Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oh but it's cold outside....

Greetings, Dear Readers, from snowy and cold New England! Seriously, it's around -13°C (or 9°F) at school right now, making it extremely difficult to be fashionable and warm at the same time.  I am wearing a scarf indoors for non-fashion purposes. Oh the horror!

The semester has started, and as such, it's going to be fewer DIY projects for the next couple of months, and more book reviews. I'm still trying to make my way through a couple of books for fun, but more likely than not, I'll end up reviewing my assigned readings for my classes. Admittedly, I'm taking Western Feminist Thought and Philosophy 101, which means that texts should be fairly interesting. (I'm also working on my two theses, which means that I'll hopefully write about some of my research as well.) If I get truly pressed for time, I might post one or two of the essays I wrote last semester. I'm especially fond of my essay about The Sandman series for my History of the Graphic Novel class. (To be honest, I'm mostly fond of it because I got an A+ on it... I was so exhausted and burnt out when I wrote it, that I don't entirely remember what it was about....)

I got my Xena corset in, so I plan on swinging by Joann's to pick up a matching pleather and some grommets so I can start making the skirt. I think the armor will be papier-maché, I'll keep you all updated.


Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Review: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Hello, Dear Readers!

It took some time, but I finally finished American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This had been on my to-read list for a very long time, and I'm so glad to finally cross that one off. I checked it out from my public library, but you can find it here!

Plot Summary: American Gods is a fantasy novel written by the talented Neil Gaiman. It follows the story of an ex-con, Shadow Moon, after he is released from prison. Upon learning that his wife and best friend died in a car crash only a week before he was released (and learning that said two were involved sexually), Shadow decides to take a job from the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, a one-eyed man who comes straight out of mythology. Mr. Wednesday informs Shadow that a war is about to happen, between the gods of old religions, and the new gods, such as the gods of the Internet, the Freeway, and the goddess of Media. As Shadow travels around the United States helping Mr. Wednesday, he encounters beings either long-forgotten, or no longer believed in. More importantly, however, Shadow learns about himself, and what he is truly capable of doing.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this book. I found it gripping and compelling, and at points, very difficult to put down. It took a while to actually get into the book, but once the story actually picked up, it was quite fascinating. Gaiman is a master of mythology and story-telling, and he has re-cast the old gods in new faces. His grasp of various mythologies and knowledge of folk lore are really what carry the story, as even the minor characters are well-fleshed out. The side-stories were rather distracting, and I think they detracted from the story over-all. I didn't love the book, but once again, Gaiman has written a story that I found truly enjoyable to read. (I'm a huge fan of The Sandman series)

Rating: 4/5 Because of my love of mythology, I enjoyed the story. The side stories and slow start, however, detracted a star from the rating, hence the 4/5.

Other things.

I'll be focusing on law school stuff for the next week, and then school starts back up so I'll be focusing on my theses. I may not get to do all of the DIY fun stuff I wanted to, but that's alright. I plan on making a Xena costume. I've bought the corset, but will make the skirt and armor. The skirt I can make at school, but the armor will most likely be a summer-time project. I hope to finish the costume in time for New York ComicCon this fall.

I'll also try to keep my New Years resolutions/goals (I've already done two! The dress separation and acquired some high-waisted colored jeans! I'll post an outfit pic with those pants soon.).


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dress Inspiration

Hello, my lovelies.

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. The past few days of work have been unbelievably busy! That being said, I've been clicking on Gail Carriger's Retro Fashion Blog and saw this beautiful dress.

Marchessa, SS 2013

Isn't it gorgeous?! I want. So much want. I love the plain white against the gold detailing. In fact, I was so inspired by this dress that I've designed one similar for myself. I have this pretty purple fabric that I've been keeping for ages, and I finally found a use for it! Once I conquer  figure out my sewing machine, I'll draft a pattern and sew it. Here's my idea for the dress below...

It's not a very good picture, but here's the general idea for it:
-Turn the purple fabric into a maxi-length dress with a front side split.
- Gold rope collar. The alternative is to use a gold chain.
- Gold belt, with detailing similar to the Marchessa dress above.

What do you think?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A little DIY to start the New Year

Hello, Dear Readers. Happy 2014! I have decided to incorporate more DIY into my life, as mentioned in my New Year's Resolutions post here. That being said, I did this a couple of days ago, (the same day I did that post actually) but decided to post the steps here anyway. I turned this dress into separates.

As you can see, it's a cute blue dress in its "Before" stage. It's awkwardly stained in the front part (mutant pit stain?). I bought it for $12 in November 2012. Despite the fact that the hemline was waaaayy above my natural waist (by about 3 inches!!), I was willing to overlook that because of the beautiful lace detailing on the skirt, as seen here:

I love the delicate scalloped lace, and that was why I bought the dress. Unfortunately, I didn't wear it too often because of the awkward waistline. So finally, I said enough is enough. I flipped the dress inside out to expose the elastic, and was lucky enough to discover that the dress was actually two separates sewn onto a shiny elastic.

Obviously, the inside part of the elastic is not shiny. So I grabbed a trusty pair of scissors and carefully removed the top part. Because I knew this would be a fairly simple if long job, I popped on Monster's University and watched that as I carefully snipped away at the seams. Yes, a seam ripper would have been preferable, but alas, I could not find one. One adorable movie later, here is the final product.

Sorry there's no shot of me wearing it. I haven't had the opportunity yet. I'll most likely wear it it with a black tank or a black sweater or cardigan.

Here's a zoom-in of the lace...

Isn't the lace beautiful?

The top part is in rather rough condition. I'm not sure if I'll keep it or not. There's the mysterious one-side stain, and the other side is ripped all along the seam. Not to mention it's quite short. If I can figure out how to get rid of the stain without damaging the fabric, I'll take in both sides to make it a little tighter and more form-fitting and keep it as a crop-top to go with my high-waisted pants. Maybe I'll throw on a blazer to make it a bit cheeky-professional if I wear it. 

Currently reading: American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I'm such a fan of The Sandman series, that I simply had to read this. I'll write a review when I'm done. 

Currently drinking: A glass of pink bubbly, actually. (In the spirit of my favourite effete vampire, Lord Akeldama, ~la, darlings, it's New Years. What else is there to drink?) But earlier in the day, Tazo's English Breakfast Tea, with a dash of honey.

Future Crafting Plans: (Because yes, that needed those capitals) Removing the mysterious stain from the above project and turning that into a cute crop top (maybe adding lace??). Turning a too-long pencil skirt into something a little more flattering (by hacking off a few inches and hemming). Adding lace detailing to a pair of jeans I, ahem, liberated from my brother because they're too small for him. I think I'll add lace on the sides and on the hemline to make them slightly longer. Can you tell I'm loving lace at the moment? Also planning on buying some leather or faux-leather to attach to a pair of thick-heeled boots as a repair job, because I somehow destroyed the heels. I love the boots, want to keep them, but am not sure that a cobbler could repair them. So I'll do it myself in true DIY fashion.

Bon soir, darlings. I'll post something in the next couple of days.

Also, I'd like to know who's reading this blog! Give me a shout in the comments and say hi! :)