Wizard’s Duel on Platform 9 3/4

My inner 12 year old kicked in on the last night of the London trip and lucky for me my colleague from St. Louis was a good sport and willing to queue to have a photo at Platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station. We each had the obligatory pushing the trolly thru the wall shot but mixed it up in the end and starting goofing off and dueling. Perhaps I should have worn Slytherin colors – he he he.

my wizard duel on platform nine and three quarters

Also spent some time in the little shop. They did a great job with the decorations and made you feel like you have transported out of the Muggle world. Even if you don’t buy anything the displays and vignettes are really well done. They have something for all price ranges from just a simple paper tickets to Hogwarts, Gryffindor jumpers and scarfs, and on the higher end wands, time turners…

harry potter logo

harry potter platform 934 shop clothing wands

I had pretty much blown my budget for the month already so only picked up a couple of metal badges. Still had a great time browsing and snapping photos which the shop staff had no issues with.

hogwarts express trunk hedwig ticket

platform 9 3/4 ticket to hogwarts

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Remake: London Calling Phone Box Necklace

londons calling vintage cute coordinate

Picked up the most adorable skirt from Poppy England which features vintage storybook style illustrations of London’s main attractions. The drawings feature a little girl, Poppy, and her friends, such as Fred the dog. The history of the company is really charming – check it out here. While in Heathrow waiting for my flight back home I found a key chain of a classic British phone box in Harrods and was immediately inspired.

diy necklace remake banana republic harrods london keychain

I could barely wait to make this when I returned. Had a picture in my mind of something sweet but simple to match the skirt to pull a whole look together. By sheer dumb luck, left over fabric from curtains I just made for the house turned out to be an exact match for the turquoise color of the skirt. Then I remembered a necklace from Banana Republic that I never wear but haven’t been able to part with. It was covered in little crochet butterflies and flowers. The chain had patinaed so I stopped wearing it but the charms were still in good shape and also a good matching shade to compliment the curtain fabric bow. The skirt has red, white and yellow details so after some digging in my bead box decided on glass beads that are large enough to balance out the size of the key chain. Originally was going to use a linked pearl chain but opted for a double loop silver chain instead to support more weight. The key chain fob is a bit heavy.

anglic pretty socks and bodyline shoes

Since I have to start plotting my packing strategy for a visit to San Fran next week, just a wee bit excited, pulled out pieces to complete a coordinate. Red and white stripe socks from Angelic Pretty match the vintage children’s storybook vibe of the skirt design. White rocking horses might not make it into my suitcase (not practical for this trip) but would be a nice finishing touch. Also threw in a Scottie dog bracelet I picked up year’s ago in Germany – isn’t he adorable!!

 

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Travel Log: London Tower Bridge

london travel log 2014

There is never enough time to really take in the sights and sounds when traveling on business. That didn’t stop me this past week from making the most of meetings in London. Our hotel was tucked nicely between the Shard and Tower Bridge in Central London. Perfect for taking a stroll along the River Thames before and after work. As it turns out, Tower Bridge just celebrated its 120th birthday on 30 June. So to celebrate this Victorian gem’s special day hope you don’t mind my photo tribute from every angle I could manage.

london tower bridge 120th birthday

heraldry on tower bridge

london tower bridge selfie

tower bridge gothic gargoyle victorian design

london tower bridge at night

I’ve always had a thing for Gothic and Victorian Gothic architecture as it would seam did architect Horace Jonesand John Wolfe Barry back in 1884. Turrets, gargoyles, heraldry, lancet arches, uh, I seriously want my own castle!! But what is a princess these days to do. He he he.

 

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And the winner is…

Congratulations Yanise!!!

Yanise Cabrera and Andra Jayne will debut as models in the fashion show at Anime Expo.

Am tickled pink that one of our NYC lovelies won Kawaii.I’s latest contest. Yanise is going to be featured as a model at Anime Expo amongst other amazing opportunities that await her. Absolutely thrilled that she won. Very well deserved indeed. Fan her on Facebook now folks, we have a Kawaii superstar on the rise.

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Tea Party: Kimura U @ Anime Next

lolita tea party with kimura u

Its been several weeks but I am still star struck from meeting Kawaii Ambassador and Fashion Designer, Kimura U. She is as bright and bubbly in person as I imagined. Her new fashion brand, Kokokim, is booming. You can now order easily thru YesStyle.com. After the Anime Next fashion show she arrived at the Lolita tea party head-to-toe, decked out in her latest styles.

kimura u 2014 anime next lolita tea party

The theme of the tea party was Halloween in June. Several of the girls did pull out their best Halloween coordinates. Lots of witches. One girl stopped me and said she reads my little blog here. {Totally blushing.} Wish I had got her name {if you are reading this let me know!} I thought I had captured a photo of her look but no joy. She made her skirt and an incredible hair piece!!! Very talented.

kimura u gave away her necklace

There were prizes given out for a bi-lingual, sugar-rush round of bingo and a raffle. Kimura got in the act by giving away the very necklace she was wearing. Also, the designers from Galaxxy and Acryl agitt each awarded a prize for best coordinate. Rune was selected by Galaxxy and Aeryn by Acryl agitt. Her pirate ensemble was PERFECT!

lolita contest best coordinates

candy

 

 

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Birds of a Feather – Flocking to Swan Fashion

Its funny how you can see something all the time but without really noticing. And then something happens and boom, “hey, check that out!” This is what just happened to me with swans. The heat is on in NY and I was daydreaming about a nice ride in a swan boat on a cool lake. Then I remembered there was a swan in the RED Valentino email campaign a couple weeks ago. And that lead to remembering that Emily Temple cute did a cute swan dress once. And didn’t Milk do something? Oh yeah, Metamorphose always has swans…

milk, red valentino and kobi levi swan fashion coordinate

Now I am seeing swans everywhere. Many designs are very literal interpretations while others are more whimsical. A little Aesop fairy tale and fantasy versus harsh black, white and orange graphic treatments.

emily temple cute, katie, little twin stars, and q-pot swan clothing and jewlery

I am still dreaming of that swan paddle boat ride but will have to settle for a gin and tonic or something to break the heat. Or if I can convince the boy, would love to translate this swan cream puff recipe. Instead of the traditional cream filling, am imagining it stuffed with French vanilla ice cream!

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Handmade: Cherry Bonbon Cutsew One Piece

otome kei cherry cutsew one piece dress

Milk Heart Bag  |  Alex Woo Necklace  |  Antaina Shoes  |  Angelic Pretty Socks

When summer rolls around you want simple pieces in your wardrobe that you can just pull on and go. Easy breezy dresses with simple accessories are great to beat the heat. While taking inventory in my closet I realized cute and comfortable dresses were lacking. Sure there are lots of dresses, but not the type that you can slip into and pop off.

The first brand that comes to mind for relaxed cute is Milk. I was aiming for a one piece dress that would fit nicely in their summer line up. A statement element like the bold cherries with a bib collar for a focal point. This is sure to become my new favorite dress.

harajuku cute cherry dress milk inspired

After moving to the new house I made a pledge to not buy more fabric until I made a dent in what I already have. Now, how was I to refuse this cotton jersey covered in big juicy cherries when it showed up on my Etsy dash? The fabric is white and lightweight so I lined the entire piece in a equally light gray jersey so as to avoid needing a camisole and slip.

Would have added more pintucks, however I was recycling a free t-shirt I got from a work event. It was a great quality cotton but not something I would ever wear out. So I cut off the bottom portion of the shirt to make the bib. Maybe could have squeezed in two more tucks but not positive. The cotton rose lace I have been holding onto waiting for the perfect project. Turns out this was it – he he.

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Mood Board: Bib Collar Dresses & Blouses

Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Innocent World, Metamorphose, and Angelic Pretty bib front dresses

I am a total sucker for a bright white bib juxtaposed against a contrasting color dress or blouse. Pretty much all of the cute brands I track have incorporated them into their collections, if not once, several times. Most include a little tuxedo inspiration through the use of pintucks. To up the cute quotient they then add lace, buttons and ribbons. They also seem to be universal in Lolita styles in that they can easily flow from sweet to classic to goth.

katie milk koko kim bib dress

These versions certainly pull from the tuxedo camp. However, pintucks historically were used in little girls clothing at the hem. The tuck served both as decoration and function. The tucks could be removed from the dress as a girl grew to lengthen the dress and get more wear out of it. Economical and cute – form and function at its best.

taobao and katie bib collar dresses

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Handmade: Collegiate Letter Badge with Kimono Fabric

personalized collegiate letter handmade badge

It took my better half a fair amount of time to understand that even though something has sat in my trims and fabric stash for awhile its not time to throw things out yet. I had several of these iron on school uniform like badges in my trims box for a very long time and was debating if he was right, would I ever use them? Then an explosion of school style pieces started showing up in the late winter and early spring J-fashion magazines. Inspiration struck.

This little badge was whipped up in a matter of hours before my flight to Japan back in March. My friend Asumi and I always exchange cute little gifts when we see each other. I really love our tradition because it is so much fun trying to figure out what to give her next. Sometimes I find cute store bought trinkets, but every now and then I like to throw in something handmade.

sporty cute kimono fabric pin accessory

To take the school patch in a whole new direction, silk kimono fabric in a traditional print along with tiny lace, velvet ribbon, pearls and a satin rose bud all came together. I think it is a very unexpected and playful combination. And the bridge between the Western alphabet with the Eastern fabric is a nice reflection of our friendship – the two coming together and having fun.

details back of pin pearls and charms

Might make a couple more of these with different styles of fabric. Not sure yet. Do love items that can be completed quickly between more ambitious projects.  Keeps me motivated to have that sense of accomplishment as a push to tackle the big stuff.

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Remake: Rabbits in the Garden Wicker Purse

The past couple weeks have been fun, started back to Japanese lessons and then there were the fashion shows. On the flip side that means my sewing has slowed down. Still have a few things to post but need to get back in gear as I have set a lofty goal with my summer project line up. Before my mini break, I completed the second of several items in the Garden Party coordinate project.

garden party rabbit wicker lolita purse

Once I finished the Rabbit Apron my attention shifted to a remake of a vintage wicker hand bag. This is turning to be an annual summer event as last year you might recall I remade another wicker purse to go with a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright cherry dress.

quality lace braid and beading used for embellishments

how to upcycle a vintage wicker purse

Did I start this post saying I completed this bag? Well that is not exactly true.  I still need to do something to the interior of the purse. Right now it is gingham which is absolutely charming but is not in keeping with the color palette and styling of the rest of the outfit. Fussing over the details is important to make a good project be great. Which is why during all of this I also add a couple of bows to the apron to make the lacing feel more finished.

recover-interior-of-old-wicker-handbag

Materials for lace wrist cuffs have been cut and I just need to finish them but have been distracted by a couple other items so hope to wrap those up soon. So all-in-all off to a good start on my list of to-dos but can’t slack off anytime soon. Thank you summer for the motivating sunshine and energy! よし、がんばれます。

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