Shabby Elizabethan Ruff Tutorial

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I would like to share my very basic and unprofessional ruff making tutorial! I should have taken pics as I went but I forgot. You can also use this same method for making wrist ruffs.

I will warn you before you start that wearing this ruff is not very comfy so do not venture further if you’re fussy about crap in your neck zone.

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You will need:
– 5 yards or meters of wired ribbon (see below for details)
– Some simple wide ribbon, cotton or satin is ok, a little longer than your neck circumference (I’ll refer to this as the base ribbon)
– thin ribbon or coord for the ends of the ruff to tie it together
– A needle and thread, color similar to wired ribbon
– optional: cardboard and tape measure

I used wired ribbon for this ruff. It makes construction very easy but maintenance and proper storage are required because if the ruff gets mushed, you have to reshape the wired ribbon loops. This is in contrast to a properly made ruff with regular fabric or ribbon that requires a lot of sewing but keeps its shape well. Examples here.

The most important step is choosing your main wired ribbon. This will show to the outside of course so make it nice looking. I would not recommend satin because it’s gross, and try to avoid anything too present-wrappy.

I chose an off white organza-like fabric ribbon with gold edges which worked well with my wardrobe. I made a pure white version later but the off white was nicer and older looking.

Also the width of the wired ribbon will be the distance it sticks out horizontally from your neck, so don’t go too short or long. My ribbon was about 6cm/2.5 inches wide and worked out well.

As explained above, you will need a strip of wide ribbon as the base for the ruff. This will sit against your neck so it doesn’t need to look fancy. Measure your neck circumference and cut the ribbon to that length, plus a cm or two on either side.

Next I would recommend to attach your neck ties at this stage, although you could do it later. The neck ties will sit on the back of your neck and let you take the ruff on and off by making a bow. Do make sure that the finished length of the base ribbon is really flush against your neck because floppy ruffs with space showing don’t look good with this ruff method. I rolled the ends over twice with the neck ties inside (see below) and just simply hand sewed them down.

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The next and very time consuming step is “accordioning”. You will need to take all of the 5 yards of wired ribbon and accordion it uniformly. I made my accordions about 7cm wide.

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To do this easier, I made a piece of cardboard with the dimensions I wanted and used that to fold over and over. And over. Maybe do this while you watch TV.

After you have accordioned all of the ribbon, you have to attach it to your neck ribbon base. To do this, just sew through the midpoint of the wire on each ruffle.

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I’m really anal though so to make sure I got even ruffle distribution, I counted the ruffles and kept bisecting the base ribbon and pinning down the midpoints. For example, lets say my base ribbon was 12 inches long and I had a total of 100 ruffles, I pinned down the 50th ruffle on the ribbon midpoint of 6 inches, then bisected the base ribbon again so I pinned the 25th ruffle on the 3 inch line, and the 75th ruffle on the 9 inch line, etc. Does that make sense? haha

So when I was happy with the placement of everything, I hand sewed across all the wired ribbon onto the base ribbon.

The next and final step is turning all the zig zag and pointy accordion wired ribbon into nice loopy shapes like below.

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Side view
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This too takes a million years but then finally you have a ruff! It’s not perfect but it photographs well and is cheap!

Go forth and ruff!

Tokyo DisneySea Halloween!

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I went to Tokyo DisneySea last weekend to see the Halloween stuff they had going on this year. I’m not really a “Disney person” but I do love Halloween and cute merch and food so I was excited to go check it out.

Even though wearing lolita does add an element of exhaustion to the day, it’s really fun since people are generally in a good mood and treat you pretty well while you’re there. In Tokyo there are always lots of other lolitas at he park so you can kind of make eye contact and give a slight chin wag. More than lolita, I saw a lot of people wearing otome, especially the cheaper brands like Axes Femme and Amavel which makes sense since they are easier to wash if needed. We did see someone wearing Moitie – no shits given! The park is very clean but there are human and food accident possibilities or snags on rides so I usually wear something I don’t care about much.

In Tokyo Disney Resort there are two parks – Tokyo DisneyLand which is supposed to be a similar but smaller version of DisneyWorld in Orlando, and Tokyo DisneySea which is a Japan-only park (loosely) based on watery themes. Also you can drink alcohol in DisneySea so it’s definitely aimed at an older crowd.

Probably because of the alcohol thing I’ve been to DisneySea 4 times now but never Disneyland! Whenever my friends decide to go it seems to always be DisneySea. This time there was more Halloween stuff going on at DisneySea so I went again! I feel like an expert!

So here we go, onto the pics!

Are you ready for the spoop? This year’s Halloween theme is Disney Villians.

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On weekends there is a Starlight Passport which lets you into the park for a cheaper price from 3PM on. My friends decided to do that but I arrived early since I wanted to get a few rides in before my friends got there.

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The first thing I did was go to Journey to the Center of the Earth to get a Fast Pass. Despite all the times I’d been to DisneySea I’d never got to ride it (it’s closed a lot) so it was the first thing I did! After that I went on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which was pretty dopey, meh.

Then I had lunch! I liked the atmosphere of the Casbah Cafe so I went there again this time. They had a special Halloween themed set, but it seemed spicy and I am a baby so I didn’t get it.

Special set: “black” curry, red naan, spicy chicken wings and can’t unsee dessert vagina

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Instead I got beef curry, no spice, with a mango lassi! Baby curry ❀ It wasn't very good but I didn't have high expectations.

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After that I went on some rides in the Arabian Zone or whatever it’s called, and then to Indiana Jones. That was quite silly and fun. I made use of the single rider line aka going into the Fast Pass line ahead of everyone!

I also made sure to have a dumb pose ready for photo time!

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It was almost 3 at this point so I went for a break at Magellan’s Lounge and had a coke float while I waited for my friends to arrive. It’s really relaxing in there!

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The inside decor is really cool too, look at this kooky painting.

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Found friend! Party time!

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Japanese people are really serious about the shows, so they grab spots way in advance and lay out plastic mats and park themselves down. We didn’t do that so we stood watching the Villians show. It was uhh… interesting. There are like 6 boats, each belonging to a Disney villian and have one other main character like Mickey and Minnie on board and everyone does this Halloweeny dance routine.

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After watching the performance it was time to chow down! We made our way toward Arabia zone (whatever) and found foods! Here is “Chandu’s Tail” (steamed bun with chicken cream filling) and maple balls with ice cream (kind of like a doughnut thing).

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Next stop on the food train: pumpkin churros! Stock photo~

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My photo~ It was really good! Would eat again!

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Everybody’s gettin churro crazy!

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We went on Indiana Jones again using the single rider line! Woo hoo! Again time for dumb poses, idk wtf is happening

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More snack! Spooky black breadstick with cheesecake and blueberry filling. Just stock pic of this one. Flavor: just ok, texture was kind of drywall-y. Would not eat again.

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We did a bit of shopping. The Mickey and Minnie vampire series was pretty cool.

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I didn’t want to impulse buy a lot of crap so I just got a postcard with this year’s Halloween design on it.

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AND this rad Maleficent receipt holder

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We wanted to waste time before the special Halloween fireworks show at 8:30, so we got some food at the New York deli restaurant. They too had a Halloween set. This shit makes no sense but ok – there is a chicken and potato salad sandwich, some cheese fries (with a paltry drizzle of cheese), a drink and randomly, a shot glass of octopus and ratatouille type salad. It’s supposed to be Captain Hook themed so thus the octopus? Confusing. I didn’t buy the optional lunch tote pictured.

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My photo.

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My friend bought this apple mousse thingy for Halloween that came with a take-home mug. This was soooo weird. It was like blue raspberry flavored goop – kind of looked like the colored goop they ate in Hook, and tasted like it would too. It was 100% artificial and chemically tasting. Maybe kids like it? Eech πŸ˜›

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So ok, we finished eating and MOTHERFUCKERS CANCELLED THE FIREWORKS! Because of bad weather but it was perfectly clear! wtf! So mad!

We were planning to try to hit Tower of Terror but since the fireworks were cancelled everyone rushed the ride. Instead we rode Journey to the Center of the Earth (again for me). I really loved it! The first half is like a typical slow Disney thematic ride showing you interesting scenes and then turns into a roller coaster. I just wish it lasted a little longer.

On our way out I was finally tempted into buying a vampire Mr. Potato head popcorn holder because how could I not, right? You eat popcorn out of his head! We all succumbed to the allure of popcorn head and bought one.

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Leaving the park! Fun times!

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And finally here are some of the unfortunate things we missed~

Mickey candy coffin

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Cruella de Ville gyoza dog – I skipped this on purpose since the line was longgg

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I did want to try this, it was a Halloween special drink at the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge but there was a long line to get in. It’s a green apple cocktail inspired by the poison apple from Snow White. Too bad!

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That’s about it! If you want to catch Disney’s Halloween festivities they continue until November 1st!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to ask questions in the comments!

Summer sales and closet child haul

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Finally I am getting down to business and posting haul pics! I went a little nuts this summer, mostly because I wanted to play the Jane Marple Atelier Sale RPG. The way you play is just buy a shitton of JM until you get invited to their atelier sale and then spend more! What a great game!

I didn’t think I’d end up buying much because spring/summer isn’t my favorite season – I’m a fall/winter person, but I got all wrapped up in the fun and ended up buying a lot.

I apologize for the photo quality – I wanted to take pics with a real camera to make the stuff look nice but I just took some phone pics quickly, so some of the colors are off.

The first level of this haul started at LaForet’s semiannual “Grand Bazar” sale. It usually happens around the last weekend in July for summer sales, and every day there are new deals and/or LPs. I went after work on Thursday, the first day of the sales.

I bought these navy blue wintery tights at Jane Marple with a gold glittery design.

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I also got some Metamorphose sailor socks and wacky pantaloons made with Secret Library fabric. Sadly, when I tried them on at home, the pants barely fit my waist and are way too tight in the calves so I’ll have to alter them somehow.

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Then that Saturday, I went back to LaForet for JM’s sample sale! Sample sales are fun because you never know what will pop up! Could be stuff from other seasons or things that have long sold out. You have to get there early because everyone starts lining up and you don’t want to be at the end of the line because all the rare stuff will be gone.

I had a goal in mind for that day – I wanted one of their white summer OPs. I had been looking for one in 2nd hand lolita/otome shops and in auctions but they don’t pop up much. I think those kinds of dresses are so cute and fresh, and also remind me of the movie Pollyanna.

So when I rushed into the sale, I zeroed in on the white dresses I saw and found two different styles! The sale is so crazy that you just grab whatever catches your eye and stuff it in your shopping bag and then look through it carefully later and dump what you don’t want. I was worried that the dresses wouldn’t fit (you can’t try anything on), so I bought both of them… plus some other stuff x_x

I decided I will keep this one:

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And sell this one:

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I also got this teacup print chiffon blouse from the Minton series! So happy with this!

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And I also picked up some stripy socks to go with the white OP – when I took them out of the package I found a cute detail surprise on the back!

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Then I thought I was done, but no, I was tempted to get these marine themed hair clips at the Innocent World sale. They were really cheap.

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Because I bought so much at the sample sale, I got an invite to the atelier sale. This is serious business. You have to go line up at their atelier, which is a random office building and sit on the steps outside the door, FOREVER. Everyone gets there early so if you aren’t hardcore, you just gettin scraps. The deals are awesome and waiting was worth it, even if I’m pretty sure some girls got heatstroke. They sell all kinds of fun stuff like display props, leftover fabric, sample shoes and bags, hatboxes, and of course tons of clothing.

Again, when the sale starts everyone rushes in and makes a mad grab for whatever they can find, but it wasn’t in a super aggressive way, and most people were smiling. I didn’t really see anything in the clothing zone that I wanted really badly so I went to the fabric and accessory area and looked around. Then I spent the next couple of hours creeping and stalking and trying to grab interesting stuff as other girls dumped it. It was really fun!

I ended up getting a package of fabric – they come in pre-packed sets. I can’t sew and I don’t have a sewing machine in Japan so I have no idea why I did that but now I can make a kawaii JM toga! The one on the right is cutsew fabric from the Royal Order series, and the rest is crappppp.

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The other big item I got was a dress from JM’s Dans Le Salon line, which is aimed at older girls/women and is a little bigger in size. It’s not that cute on the floor but it looks nice on, like a nice retro summery dress.

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The rest of my purchases were jewelry – everything was so cheap!

I already owned this necklace so I had to get the matching bracelet.
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Queen Elizabeth ring and fancy medallion with violin bridge dongle.

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Chess themed necklace and ring.

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That’s it from the JM sale! Here’s the last bit of stuff I picked up here and there.

Pale yellow cardi you can’t really see from a muggle store.

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Navy taobao looking shirt.

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I had a fully used up point card for Closet Child so I got a nice discount on these – they are Alice and the Pirates. They look useful for fall!

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And lastly, Emily Temple Cute jam jar stuff from Closet Child! First I found the necklace and then noticed the halter top, both for very cheap, so I thought I should keep them together even if my opportunities to wear a halter top are very few.

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And that concludes my decadent summer fun! I don’t think I will be buying anything major for a while. Thanks for reading!

Classical Mermaid

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Sometimes being a classic lolita can get a little repetitive. Most classic brands haven’t really changed their designs much over the years, and it can be a little sad seeing fun trends pop up and go by without getting to participate. Mermaid and underwater motifs are really trendy this year, both in regular Japanese fashion and in lolita, but it always seems like you need to buy a print dress to be able to wear them.

Recently Victorian Maiden actually tried to make a classic mermaid dress but uhh it’s pretty hideous T_T

I do supplement my classic wardrobe with some quirkier items like patterned tights and old school lolita, just so I can have a little more fun when I get bored with standard classic.

I decided to do a classic + mermaid outfit actually because I was thinking of selling the dress – it’s Victorian Maiden’s Fairy Check Doll JSKΒ in Peacock.

I also had an off-white bolero from VM that reminded me of frilly undersea creatures so I thought I might be able to wear them together.

Summer ILD was coming up so I thought it would be fun to go all out and hand make some items. Also June seemed like a pretty good month for mermaids!

I really wanted to find some undersea or mermaidy tights I could wear with it, but I just couldn’t find the right combination of colors and motifs so I went with plain-ish striped white tights.

I was able to get a relatively cheap seashell pochette in Harajuku so I picked that up. My phone barely even fits in it but it is kawaii.

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I went to the craft store to pick out some kelp-like ribbon to make a headdress with, and I also got some shells from the 100 yen store. Unfortunately I didn’t have the dress with me at the time, only the stock photo, so the ribbon I chose is not quite the right color, but I think it blended in ok in the end.

I took the main kelp-ribbon and wrapped it around my hand, then tied it, and fanned it out. I think it looks like an undersea creature carapace type thing! Or the weird creatures from Nausicaa? I added different types of kelpy ribbons dangling down, then I sewed on the shell and an alligator clip thing in the back so I could clip it on my hair.

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The next thing I worked on was my necklace. I like making my own jewelry sometimes but I’m really slow at it and by the time I buy all the parts I want it ends up being really expensive. But this time I was able to do it really cheaply! I went to Paris Kids first – its a 300 yen accessories shop in Harajuku – and found a starfish necklace and shell earrings that I could use as pieces for the necklace. I got the gold jump rings and wire rods from Daiso, and I was super excited to stumble upon a huge and cheap jewelry making store in LaForet where I bought the chain, pearls, little white shells and everything else for just around 1000 yen. I’m so going back there, it was amazing!

For me, this is a rather simple necklace because I really like them crazy and ornate, but I was working on it the night before the meet and had to wrap up. I also wore some vintage earrings (from a friend), a seashell clip (from Spinns on sale) and a vintage pearl bracelet.

Before

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After! (click for better quality)

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Mermaids always make me think of the 80s, so I went with a side ponytail! It’s a little stark looking for lolita so maybe next time I should incorporate bangs or more hair in general.

I don’t usually take or post selfies since I can’t seem to make them look nice and my makeup skills aren’t very good, but this one actually came out ok~

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And here is the final outfit! I wore some aqua Emily Temple Cute heels I recently got at Closet Child hopefully to tie in the headdress and make it look more mermaidy than the tan shoes I was considering. I realize the shades of blue are different, but I think it’s ok in like a ~fanciful mermaid~ kind of way.

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The meetup itself was very fun! I had a really nice ILD with everyone ❀

Thank you for reading!

I’M WHALE

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I don’t buy very much these days, always trying to save cash for my bills. Plus the weak yen is making it more and more expensive to pay off my student loans in dollars back home ;_; What I mostly buy are work clothes which are really boring and usually gotten from Uniqlo.

But recently I bought a small amount of fun stuff I’d like to share!

First up are the lolita/otome related buys!

I bought this Jane Marple necklace because I have the matching dress. I think. More details below.

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I like the jewelry in this series because they remind me of “bottle keeps“, Japanglish for a bottle tag for a bottle kept in your name in a local bar. I just learned now this is not a real phrase in English…

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And I also have to matching bracelet… or is it??

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When I put them together on the dress, the necklace seems to match but it’s a darker navy blue, but the color of the bracelet is much lighter. So what series goes with what? I don’t mind the color difference but it’s just puzzling.

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Next up was a very cheap (1800 yen) no brand bonnet from Closet Child. It seemed like a good base that I could spruce up with more roses or something so I bought it.

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It’s totally black inside but my camera likes working hard and making fake colors appear.

Next are the normal clothes! I bought everything here in Harajuku on or near Takeshita Street.

Shitty shirt for 1000 yen. It fits a bit weird but it’s ok.

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Summery set from Ehka Sopo. They’re kind of a morigirl brand that evolved a bit to stay relevant. I really love this outfit and want to wear it all summer! It was on sale but still a little pricey for the two pieces. I’m not really a gingham person but it was just the right type I like.

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Next up is a sweater! It’s so dumb to buy a sweater in June but I admired this silly thing in winter and now it was reduced to 1900 yen so I had to get it. That whale is the best.

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Love that grumpy whale face!

Until next time!

Marie Antoinette Sweets Buffet!

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I was very busy this past Saturday! Here’s what I did!

In the morning I met Sapphira and Saoirse from Saoirse Clohessy PhotographyΒ to do a little photoshoot in Jiyugaoka!

Sapphira and I both wore similar outfits, kind of summery historical/natural-kei with lolita pieces and straw hats. Jiyugaoka has a lot of picturesque little shops so I hope it’ll turn out nice. It was very warm though, about 30C, so I was getting really sweaty by the end ^_^;;

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Outfit rundown

Blouse & gloves: Axes Femme
Hat: decorated by me
Vest: Excentrique
JSK: Metamorphose
Bag: Wonder Rocket
Parasol: vintage

When we were done, I kind of herded everyone over to the Lupicia tea cafe ❀ Lupicia is a brand of tea that's popular in Japan and they only have one cafe location which is in Jiyugaoka. They take their tea a little seriously and so do I so I like going there. It also has air conditioning πŸ˜€

I got one of their seasonal specials, Nilgiri lemonade!

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It was so refreshing and gooood!! I didn’t order any food since I was about to head to a buffet, but I did get to sit down and chat with Sapphira and Saoirse for a bit which was very nice.

But then I had to run off to Shinjuku for the second part of my day – Love Marie Antoinette Sweets Buffet at the Hilton Tokyo!! I believe it’s all reserved out on weekends now until it ends at the end of July but weekdays may still be available.

A friend organized a big outing of lolitas to go so I luckily got to tag along! The buffet runs from 2:30-5:30 and you can stay the whole time. The drinks were pretty limited – just hot/cold tea or coffee or oolong tea. I’m just going to post pics now.

Double choco fountains!

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Waffle bar!

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Fruit-y salad?

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Ice cream bar where you could get stuff mixed in a la Coldstone. Didn’t even make it this far ;_;

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They had a little real food too, thank god. Finger sandwiches, soup, and pretty good pasta too.

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First round. I don’t have any pics of further rounds since I was too busy pigging out. I made sure to get one of every goopy thing in glasses because I love that stuff.

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I usually like to accompany my foodie experiences with a critical review so here goes.

The good:
The presentation was awesome. They also kept the crowds managed very well. They made everyone wait about 5 minutes at the start of the buffet just for photo taking time, which was a great idea so we could all get nice clear photos before the feeding frenzy began. There was plenty of food at all times. None of the “good stuff” got taken before you could get to it, etc. The logistics were pretty flawless. I appreciated the savory food and it was tasty. We also saw some other lolitas/otome(s) there too! Marie Antoinette is a lolita magnet!

The bad:
The drinks were kind of lame. But that’s ok, it’s about the desserts anyway. Also they tried experimenting with weird herbs and flavors of the desserts, which I normally really love, but it wasn’t really executed well and made a lot of things taste like cleaning fluid and/or toothpaste. Also there was a sad lack of chocolate besides the chocolate fountain but hey, it is Marie Antoinette’s party and her image is more pink and macaron-y. They also say technically that the buffet is open until 5:30 but they started putting stuff away much earlier.

The price:
4200 yen per person, everything included, which is just about right, I thought. I’m used to paying about that for afternoon tea so I couldn’t help comparing it to that. The overall quality of the food was much lower than typical hotel afternoon tea but you can eat a fuckton of it so I can’t complain at all.

I have a problem at dessert buffets – there is pretty much nothing with sugar in it that I won’t eat. I will eat them all. But this means I can never try everything because I love everything and I have finite stomach space. So much angst. I avoided a lot of the cakes since they were cut in too-big pieces and I didn’t really want to commit. I mostly ate a TON of fruit dipped in chocolate because all-you-can-eat fruit in Japan is my dream! I also ate my fair share of mysterious goops and macarons. The macarons were pretty good.

All in all I had a very good time – I liked the OTT ridiculousness and atmosphere and sharing it with other lolita buds. Purely evaluating the food, I would say I liked about 60% of the desserts, was ok with 20% and found the last 20% offensive with those skunky herbs. It wasn’t exactly to my taste but I still enjoyed it and thought it was worth the money.

Afterwards we went to Closet Child of course, and then to take purikura. And then a crazy earthquake happened and the trains stopped but let’s not go into that part πŸ˜› Enjoy the pics!

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Toodles! Until next time I gorge myself ❀

 

Double Rose Garden Fantasy~

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I haven’t posted in a long time because I’ve been trying really hard to work on job applications and staying away from other activities. Still no job luck yet, though 😦

Back in May I went to two rose gardens! I love rose everything – rose flavored food, drinks, perfume, gardens – I’ll take it all! Rose gardens are also one of those temperate climate things that don’t exist in Florida so I really enjoy them.

The first garden I went to was Kyu Furukawa Gardens near Komagome station. I really love going there because there’s a picturesque Western style house and garden with roses and then a huge Japanese garden too so you get two gardens for the price of one!

The sign reads “the roses are in peak bloom”

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The rose garden there isn’t very large but it’s really neatly manicured and each rose bush has a placard telling you the variety and other info. The location is also fairly easily accessible.

They were selling rose ice cream of course, among other rosy things, so I had to buy some! I love this stuff!

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The next rose garden outing was a lolita outing to Jindai Botanical Garden in Western Tokyo. The location was a bit inconvenient since we had to take a train then a bus to get out there, but being outside of the city meant the park was very large and not as crowded as some others. The rose garden was really massive with hundreds of rose bushes!

We were all hungry so we decided to have our picnic first. It was nice in the shade but ants found us eventually like a typical picnic! I made a lolita version of Cards Against Humanity which we played with somewhat funny results but it needs some tweaking.

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We walked around for a while but eventually we all were feeling really hot and sweaty and all the roses started to look the same so we went towards the greenhouse. It was hot in there too but at least it was shady. There was a begonia area with a cute table for posing.

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Here was the day’s outfit! I’ve always liked this Victorian Maiden OP since it reminds me of rococo pajamas so when I saw it in Closet Child one day I had to pick it up! It has roses in the print but that’s hard to see. Everything else is offbrand.

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This next one could’ve been a really nice pic if I would’ve stepped out into the sunlight, blarg!

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Thank you for reading! I’ll try to post more often. How do you like rose viewing/eating?