Ordering Sakizo Artbooks from AliceBooks Japan (from the Philippines)

Ordering Sakizo Artbooks from AliceBooks Japan (from the Philippines)

 photo alice_4.png_zpstlchdaov.jpegHELLO FINALLY TIME TO GET THIS BLOG UP AND RUNNING AGAIN! Today I’d like to blog about something that I’ve been frequently asked–how I order my Sakizo artbooks from Japan. It’s actually a pretty straightforward process that’s simply signing up and ordering, so this blog post will be ultra short and sweet! This process requires that you have a Paypal or credit card. If you don’t have either a Paypal or credit card, feel free to message me on Facebook if you’d like me to place an order for you for a small service charge.

 photo alice_1_zpsqismsabu.pngThe distributor of Sakizo’s works online is Alice Books Japan. Their site is in Japanese, but there’s a tab at the upper right corner that will translate the website to English for foreign buyers.

 photo alice_2_zps7xgcak1h.pngI recommend signing up for an account, which secures your details for you in case you’d like to purchase again in the future. Trust me, you’ll get hooked! Apart from Sakizo, who has quite the following among Lolita enthusiasts, I also recommend artists like Matsuo Hiromi and AZSA, especially for J-Fashion lovers~

 photo alice_3_zpsj0lemdmk.pngFrom then on it’s a simple matter of adding the artbooks you want to get to your cart, and then checking out and providing your details. Payment options are thru Paypal and credit cards. For the Philippines, I recommend getting the ordinary shipping, which costs about 800JPY (300PHP) for one book. I’ve used this twice now, and my books arrived to me in 7-10 days, with no tax. (These books pass as documents, and are never taxed whenever I order them, and are delivered to my doorstep.)

Take note that artbooks from popular artists like Sakizo run out fast, so if you want to get something you’ve had your eye on for a while, I recommend grabbing it as soon as you can! The Japanese Yen has low value right now as well, so it’s a great chance to grab the books for cheaper due to the conversion rate!

 photo alice_5.png_zpspof7058q.jpegI currently own three artbooks all from AliceBooks, and intend to get more when something interesting comes up again~

Happy shopping!

xoxo Xarin

Review: Crystal Marble Grey Contact Lenses

Review: Crystal Marble Grey Contact Lenses

Today’s blog post is a review on Crystal’s Marble Grey contact lenses! This is one of the very first lenses I ever bought, for my Fire Emblem: Tharja cosplay. As usual, I bought my lenses from GWYSHOP, which carries one of the cheapest prices for these lenses.

 photo IMG_0749_zpsmjlaw8mi.jpgThe swirlie patterns on them make them (to me) a good fit for a “mysterious” character, so I got these as I intended to use the for my Tharja costume.

I must say that the reason this review was so delayed was because it was not going to be favorable… this has been one of the most uncomfortable lenses I ever wore. It was softer than the other lenses that Crystal carried, making it harder to put in since it tends to flip over and lose its shape. It was unbearable for long hours and whenever I tried to go out wearing it (to take photos of it in proper daylight) I’d end up taking them off more or less so I wasn’t able to get those photos for the longest time.

 photo marble_grey3_zpsrk4swaby.jpgBUT FINALLY they were able to become comfortable!!!! Since I’m a cheapskate I used to buy the cheapest contact lens solution in the market *cough*EO*cough* and on a whim I decided to change brands and splurge a little more. Our eye doctor recommended what she claimed was the best brand for lenses, as they really preserve and embed moisture into the lenses. The solution was expensive tho since it only comes in a 300ml bottle and was P300+… BUT IT WORKED LIKE A MIRACLE and I must say I can barely feel the lenses now and put them on all day. You can really feel, even just to the touch, that they have more moisture. The previous brand I was using left them feeling rough after being stored in the solution.

The design itself (to me) really is good for characters with more mystery, and the thick limbal ring gives the eyes a doll-like effect. The color also shows up rather well in photos! These are good everyday or cosplay lenses.

 photo burgz_zpspjyygz5h.jpgBottom Line: These are good contacts–if you’re willing to shell out extra for good solution. Otherwise, don’t get them, and if you’re very sensitive, I wouldn’t recommend this series as they’re very soft and hard to put on. 

Hope that helps!

How to Make your own Lolita Beret

How to Make your own Lolita Beret

Berets are very popular in the lolita fashion scene, and every brand seems to always be releasing a beret to match their current collection. Lolita berets are mostly, from observation, flat and barely serve the purpose of hiding or storing hair (unlike medieval/Tudor berets) and serve a mostly decorative purpose, almost just grazing over the hair/wig instead of being a snug fit. In this tutorial, we’ll make a beret like that! It’s quick, fun, and super easy.

Let’s start with the materials we need:

  • Your fabric
  • Interfacing/ Pellon (to give your fabric of choice stiffness and form)
  • Another color/pattern of fabric (optional)
  • Bias tape (for sealing in the edges)
  • Embellishments

First off, let’s start with the pattern!

 photo beret_pattern_zpsyfwn8nag.jpg

A beret pattern is made up of a simple circle. To ensure a snug fit, measure around your head first to get the circumference. You might want to measure around the place where you’d like your beret to go around. Then, get the diameter from this circumference by dividing  your circumference by pi (3.14). Math for fashion! WHO KNEW RIGHT?!

Map out the diameter in your pattern paper (any paper will do) and use it (and a compass) to draw a perfect circle. This is the inner ring of our circle. It will go around your head.

Next, add inches to your diameter, depending on how wide you want the brim of the beret to be. 1.5 to 2 inches is ideal. In this post I added 2 inches and seam allowance. Again, using your compass, draw out the outer circle.

 photo beret_1_zpsabcey2be.jpg

Cut out your pattern, You should end up with something like this.
 photo beret_2_zpse5aqkceb.jpg

Now, use the pattern to cut out your fabric. Cut a piece of fabric that is a whole circle based on the outer ring(the middle isn’t cut out), and another with the middle circle cut out. Also cut out their matches in interfacing/pellon. I recommend using interfacing/pellon because it makes the beret stiff and not lose it shape when worn.

My fabric with the cut-out has allowance, but that’s because the inner hole of my pattern was too big for me OTL because I didn’t measure and just guessed when making this pattern, basing it off the tutorials online. Other tutorials give a set measurement for the circle and it’s too much space for someone like me (asian) that has a smaller frame. THAT’S WHY YOU SHOULD MEASURE K GUYS.
 photo beret_3_zpsngybgrxi.jpg

Sew your two pieces together on the wrong side, with the right side facing each other. If something like this (in photo) happens, just fold over  and sew over it as displayed. You’ll see most hats and other berets have this at the back, so don’t mind it too much.
 photo beret_4_zps2sggqkxy.jpg

Trim the edges and seal them by encasing them in bias tape. I simply fold over the tape in half, and sew it around the edge. This is a cheap, easy way to seal up your seams if you don’t have an overlocker/serger, and it serves a decorative purpose too! It looks nice. :3
 photo beret_5_zpsb6a06pq4.jpg

Then you should have something like this~ Almost done!
 photo beret_6_zps1lmbi0u4.jpg

Now all we have to do is make a band to go around the inner circle. You can choose a different color for decorative purposes. Figure out how thick you want it to be, and take that measure, add a seam allowance (I normally go for half an inch) and multiply it by two. You’ll be cutting out a rectangle slightly longer than your inner circle circumference that is that wide.

Say, if I want my band to be half an inch, I’d add another half to it, and multiply it by 2 = the band would be two inches wide.

Fold it down the middle and iron it. (picture above) You may also want to tuck in the allowance and iron it to set it, but I’m comfortable with folding it as I go.

Depending on the thickness of your fabric, you may also want to put interfacing on it! A sturdy band looks way better than a flimsy one.
 photo beret_7_zpsyzi0b5al.jpg

Sew it into place around the edge of the inner circle~

Now when that’s done, congratulations! Your beret is complete!!

 photo beret_9_zps8m48j1jw.jpg

You can customize it by putting embellishments like pinning on some bows and other decals. Most lolita berets are plain colored with embroidery designs, so you may also try your hand in that eventually! If your beret came out loose, you can sew hairpins or hot glue some clips into it to help hold it into your wig/hair.

Goodluck!

xoxo

Xarin

This New Year: Dare to Dress up Kawaii

This New Year: Dare to Dress up Kawaii

IN 2014, I started dressing up in J-fashion inspired clothing.

I wore it to events, wore it to go out shopping, wore it walking down the streets, along my neighborhood, in the wet market, riding a bus, riding a jeep, just to do groceries…

I dressed up when there was every reason to, and also when there was no reason at all.

I find a lot of different types of fashion appealing. While I mostly like to dress j-fashion inspired, I also like to take cues from vintage, pin-up and retro. I’ve always admired photos and models and icons of them, and in 2014 I finally decided to go out and brave it and dress up how i’d like to.

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I made my own lolita ensemble by making a skirt and petticoat and coordinating it with a thrift store blouse and knit cardigan. Everything, except the skirt, were things that I already had in my closet. The blouse is even my mom’s or my sister’s, and I just resized it. I have a tutorial for the skirt uploaded in this blog, albeit outdated and needs to be polished with finer sewing techniques.

I wore it to a local anime-themed convention, and the response was heart-warming. People liked it, some people asked for photos, or asked about what I was wearing. Don’t get me wrong–I wasn’t swarmed by people, these are just a handful–but it’s always heartwarming when people appreciate something you picked and put together, a reflection of YOU.

And more importantly, I was happy with myself, and what I wore. I made another dress. I bought cute pieces that were out at the store. Expanding a wardrobe is a pain on the wallet, so I would also scour through thrift stores (ukay-ukay) and offbrand stores and bazaars. It helps that I can use a sewing machine fairly well, make alterations, and tear apart things to make something new out of them. I put them on and complete a look from head-to-foot, even matching my wigs and makeup. I started going out all dressed up as if there would be a convention or like I’m someone walking the streets of Japan, and not the Philippines where, honestly, dressing up isn’t the norm.

I get glances and stares, and of course I feel so out of place and overdressed, but I don’t plan to stop this year. (In fact, I felt rewarded for all that when at the end of the year, I got the chance to model for lolita brand dolldelight.)

It’s not easy for me. I live in a depressed area so it’s not like I just get into a car and go shopping at Aura and The Fort and Makati. Going out all dolled up is not that convenient for me. I have to walk for a good ten minutes up steep slopes and even a palengke (wet market) to get to where I ride a JEEP to get to anywhere. I commute in my “kawaii” clothes, so to speak. (For those curious, I live in Bagong Silang, which is notorious as a place for ex-convicts and gangs. It’s not entirely as bad as people make it out to be, but it’s also not the place where you’d expect someone in the fashion hobby to come from.)

I’ve heard girls hesitate dressing kawaii or in j-fashion because it doesn’t fit their lifestyle and feel it’s just for people who are among the elite, or shop in top “rich kid” shopping spots where dressing up wouldn’t be too out of place. It’s more convenient for them, that’s a reality, but I hope you don’t make it an excuse for you to not try it yourself.

You’ll most likely get asked questions. “Why are you dressed like that?” is common. “Is that your real hair?” is even more common for me! I just smile and respond appropriately, saying that’s just how I like to dress, and yes, it’s a wig. xD If jejeweebs other people make wrong assumptions or remarks (“hey look she’s cosplaying!” “omg bro look it’s cosplay!” “hey look it’s *insert mainstream anime character here*”) about how you’re dressed, don’t take it to heart. You can politely correct them, but since I think that’s too much of a hassle, and could arise in conflict, I just laugh it off. Remember, not everyone knows about the fashion you’re dressed in, so don’t hold them grudges for what they don’t know. It’s not anyone’s fault that they aren’t educated in fashion and what subcultures are called, so don’t blow your top over that one.

Scared of the critics, the people that are actually pointedly trying to be rude to you? Learn how to take them all in stride. The number of people who would say rude things is a very, very SMALL minority. And you can usually tell that their rude remarks are fueled by their own personal insecurities, so I just feel bad that they have such a miserable life that they have to make such a big fuss over someone who’s just dressed differently.

The majority of the people will, instead, smile.

“Kawaii” and doll-inspired fashion is powerful in the way that it’s so light and fun and colorful or whimsical that the natural reaction for most people to it would be to smile or find it interesting. I think it speaks to the child in all of us, and no matter how jaded and old someone gets, a lot of people are still able to appreciate all the fun and innocence that gets reflected in what you wear.

The most priceless remarks I hear are from children. In my neighborhood, a lot of the kids know me, and I like it when the little girls greet me and say how they like what I’m wearing, or I “look like a doll”, or say they like my cookie necklace or some other interesting accessory. Even kids in the malls will call their siblings to point at me, (“look! I like what she’s wearing!”) or will call their moms (“mom the girl behind us looks cute! look at her!”) and all the honesty from them is just so heart-warming. Adults (usually ones with kids, I find) will also give compliments once in a while, or try to show you to their kids, which I think is cute. I’d like kids to grow up and not be afraid to keep all the whimsy and cute from their childhood, so it’s very touching when parents point out to me and tell their kids there’s nothing wrong about still being a kid at heart even when you’re all grown up.

I feel like how we dress up also affects how we act and treat others in public. Dressed up all cute and fun, I feel like I’m even more fired up to be positive and make my day fun and not let anyone rain on my parade.

If you’ve always wanted to wear your fashion in public, but you get scared or shy, I encourage you to start and make this  year your year. I started it in 2014 and as I’ve told you, there’s more ups than downs. There’s the slight chance that you’ll make someone else’s day and make them smile, but what’s most important is you yourself will be happier.

This 2015, I plan to open up my own personal style website. I always wanted to separate my more fashion-oriented content from this website (threesmittenkittens.com) since this one is more oriented towards crafts and cosplay. I don’t plan to stop dressing up kawaii this year!

What about you?

Looking forward to seeing your own coords and ootds for 2015!

Xarin

Doll for a Day! The Dolldelight Lolita Experience

Doll for a Day! The Dolldelight Lolita Experience

 photo 10869377_863944816989898_6204373689049653146_o_zps4b7530e4.jpg

(Photo Credit: Jumpshot Photography)

One of the best, most memorable experiences in my 2014 is that I got the chance to model for internationally-known lolita brand, dolldelight, even for one day!

Dolldelight, owned and ran by Filipino-American designer Cyril Lumboy, has been a brand that I looked up to as a newbie interested in lolita fashion. I liked the intricate details in every dolldelight original dress, and that they had prints and silhouettes that were not just for the usual, more-commonly found sweet lolita.

 photo dd_6_zpsc51d0ccb.jpg

I only started dressing with hints of j-fashion this year, so I’m a total newb and first-timer. When Cyril got in touch with me for modelling for dolldelight for the World Bazaar, I was soooo excited~!

 photo dd_0_zps2ebf1697.jpg

Backstage. Cyril giving a briefing on the stage setup. She’s truly hands-on and really involved with the models, and kept things going on smoothly despite all the management’s changes in schedule. I was ALMOST late because I didn’t know that they moved up the show to two hours earlier… T.T
 photo Pink-Ranger1_zps5ddc91a1.jpg(Photo Credit for Right Photo: Jumpshot Photography)

I had the honor of wearing the Pink Ranger outfit, which is so pink, frilly, and poofy! My cousin said I looked like a cotton candy haha~!

 photo dd_3_zps95982ffa.jpg

The show went on smoothly without a hitch. I met the loveliest girls and enjoyed a lot of our time trying to calm down and relax our collective nerves. They were so pr0 walking and posing at the stage~! I was so nervous and n00b OTL

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Took some photos outside the dressing room/near the backstage with bazaar-goers~ We have the lovely Barbie, Ehren, Mayumi, me, Patrice, and Maya~! (from left to right)

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(top right) With designer Cyril, who’s so talented and such an inspiration. (top left) With Maria. (bottom right) with Mikkitty. (bottom left) with Patrice.

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With Nikki and Maria~

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Was accompanied by my mum~ Am so happy/lucky/blessed to have a supportive family when it comes to my hobbies, dressing up, and lifestyle. I know some girls have problems getting their family to be accepting of a hobby, whether it’s dressing up in lolita or cosplaying. My advice is to just keep being a responsible kid and love your family! Never let your hobbies bring down your priorities like schoolwork, and don’t put the burden of buying your hobby stuff on your ‘rents.

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Group pic~~! Thank you so much dolls~! Thank you so much dolldelight! This shall go to my 2014 highlights for sure! This is one of the things you can’t just forget. <3

Don’t forget to follow dolldelight on facebook for lolita and dolly fashion if you’re interested in learning about it~! More of our photos can also be seen on Jumpshot Photography‘s page!

xoxo,

Xarin

 

Review: Crystal Jewel Blue Contact Lenses

Review: Crystal Jewel Blue Contact Lenses

Hey there everyone! Long time no blog for me! My computer died (again) and had to go back into servicing once more, so I only got it back just recently. It’s sad too as I had a line up of blog posts there that I meant to show everyone! T.T

But carrying on, today I’ll be reviewing Crystal’s Jewel Blue circle lenses. This was my first pair of lenses bought online (I got mine from GWYSHOP) and I was of course worried because I’ve often been warned by my family and told not to buy them outside of optical clinics. But I took a risk anyway because I was tired of my contact lenses expiring every three months when I didn’t use them that often anyway–I mostly only use them for cosplay purposes.

 photo jewel_blue_1_zps9fff931c.jpgI got the 15mm Crystal Jewel Blue, meant to use for lolita or j-fashion wear, and my upcoming Frozen: Anna cosplay. xD The design is VERY simple, and it comes with a very thick limbal ring.

 photo jewel_blue_2_zpseacff98b.jpg

 photo jewel_blue_3_zpsd9af1ce5.jpg15mm circle lenses really give an eye-enlargening effect. I look totes different with and without them on. (But I’m just as gorgeous anyway haha) This photo is taken with an LED light directly facing me. The blue in the lenses are very natural and not very vivid. which is my preference for doll/lolita wear.

 photo jewel_blue_4_zps3f04931d.jpgOutdoors. You can wear the lenses outside with no problem and not getting weird stares from people. xD The color is only noticeable up-close. If you’re looking for lenses that are more vivid in color, this isn’t the series for you.

And now to break it down:

Comfort – these lenses are super comfy so I use them very often; If I have to dress up and go out. I’ve worn them for very extended hours. They are also very natural as I previously said so they’re good for fashion/daily wear.

Price – A pair goes for P250, and GWYSHOP sells them at probably the cheapest price in the market. They have an ongoing “Buy 2 circle lenses, Less 50 for each pair” so you can get these from them for as low as P200 a pair, which are ultra cheap! They also have an expiry of 1 year so no need to replace them often.

Color – the color is natural and is more suited to fashion wear, and probably not very good for cosplaying bright blue-eyed characters.

That’s it! Til next review!

*this review is entirely my own opinion, and is not sponsored in any way.

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