ing things in my everyday life
  30.  How long it took me to build a complete wardrobe
  31.  Impulse buys that were totally worth it
  32.  My best deal
  33.  Something that I made
  34.  Wardrobe blunders! Things I bought that I ended up regretting!
  35.  What I thought when I got my first real Goth fashion item
  36.  Nails to match my favorite looks
  37.  Something that's not my style, but I love anyways
  38.  Favorite hair style
  39.  Most versatile Goth item I own
  40.  5 inspirational fictional characters
  41.  Fondest concert/festival
  42.  The ways in which I fit the cliche
  43.  The ways in which I do not fit the cliche
  44.  How strangers react to my clothes, and how I react to their reactions
  45.  Something that was a gift
  46.  Parasols: Vital or frivolous?
  47.  The item in my wardrobe that was the hardest to get
  48.  My "signature" outfit
  49.  My favorite Goth book and movie
  50.  What's in my closet, but I haven't worn yet!
  51.  Predict the next Goth trend!
  52.  How Goth has changed me


Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and do this one too. But in random order with a number generator. This one could be exhausting if I go down the list like in my Lolita one. Wish me luck!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cooking Experiments! Azuki Paste

Azuki paste, commonly known simply as sweet red bean paste, is a staple in many Asian sweets, especially the Japanese daifuku, ice cream, and anpan. Since azuki paste is nigh impossible to find around here (and I have to travel into the cities to find an Asian grocer who stocks it) I decided to make my own. You can easily buy small red beans here in bags, so that's what I did. 

The recipe I followed (mostly) is this one: click me!


First you need to soak the beans. Dry beans are super hard and take FOREVER and a day to cook up, so I recommend three hours at least and one full night at best. Since I was a little pressed for time, I only soaked mine for three hours. 


I wrote the recipe down so I wouldn't forget what to do! Now I can take this with me to campus and have it on hand if I want to make more at some time! 


Heat the sucker up!


Get those beans boiling. I let that go for about five-ten minutes before lowering the heat.


Then cover and simmer for about an hour and a half. If you didn't soak your beans long enough, this part will take even longer! 


Once most of the water simmers away, this is what it looks like. Cooked beans. 



Then its time to add your sugar. I put in one cup, to make it sweet enough, since I'm using this for anpan later. 


Stir gently and simmer to desired consistency. It WILL thicken once it cools though, so don't worry if it still looks a bit runny.



The finished product! It has a glossy sheen to it, that's normal. But it's really think and chunky, exactly how I wanted it! Yay!


Job well done, Kayla. Well done!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Okay....

For the past week and such, I've alternated between SUPER busy and SUPER blargh....but I need to get my shit together because classes start Monday. I've got Intro to Linguistics and Creative Writing, both of which I'm looking forward to. Also got Astronomy and Human Biology. Could be interesting. And finally, the second half of Japanese 101. I guess that would make it 102, then.

Already had a glance at what books I need. Pricey - even after checking around on Amazon and such. Might just say "fuck it" and buy 'em at the campus bookstore. At least that way I can charge my financial aid to it. Woot!

I'm heading back up to campus on Friday, which is good timing because we're gonna get some nasty snow/rain shit for the weekend. So on Saturday I'll snag my books and then go grocery shopping. I'm sort of on this soup and salad kick lately - with a bit of Asian cooking on the side. I've already lost some weight but not even to the point of being alarming. And I feel better when I put healthy stuff into my body. It'll be nice to get back into an exercise groove as well. 

Wanna know just how I'm certain this diet thing is going to be awesome? I managed to squeeze into that Moitie dress without constricting my breathing. I'm sure a compressing sports bra didn't hurt either, lol. But still. The only downside is that I'm WAY TOO TALL for that dress. Combined with the fact that it's a babydoll style, the back only jut barely covers my rear. Dafuq, right?

Luckily, I have a very nice and versatile black underskirt so I can totally make this work! 

I want to try dressing up more often this semester, so I'm lugging ALL my Lolita stuff back up to campus at the end of the week too. Wish me luck that doesn't go sour for various reasons.


Monday, January 7, 2013

A Late Holiday Haul

This is quite late in coming, I realize but I haven't really had the time nor motivation to blog about much of anything. That, and after the holidays things got a little hazy. I'm not actually sure what I did this past week, except for a lot of sleeping. And I'm still not quite out of my funk. But without further ado:

A necklace/earring set from the boy's brother's wife, Becky.

A headband/bracelet set from the boy's Mom.

An artsy mug with English Breakfast Tea and goodies.

Hello Kitty pj pants, too short. Will need alteration!

Converse knee-high socks. Also came in black.

A damask print apron. One of my favorite gifts.

And last, but not least!

An original set of Beetlejuice, the animated series, collector cards. All 100 cards plus 20 glow in the dark stickers.

This one made me so happy~! Thanks Mom!






Two outfits for around New Years. No pettis and I'm not calling it Lolita, either. ^_~