Friday, 26 February 2010

Singing Power

I spent many years laughing at Harry Secombe's singing until somebody told me that it wasn't a joke.

I love to sing. Singing is a powerful talent to have. It raises our spirits.
I wasn't born a talented singer. I always enjoyed it, and my voice was average, but I had problems keeping to the right key...I've always gone in my own direction. But I took lessons, and my singing is technically good if nothing else.

I also love to be on stage. I've been on stage regularly since the age of 6; it runs in my veins. There is nothing in this world quite like being on stage. I hadn't been in a performance since May 2009 (unless you count the fashion show in November, for which I was onstage for all of 40 seconds).

Sooo tonight was the first show with the gospel choir that I'm in here. That would be another thing I would recommend if you're far from home; joining a gospel choir. It is hilarious fun! My host family didn't bother to come couldn't make it, so I didn't specifically have anyone in the audience who was watching me, but I got some amazing comments after the show which totally made up for it. Because (as I explained) I am not a natural-born singer I get quite nervous, so being in a choir is great for me, as I can work with others without feeling way too pressured. I had one solo of three lines long, in a song with five other soloists.

Anyway, at the end of the last song, we walked up through the audience and into the hallway leading to the exit whilst singing. This meant we could thank the public for coming as they left. Several people approached me to say how beautiful my voice was, which I was very touched by. But nicest of all, the dad of one of the second sopranos came up to me..'You have an amazing voice, and such a good quality on stage. You have to audition for Star Academy. When you sing on stage, everyone else disappears. You have charisma, and you sing with your heart. I'm a musician, and I know a good singer. You are by far one of the best I've heard.'
I hate to sound big headed by writing this up, but MAN I was so proud of myself.

I guess this post is to gloat a bit, but mostly just to prove that even if you're not amazing at something straight away, that practice and hard work will bring positive results in the end. I was thrilled. Really I was.
Ok, I've stopped tooting my own flute now (or tickling my pickle!).

I bought five cute hair accesories for 10$ the other day, and proceeded to camera whore with them! Here are my favs:

Another hard day's work in the land of the Novice Lolita.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Away from home

When our relatives are at home, we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them.

A Lolita appreciates her friends and family. She knows how much they love her, and everything they sacrifice for her benefit. She is grateful when they put up with her ruffles, lace and princessly behaviour. She understands when they find her a bit much!

There are Lolitas out there who, like me, are and have been away from their loved ones for an extended period of time. It can be very difficult to not cross the line from staying in touch, to practically being at home. Here's how to walk the line:
  • Throw yourself into life where you are. Relish the new things you are learning. Talk to people that are different to your usual friends. Widen your horizons. Keep a box, and put tit-bits of memories from your new life in the box...notes from new friends, bus tickets from adventures, photos. Everything that reminds you of good times. Look through this box when you're missing home, and remind yourself why you're here.
  • Keep in light contact with your home life. Some people recommend going cold turkey from contacting your family. I disagree. A change of lifestyle is difficult; don't give yourself too many challenges at once. I find speaking to my loved ones on msn is the best way. I'm using the computer anyway, so it makes sense so say a quick hello. I've found I speak with my family often enough for me not to miss them, but not so often that it interferes with my life. Msn is quite 'detached'; it doesn't have the same emotional strain as a phone call.
  • Write letters. Msn is great for keeping everyone updated, but a handwritten letter to say 'Thanks for the ongoing support' will go down really well. Remember, your new life seems normal without your family, but they are continuing their regular lives without you, which seems a lot stranger. I write letters to my Grandad (talking about the weather is always good, as it helps them to imagine your situation).
  • Don't count down the days. Continually thinking 'I have another X days until I'm home' is reaalllyyy going to drag the time out. Make sure you're too busy to be thinking about going home. You should be excited about what's happening in your new life, not about when you're leaving.
  • Count the months. I know that I arrived in Québec on the 13th of August. I know I arrived in Baie Comeau specifically on the 25th of August. So tomorrow will be six months in Baie Comeau. I like knowing how much time I've been here, and it often crops up in conversation with local people. However I only think about these anniversaries around the date that another month passes; the rest of the month I'm waaay too busy having hilarious fun times.
  • Keep some home comforts somewhere close to you. I have a teddy bear shaped bag (Henry - coincidentally the same name as my letter writing Grandad) that I've filled with some things from my family and friends. I take him to bed every night, and that way I feel close to my home.
Mushy, yes, but effective.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Charity Meals

Great love affairs start with Champagne and end with tisane.

Saturday I went shopping with sister two (Éleonore) and our mum. Being a small town, there aren't many shops in general; let alone where I'd really buy anything. So I was mighty pleased when I found a black cardie and grey, partially patterned, angora knee highs. I subsequently changed the buttons on the cardie from black to multi coloured.

I had a rendezvous with the representative of the company that I'm doing the exchange with (ASSE Ltd). Geralda and I decided to meet at our favourite haunt, 'Le Manoir de Café'. I arrived early, so I took 20 minutes to look around the surrounding shops. I found a shop full of super cute, inexpensive things (which I'm going to try and fit into the budget for March!). We ordered pots of tea and raked over the past two months.
I told her of my recent successes and failures. She replied: 'I have no worries about you. You're like a bubble in fine champagne; you're sure to reach the top.'

In the evening I went to a charity dinner with Catherine and Myriam. It was hosted by my friend Emilie St-Laurent to raise money for a group of disabled teenagers to go to Disney World. Her brother is part of this group (and he's absolutely lovely). It was so much fun, and the evening was a success. The tables were covered in disney stickers and cute! I won a free hours massage in the raffle, which more than made up for the fact that when my spaghetti arrived, it was slopped across the table and I was left to scoop it up and mop up the sauce.

These things do happen..

Lolita Level

Continual improvement is an unending journey

With my room well on the way to being Lolita-fied (I'm still tweaking; everyday since the big tidy up something changes...when I'm happy with it I'll let you know), and my man shirts reserved for Slobby Sundays only, I really feel I can begin my quest to become a lifestyle Lolita.

However, I'm not sure how far along this road I already am by accident, as I have realised that some of my characteristics already match with Lolita. I found a 'Lolita Level' quiz on theLolita Charm blog and decided that this would be an excellent place to start (see end of post for more Lolita Charm).

Each criteria is a level. Add up your total and then put yourself into a category. Repost this to your own blog, website, or journal, bolding the ones that apply to you, and then show your score/level at the bottom. The only rule is that you must add one lolita 'level' to the list!

You've been to egl.
You've posted on egl, without an onslaught of 'USE THE MEMORIES' and likewise.
You've bought a lolita mook.
You've picked a favorite brand.
You've ordered your first item.
You've worn a full outfit.
You've worn a full outfit out in public.
You've worn a full outfit and posted photos of it on the Internet.
You know what JSK, OP, and cutsew all mean.
You've bought your first brand piece.
You know your measurements.
You know you shoe size - in American, European, and Japanese.
You know who Mr. Yan is.
You know who Mana is. (+1 points if you know his band. +2 points if you know his brand. +3 points if you know why he's featured in every GLB. +4 if you have a shrine to him in your closet.)
You know who Maki and Asuka are. (+2 if you've met Maki and Asuka).
You've watched Kamikaze Girls. (+1 if you know the real name of this movie. +2 if you know who wrote the book this was based on. +3 if you've also read the manga or novel. +4 if you love the author despite his criminal record).
You own a wig. (+1 if you own more than 2.)
You own a pair of falls.
You can identify lace on the spot.
You can identify an item's brand on the spot.
You can identify the year a dress was made by a specific brand on the spot.
You can name several different dresses or prints.
You answer stock photo requests.
You mod a lolita community.
You decorate your nails. (+1 if you wear fake nails. +2 if you make fake nails.)
You own a pair of a rocking horse shoes. (+1 if you know their abbreviation.)
You've made your own rose corsage.
You've made anything out of your brand dress's waist ties.
You've made anything out of a matching eco tote. (+3 if you were the first one to do it, you think).Y
ou know how to apply false eyelashes.
You know how to pronounce shirring.
You know how to pronounce Moi-meme-moitie, or Metamorphose tempes de fille.
You know a reliable shopping service.
You bid on Yahoo!Japan or Mbok.
You've been to a meetup.
You've planned a meetup.
You've planned a meetup with catering or more than 20 attendees.
You've met up with lolitas while on vacation to foreign or faraway locales.
You've seen a lolita fashion show.
You've seen a brand fashion show.
You've modeled in a lolita fashion show.
You've modeled in a brand lolita fashion show.
You wear bloomers.You know how to make bloomers.
You tell other people to wear bloomers.
You draw lolita art, write a lolita blog, or provide the community with some sort of creative services.
You've taken purikura in lolita.
You've decorated your room/house/apartment in lolita style.
You've listened to lolita music.
You've learned kana.
You've learned enough Japanese to read a magazine.
You wear or own circle lenses.
You've been called a princess by a young child.
You've dressed up a friend.
You've convert a friend.
You've been in media (television, newspaper, magazine). (+2 points if it's Japanese media.
You've learned a handicraft, like jewelry making, embroidery, or sewing.
You've become a lolita mentor.
You've attended lolita events at an anime or multi-genre convention.
You’ve organized or presented lolita events at a convention.
You've visited a brand shop.
Trip to Japan!
You've dressed up and gone out alone.
You're prepared for inclement or colder weather in lolita (coat, parasol, boots, gloves, other climate-specific items.)
You've learned face contouring.
You've made a lolita valentine.
You've got a lolita pen pal or online lolita friends.
You have local lolita friends.
You know how to modify clothes that don't fit you.
You know how to dress for your body type.
You've been in a street snap.
You've been to multiple world locations of the same brand store (BABY Paris, BABY Tokyo, BABY San Francisco, etc.)
You've created a makeup/hair/sewing tutorial.
You've sold hand-created lolita goods.
You have your own lolita fashion line.
You've gotten a lolita haircut, style, or color.
You've mixed other street fashions with lolita.
You've thrown a lolita party/had a lolita wedding.
You've dressed your child/small children in lolita or kodona style.
You've successfully cross-dressed in lolita style at least once (boystyle for girls and girls' clothing for guys).
You've lolified or made sure all the contents of your purse are cute (wallet, lipgloss, keyring, etc.
You have a lolita pet (small dogs, cats, rabbits, exotic birds, fancy fish) or have dressed/accessorized your pet (bows or pet clothes).
You've dressed your significant other or dated someone who dresses in J-fashion/alternative fashion.
You've read Alice in Wonderland. (+1 if you've seen the animated movie or other variations, +2 if you've seen more than one variation, +3 if you own more than one variation)
You've dressed as Alice or another Wonderland character in lolita style, or own Alice themed items.
You've made something from a Japanese pattern.
You've found, bought, or made lolita underwear (bras and panties).
You wear lolita daily, or have gone 7 days straight wearing only lolita.
You have lolita calling cards or business cards.
You play a lolita instrument (i.e., piano, violin, harp, French horn... well any instrument really.)
You can translate yen to your country's currency in your head. (+1 if you can convert other currencies you shop with as well. +2 if you read the news to know how the yen is doing.)
You've sold lolita clothing online (secondhand, egl_comm_sales)
.Your article or entry has been put into the egl memories.
You take photos of your outfits/daily outfit photos.
You’ve posted to daily_lolita.
You own a petticoat. (+1 if you own more than one. +2 if you wear three or more at a time).
You’ve bought a lucky pack.
You keep a style diary or look-book.
You can put together an outfit made entirely from offbrand.
You’ve bought offbrand or non-Japanese brand.
You drink more than just English Breakfast Tea.

Level 23!

Adorable Admirer (lvls 1 - 20) You've started studying or liking lolita but haven't taken that leap of faith yet. Good luck!
Resplendant Rufflebutt (lvls 21 - 40) At home within the land of the rufflebutts and spilling frills from every edge.
Victorian Maiden (lvls 41 - 60) A classy lolita of taste and experience, who knows her way around the lolita social set.
Starry Celebrity (lvls 61 - 80) On page six of the lolita world, you've risen to the ring of the upper crust.
Pretty Princess (lvls 81 - 100) Lolita royalty, truly versed in the ways of the lacey ones, the lolita princesses have achieved a special level of enlightenment.
Ultimate Lolita (Boss Fight!) (lvls 100+) Wow, you've gotten over 100 levels? You're the ultimate lolita with unlimited hitpoints. That's actually a little scary...

Well I am rather resplendant...

Lolita Charm: Just to let you know to READ THE LOLITA CHARM BLOG RIGHT NOW. That's not a suggestion. It is very much thanks to this blog that I felt inspired to take on this journey in the first place. Victoria Suzanne is full of open and honest information, realising and helping with the flaws of living a Lolita life as well as the perks. Warm hearted and sweet as you can be, Lolita Charm is the HQ of Western Lolitas.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Sleepy Friday

It's hard to take over the world when you sleep twenty hours a day.

This morning I woke up feeling less than perfect, so I went for a super comfortable outfit. Very highstreet. (Jumper: Marks and Spencers; Skirt: New Look; Headband: Present from Mummy E.J). Bare legs today - it was 4 degrees here...centigrade! This winter is snowed a little today, but it melted immediately - so not much use.

My friend Jérome holds a self-defence class at lunch times every couple of weeks. I go along - even though I'm really bad. It's a lot of fun, although when I was pretending to attack Natacha she flipped me over her back without bending down, and I hit my head on the floor. The space we use is the gymnastics room, so it has a padded floor, but from then onwards I had a headache I couldn't shake.

I forgot to bring a lunch with me, as I usually eat at home, but Brenda brought some snacks for me when she came to school in the afternoon. I honestly don't know what I'd do without her - she's been absolutely amazing over the past six months. *Insert 'Ode to Brenda' here*.

My final class was Ski de Frond (Cross country skiing) in Education Physique (Physical Education...), but it got cancelled because it was too warm. So we just crashed in the gymnastics room again. I was literally fighting to stay awake, and my head was pounding. When I got home I popped some pills, ate some cereal and decided to take a nap. I had nothing planned until 9, when Brenda would pick me up with les filles and we'd do something fuuun. I took off my make-up (did some camera whoring with my fairy lights!) and slipped into bed at around 4:45.

The phone rang loudly somewhere near my head. Confused and sleepy, I looked over at the clock. 8:30. WHAAAT?! I had been in a middle of a dream in which Brenda was really angry at me, and didn't like me any more. It was one of those strangely weird ones where you're not sure if it genuinely happened or not. I still had a headache, and wasn't feeling up to going out, so I called Brenda up and left a message on her answerphone telling her not to pick me up.
'And by the way, I just had a bad dream about us, and I just wanted to say I love you.'

I'm still nursing my headache.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

First Fan!

You know what a fan letter is - it's just an inky raspberry.

We have a follower! A fan! Huzzah!

Ok, I admit, it's Mummy Emily Jane (who is also my editor). But you gotta start somewhere!
And what an excellent place to start.

So a warm Happy Cup Day welcome to Trisha!

Hair Dye

When red headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.

Last night Brenda dyed my hair red for me. And I LOVE IT! It's a very very subtle red, which matches alarmingly with my eyes. I've been a redhead many times before, and it's my favourite way to be. There aren't many people in my school here with red hair - it's definitely a personal taste thing. A reason for it not being particularly popular is that it fades pretty quickly, even if you go fully permanent.
Here are a few hints and tips for DIY red hair, courtesy of Miss Emily Jane and Mummy Emily Jane (who is also a faux-redhead!):
  • Consider the colour your hair is currently. If your hair is black, you're not going to get anywhere; consult a hair-dresser. If you're blonde (especially if the blonde is not natural) the red is going to be really bright, but will fade really quickly. Mid to light brown is a good starting place. If you're dyeing on top of dye, you'll need to 'up the redness'.
  • Think about what kind of red you want to be. Redheads range from anywhere near strawberry blonde until practically purple. Obviously, same rules apply, if your hair is dark and you want to go for a light red, this isn't going to work as well as a light haired person wanting dark red. If you want a pillarbox red, you're going to have to bleach it before hand. If you're just doing a section of hair, this is safe to do with a trusted friend. However, if you're feeling brave and want to go all over, definitely go to a hairdresser (at least for the first time).
  • Wrap your head in cling film. If you want a really intense red, wrap your head in cling film (saran wrap!) whilst it's developing to preserve the heat of your head, and wait for longer than it tells you before you wash it off. Please bear in mind, with some darker reds this could easily encourage a hue closer to purple, so do this at your own discression.
  • Never use white towels. Ever. Even after a couple of washes, it's more than likely that your head will still be leaking red. Use an old towel, or at least one with a very dark colour (I use navy blue). It's important to remember that your head will leak if you go swimming too. I went swimming with Mummy E.J one time after she home dyed her hair red - it looked like she'd smacked her head on the wall or something - the red was pouring out of her hair.
  • Same goes for pillowcases. Cover your pretty white pillowcases with something - absolutely obligatory if you go to sleep with your hair wet. Please note red hair also enjoys rubbing off onto your clothes, so you might want to forgo the white shirts for a while.
  • Turn down the heat. Having really hot showers will make your red fade quicker, so pump up the cold and preserve your colour!
  • Use colour protection hair products. These will add weeks to your colour, and they needn't be expensive. You can buy some that are specifically designed for red hair, but I (Mummy E.J!) tend to find this will make your bathroom look like there was some sort of massacre.
  • Don't go in the sun without hair protection. You shouldn't be doing this anyway, as we all know how bad the sun can be for your hair. But red hair will go orange in the sun, as I learnt a couple of years ago in Africa. I actually really liked the colour that it went, but there's no way of knowing what it's going to do.
Apart from that, it's easy peasy! I love wearing blue or green shirts and headbands, as they really pop with my red hair.

I also feel like Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

And that's always cool.

Monday, 15 February 2010

St Valentines

Be yourself, don't take any rubbish, and never let them take you alive.

Another St Valentines day without a date? No problem! I have plenty of significant others, partners, girlfriends, boyfriends, and even a better half. I just don’t have sex with any of them.

I decided not to use the computer all day, and instead embark on a day of utter indulgence.So I took an Emily Jane day!...which included…

· Toast and cretons
· MacGyver
· Friends Like These – Danny Wallace
· Maple Syrup Soufflé
· Cosmopolitan
· Tea
· Ukulele

Many of these things were done alone, in my room, in the prettiest underwear I could find and my tiara.

I realised I hadn’t as yet started a crafts project, and I felt in a strangely creative mood after shaking my thang in the mirror to salsa music (love your bum, and may you find as much joy in watching it jiggle as I do). So I snooped around my host mum’s sewing room – a by-product of this is that I stumbled across the family’s cleaning equipment, and spent a happy ten minutes flitting around my room with a feather duster (still in my underwear, still with salsa music, still shaking my bum). Back in the sewing room I found a faux fur off-cut and decided to make a muff. It was blindingly easy, even with my utter lack of genuine sewing skills. With the fur on the inside (duuuhh) I cut up and sewed on the outside a pair of lacy fancy pants that were too big for me. For a strap I used a length of lacy ribbon I stole found in a drawer.

It probably took me just under an hour and a half to finish it completely. Considering the money I spent (none), the time it took (not long) and the effort I put in (not much), I declare the outcome garish, yet pleasing. (I just wore it to my choir practice, and everyone said how lovely it was!)

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my selfish, vain, narcissistic day.

And that, is Valentines for me.

Belated ‘Bonne St Valentines’ to you all!

Friday, 12 February 2010

In My Room - Mid-Lolita

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

I had a plan. However, ‘the best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men (an’ Lolitas), gang aft agley’. My plan was to get up at 9, computerize (messy room post), shower around 10:30 and crack on with my room tidying after that. Things started well. I got up at 8:30. After that, it all went wrong. At 11, after faffing about attempting to write something readable with a half dead computer, I went for my shower. At 11:40, freshly washed, scrubbed and moisturised, the phone rang. It was my friend Brenda asking if I’d like to go to the gym…one thing led to another, and I arrived home at 6:45, just in time to leave for my violin lesson. Just after 8, following several versions of varying quality of the ‘Petit Cheval’, I arrived home for a final time.

I stood in my doorway. What was I going to do? If I started now, I’d never finish before my 11pm bed time, and I had school the next day. Frankly, I’ve met me, and if I put off completing the task, I’d probably never finish. The only thing to do was to start, and keep going.

Suck it up.

So at 8:30, in pyjamas, armed with determination (and Gilbert and Sullivan on my ipod), I started.

I got to 10:30, decided to definitely plough on and turned my alarm clock to face the wall. From then until I finally climbed into bed, I didn’t have a clue what time it was.

I had been under the impression my mess was purely superficial. But I gave everything a quick wipe down (just with a damp cloth – I couldn’t find any cleaning equipment in the house) – turns out some of my stuff was pretty filthy. On that note, I’ve decided to buy some cleaning equipment, keep it in my room and do a bit of cleaning once or twice a week. On top of not wanting to live in a dirty room, I also have a dust allergy and I’m not sure my room in its previous state was helping all that much.

I have an irrational mould fear (you may be able to see where this is going). It’s not that bad – but I do freak out a teeny tiny bit around mould. So imagine my horror when, whilst emptying my many bags, I discovered an ex lunch. Luckily it was just an empty box with traces of soy sauce, and a flask with, as far as I could remember, dregs of tea. I wanted to take them downstairs to the sink and run – but it wouldn’t be fair on whoever found them.

Suck it up.

So there I was, at who knows what ungodly hour, armed with a scrubbing brush, washing up liquid and a face mask (left over from when Mathilde had H1N1), hunched over the bathroom sink, preparing for battle. The soy sauce ridden box wasn’t too bad. Despite wearing the face mask, the smell gradually seeped through – a distinctly soy-sauce-gone-awry smell that made my stomach churn. However, that was nothing compared to the hell that I half poured, half shook out of the dreaded flask. A smell like nothing on earth physically hit me, and I gagged – verging on vomiting into the only thing vaguely protecting me from the demons of long forgotten tea.

I did eventually finish my room. I reorganized my wardrobe by item, then by colour. I changed the contents of my drawers. I sorted my correspondence.

I got into bed at 2:40am.

Suck it up.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

In My Room - Pre-Lolita

It's okay to laugh in the bedroom so long as you don't point.

Today I have a day off. Our work experience day organised by the school was scheduled for the 26th of January. However, on the 25th, we had a lot of rain which froze to form sheet ice overnight. Due to the danger on the roads, all work experience days were canceled. This was announced on the morning radio. However, my host family forgot to tell me. So whilst my all my friends were smugly rolled in a ball somewhere under their duvets, I was hammering on the door of the local library. Luckily all the employees were there for the day anyway, and after learning that it was meant to be canceled, I decided to stay anyway. It was stay, or walk the forty minutes home in the rain. I actually had a really good day in the end.

As you can imagine, I was over the moon when the work experience was reorganised, and it was decided that I shouldn't bother going into school.

Currently, my room is unorganised, untidy, and is making me unhappy. My castle? My arse.

I decided to use this day to my advantage - to clear out my room and create the foundations on which my palace will be built. I'd like to mention now, any changes made to my room will have to be purely superficial - this room is not technically MY's my host sister Constance's old room. I'm simply borrowing for my year here.

To give you an idea of what I'm working with, I decided to do some before and after pictures.
So here we go!

This is my work top and mirror, where all the magic happens! Asyou can see, I have perfected the art of balancing things on top of other things. Yes, that is a crown on top of my lamp, I use it to hold back my hair whilst I'm taking my make-up off. The top drawer is for jeans, the middle for pyjamas (hence why it doesn't close) and the last for long sleeved tops. I cannot promise that the current contents are limited to that; I'm fairly certain there's a pair of grey tights lurking in there somewhere.

This is my bed, corner shelving device and pin board. Note the sleeping bra nestled proudly into the folds of my 'I'm a very busy person' shirt. There's also a bra hanging on the corner post of my bed. I scatter bras hither and thither, with gay abandon in my fairy ring. The giant monkey was a present from my sisters Constance and Éleonore when they came to visit me during my one-day stay at hospital. There was a fun time when everyone thought I had meningitis, including a very friendly insurance man who got very confused when I answered the phone to my hospital room, as he had been under the impression that I was in a coma. Her name is Bobette (original; well done Constance). The ukulele is called Lana. I've been playing for almost a year now, and if you take one thing from this blog, for however long it lasts, it should be that the ukulele is freaking awesome.

This is my desk, rocking chair and what I like to call The Floor Show. The tangle of clothing in the bottom left is my laundry pile. I have a serious storage space issue in my room. I arrived with 60kg of luggage (seriously), my parents sent some other things over, and I've bought a few bit and bobs here. So instead of my three desk drawers being full of desk things, they actually contain my pants, socks and bras. It also means I have three suitcases in my room with nowhere to go. The centre back is my actual cupboard where I keep my shoes (very VERY important - I'm a shoe girl), dresses, short sleeved tops and skirts. I don't really have enough hangers either, so most of my stuff is doubled up. That's another reason for mess; invariably the item I want is hung under something else, so when in a rush the first item gets thrown somewhere over my right shoulder.

A further reason for mess is bags. I put stuff in a bag to do something, or go somewhere and it never gets unpacked. The reason for this being that a full bag looks almost as tidy as an empty bag. This has resulted in many, many bags full of stuff.

So today, it all gets pulled out, organised, put back.

My castle's foundations.


Monday, 8 February 2010

Cunning Plan: The Pyjama Theory

One morning I shot an elephant in my pyjamas. How he got into my pyjamas I'll never know.

I have a theory.
A pyjama shaped theory.

My pyjama drawer is filled to the brim. When I get home from wherever, more often than not I’ll throw some on, even if I’m going back out again later. Most of my pyjama bottoms are cute prints (gingham checks and pink hearts) but several sizes too large for ultimate slobby comfort. I used to team these with camisoles. However, at some point during the last three years, wearing a bra to bed stopped being a bad habit and became a necessity. I got a giant, stupidly comfortable, hilariously ugly bra and have never looked back. As you can imagine, such a bra teamed with adorable camisoles is not a winning match. So I traded in my camisoles for huge, cover all man shirts. All in all, when wearing pyjamas I look like, well, a guy. But not only that; I act more like a guy too. My usually messy behaviour is amplified. As a would be actress, my ‘costume’ really does affect my mood. So I figure, if I start wearing nice pyjamas, feminine pyjamas, Princess-worthy pyjamas, my slobby, messy problem may well just be eradicated.
The hunt is on.

In my defence, I never said my pyjama shaped theory was a good one...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

One Messy Bunny

I want to lead the Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter.

If you speak to my mother - my real mother Trisha, not my host mother Louise - she'll try and tell you that I'm perfect. After me complaining that it's not true, she'll relent and tell you that I have one flaw. Mess. And that is spectacularly true. Much to the despair of my father - my real father Michael, and most probably my host father Jean-Pierre - things in my hands tend to get abandonned when they are no longer needed. I subconsciously put off putting away my laundry. I scatter make-up across my work top instead of putting it back in the bag.

I'm then stuck in my room at 8:15am on a Wednesday, in my underwear, wet hair, no make-up, looking for a pair of tights I've thrown in a random drawer, to wear with the only dress that matches the only long sleeved shirt I can find, with a heap of discarded clothes at my feet that don't work because it's too cold or I can't find the other half of the outfit, and I haven't packed my lunch, and my room should be tidy for my host family's houskeeper because she's coming today, and I also have sports class, and my sports bra is in the wash, and one of my sisters have borrowed my shorts - but I don't know which sister - and my kit bag is full of clothes from the weekend when I stayed at Brenda's house and I have to give my laundry to the housekeeper because otherwise she gets upset and most of it is in the corner but the rest of it is spread elsewhere and I can't let her wash this or that because it'll get ruined in machine and oh my god I have science today and I know my folder is at home because I had homework but I haven't seen it since then and I'm going to need to wear a hat because otherwise my wet hair will freeze and I musn't forget my glasses wherever they are and I need to put my deodorant with my sports stuff but it's run out...and the bus will be here at 8:30.

I am also a slob. Yes, really. A girl wanting to embark on the journey of a princess who currently labels herself slob. And occasionally slug.

Let me put it in perspective. Today it is Sunday. Last night I was at a dinner party. I crawled into bed around 1am. So fair enough, I got up at 10:30 this morning. I ate a brunch of cereal and a croissant, and came down to the basement to computerise at around 11. It is now...1:30. I am wearing a big, grey, men's shirt, fluffy shorts and bootie slippers. My hair, face, teeth and body are unwashed. There's an ex cup of tea somewhere near my right hand. I'm going to school to help with a function at 3:30.

I always used to be late. I've managed to tweak this to generally on time (if you don't include school days - I've only missed the bus twice, but usually I do my make-up at school before class and dry my hair with the hand driers). But it really knocks me for six if someone requires me to be early. For example, some people helping at the function have to arrive at 1:30 today. If they call me now and ask me to come in, what am I going to do exactly?
If I don't have anywhere to be, I never get ready.

So, setback three: messy slob

Curvy Lolita

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.

I have no problem with my figure, let me state that loud and clear.
Once more, just for good measure : I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH MY FIGURE.
Ok, I think you've got the message.

I'm currently carrying a little winter weight, or Canada Bulk as I like to call it. I'm an English Lady, and jogging when it's -30C outside really is not my cup of tea. In England I had an active part time job, I also worked Saturday mornings (and the occasional evening rehearsal) at a dance school. But for most of my time, I was on a technical theatre college course (once a techie, always a techie; it's true) which was, more often than not, fairly physical. Here, as I mentioned before, I have no job. Dance school fees would be another expense to add to my list and anyway, none of them got back to me when I got in touch. High school requires a lot of sitting and listening. I go to the gym when I can, but that depends entirely on when I can get a lift.
On top of that (literally), a lot of the evening activites I do with my friends involve food. The gathering places include McDonalds, Tim Hortons and a local café. Being a sweet-tooth, I usually take the opportunity to have a treat. Unfortunately, when it starts happening more often than not, a treat becomes a habit, and said habit doesn't mix well with my new sedentary lifestyle.

For my 5'4" frame, I am happiest and most comfortable around 130lbs. I'm currently 137(ish). No big problem.

I am designed in an entirely curvy manner. My hips are around 35". My waist is 28". My bust, however, is 40". Yes, they're real. No, I don't get backache. Yes, I can sleep on my front. Do I wish they were smaller? Yes and no. Yes - it was make shopping that much easier, and people would stop talking about them. No - they're naturally a part of me, and I wouldn't change myself too much.

As I'm sure you can imagine, shopping for skirts is no problem. Shirts - more more difficult. Pre tailored shirts hang off my waist and shoulders when bought large enough to fit my bust. But dresses are an absolute NIGHTMARE.
Even if I suck it up, get some fresh air and exercise and stop having habit treats (both of which I'm planning to do, but I can't promise anything), I'm still going to have a major problem ordering the dresses from the internet that I'm dreaming of.
I guess I'm just going for damage control.

So, setback two: major boobies.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

The Budget

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.

My name is Emily Jane Stedman. I am 17 years old. I come from Kent in England. I currently live in Québec, Canada where I am an ‘exchange student’ learning French. I left England in August ’09, and I will return in July ’10. I don’t have a job (visa says no) and therefore have a rather limited budget.

Don’t get me wrong, my parents are extremely generous. They have shelled out a lot for me to even be here this year. They send things I’ve forgotten (watch), or replacements of things I’ve lost (plectrums) or broken (glasses!). They give me pocket money every month. I couldn’t (wouldn’t) ask for more. The pocket money is a very decent amount and I am in no way hard-done-by, but there’s always something that needs paying for. School fees, choir fees, skiing days, gym membership, letter sending, toiletries, hair cuts, winter clothes, school trips (one to Montréal in October that set me back 150$ initially, and another 150$ on the actual trip, and a trip to New York in April which is 420$ PLUS the money I choose to spend there on things like eating more than once a day). Then there’s prom which includes paying for the ticket, the photo album, the dress, shoes, hair, jewelery, additional photos etc. On top of that there’s also money spent just doing things with my friends – going for a coffee, for a meal, shopping (I do this rarely, and it’s even rarer that I buy anything unessential i.e not from Wal Mart).

After all that, how much do you think I have to spare to ship peticoats from Japan?

So, setback one : small budget

In the beginning

Il existait une différence entre avaler de l’information, et la comprendre.
A difference exists between having information, and understanding it.

Almost two weeks ago, I was trawling the internet for prom dresses. I wanted something…different. Tired of the slink-satin-jewel toned-clones (for only 500$!) that most of the websites were throwing at me, I returned to google and typed 'Victoriana'. From there, I quickly discovered the world of Lolita. A world that tied many loose ends of my personality. A world that wore what I loved, but hadn’t come across before. A world that made sense. A world, that I had been missing from for too long.

Since then, I’ve spent a large chunk of my spare time sieving the internet for Lolita information. Handbooks, magazine copies, blogs, vlogs, advice pages, shopping sites – everything I could find in English I read, everything in Japanese I translated.

Why am I starting a blog so early in my Lolita discovery? I’ve decided to publish my journey from the very beginning, all the way from non-Lolita, to Lolita. It will mark my steps, my mistakes, my successes; everything. And I hope those of you, who, like me, are starting from the bottom and working their way up will find something useful, will avoid an easy-to-make mistake, will try something that worked. And for those of who are already on their journey, I hope you can offer advice!