Post-Chester Wipeout

So the reason I’ve not posted is because I am rubbish and I couldn’t be bothered to unpack after moe moe con, and then I couldn’t bring myself to work in my incredibly messy room. Today I’ve finally tidied my room rather than sitting around procrastinating so back to what I suppose is my actual job at the moment, blogging.

Chester was a really fun day, even though it absolutely did not go as planned. Here’s how I looked:

Headpiece: Taken from my SurfaceSpell Hat
Wig: Gkyouko on Taobao
Necklace: Vivienne Westwood
Blouse: Atelier Pierrot Juliette blouse bought from Lorina Liddell
Dress: Pina Sweetcollection Chiffon Georgette OP
Tights: The only thing I will ever and have ever bought from Forever 21
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell 
Gloves: John Lewis
I love this outfit so much and I felt like a gothic queen all day. I could have worn my natural hair with this but I do totally love this wig. I also walked around in those shoes all day, they’re actually pretty comfortable but my feet were very sore and torn up by the end of it. Worth it.

So, I’m one of the admins for my local lolita community and because of that we ended up being asked to do a panel for moe moe con. I was super excited and spent a few days last week preparing the powerpoint, which is why I didn’t blog so much last week. I’m also really sick!
The day before the presentation, so Friday last week, I woke up with an incredibly dry throat. My glands were swollen and I couldn’t even talk but I had really good plans with friends so I just drank 10 cups of tea with honey and carried on with my life without saying too much. I actually did drink 10 cups throughout the day, by the way.
On Saturday I woke up feeling marginally better, I could just about speak so I just kept well hydrated and hoped for the best. We got the convention a little bit early so we had a look around and went to the maid café. Maid cafés are such a funny import; I think we like them in the west because of the cute outfits and that general sense of moé but at the same time we’re creeped out by the idea of paying for company or conversation or fun because that seems a little bit too close to prostitution for us. I don’t know a lot about it but I guess in Japan they have a lonelier culture at the moment, I was hearing a lot about hikikomori/NEET types over the past few years and there is the stereotype that Japanese people work very hard and don’t have the time to socialise. Mix this with kawaii culture and I suppose maid cafés are what you get. I think this is a very shallow reading of it but maybe you get the point. I wonder, with the way employment is going in this country whether paying for socialising and companionship will become a thing here too. Regardless, we sat down at the maid café, had a few drinks and then went to do our fashion show.
I was really nervous because I was commentating for the show and had to really think about the charming, nice things about everyone’s outfit which actually was not difficult but it was difficult to do at speed off the top of my head without using any complex and fashion specific semiotics so I just ended up saying ridiculous things like “This dress has Usakumya! He is the official mascot of the brand Baby the Stars Shine Bright! He is very cute and working in a patisserie.” My plan for this week was, post presentation, to write some presenting tips and kind of review what I’d learned from the process. However, nobody came to our panel! So, the panel never happened and hence all my article ideas for this week went flying out of the window. Oops!
We realised that our panel was set for the same time as the announcement of the cosplay results and it was a really small con where cosplay was the main attraction so naturally everyone was at the announcement. I didn’t take any offence at this, it was just unfortunate on our part, but I was more just gutted that I’d put so much effort into making a presentation that nobody was going to see! I thought a small, local convention like this would be a great place to recruit new members and speak to people who might be interested in the fashion but too scared to try it out without some backup from a community. Luckily, slideshare exists and I can share my presentation slides with all of you:

Some of the slides are just images which were designed for me to talk over, so what I’ll do this week is write blog posts for what those slides were going to be about! Look forward to a post about a brief history of lolita and how to tell good lolita from the bad stuff. For now, enjoy the pretty pictures in the panel. My favourite slide is the anatomy of the lolita outfit illustration by lemontree11 on tumblr. 
Regardless of the panel not working out, we had a really fun day. The main thing that was devastating about that whole deal is that Georgia and I wore these kind of opposite twins outfits where she did white, gold and sweet and I did black, silver and gothic and I wish we’d got to present the panel because I felt it was a really good schtick! 
A new member of our comm also came to this meet which was great. Whenever we have a new member I spend the entire day lowkey worrying whether or not they’re having a good time and if they’re happy and comfortable etc. but I try really hard not to be a pest loom over them but rather just occasionally check up on them. Our new friend definitely left an impact when she said “guys I am English but what is a cheeky nandos?” I think she felt a lot of regret when we actually went for a cheeky nandos afterwards. Please enjoy our best cheeky selfies.
After that we just decided to loaf around and go feed squirrels in the park. I hope strawberries aren’t bad for squirrels because we gave them quite a lot. They usually eat berries so it seems like it would be fine? The thing I love about our community is that we can always make our own fun. When the panel didn’t turn out, we filmed some fake parody news reports, when the convention ended we went for a cheeky nandos on a whim. We have such a good laugh and nobody takes themselves too seriously. The atmosphere is so good. I did take video of some of it, so hopefully I’ll have that edited and up on YouTube tomorrow; if it’s not awful and cringey anyway.

Heavy Duty Preparation!!

This week I’ve only written one post, which is so few for me now, but I’ve been nervously fumbling over my presentation for Saturday. Last night I laid all my lolita out on the couch to try and put together some kind of outfit that I haven’t worn 1000 times recently and that would be a different kind of variety in the fashion show. I was up until about 1am putting all of my clothing together and being like “ugh I’ve worn that blouse three times” “I wore that last meet, I wore that meet before last”.

My mate Jayde was like “why are you stressing so much?? It’s only a small local convention and nobody in the comm is going to judge you if you wear the same thing.” But it’s not really about people at the convention judging me, or anyone else in my community judging me it’s about my own personal feelings. I really want to do a good job and promote lolita fashion well, as well giving the audience at the convention a good show. I don’t think just because it’s a small local convention that I have to do a slapdash job, I want the people who come to that small panel to come out thinking “wow that was interesting and great!”

At uni I was the kind of person who constantly at the library, reading or trying to make sure that my essays were done before the deadlines. I think at the time I felt completely out of touch with my body the direction of my life, my money…everything really. My uni work was something I could control so I controlled it militantly. Plus, when I was much younger I also felt like being smart was kind of all I had. I never felt pretty and even though I thought I was great and interesting nobody around me seemed to. I got good grades and that made my parents happy and in turn made me happy because I just wanted some approval. So it was natural that academia would probably be my outlet for frustrations. I feel much better now, but some of that lingers on. Maybe I’ll talk about it more sometime. Right now my chest is tight and my throat hurts, so I’m going to try and drown myself in scalding hot tea.

On Rejection – constant, constant rejection.

This week I got two rejections, which is actually an unusually low number. I’ve been rejected a lot in my twenty three years of life. I’m not going to wax poetic about being rejected by potential partners, friends or family because to be honest I’ve never really cared for whether certain people like me or not. This is what I got, you can like it or not. No, I’m going to talk about the much more crippling kind of rejection; job rejection. At least I’m cute.

See? My snapchat knows all about how cute I am.
Also, please enjoy a better picture of this amazing “RESPECT THE GAME – REMEMBER THE LEGEND” shirt from Harajuku re+plus. It’s an upcycled peplum top with a mesh overshirt that I bought from the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu stand at Hyper Japan 2012. I really adore this shirt because it’s really fun, cool and unique. It’s got a lot of character and it’s a modern and almost out there choice for me! I’m wearing it here with a necklace that was £2 from Topshop, a pair of indigo boyfriend jeans and some black Nike Freerun 5.0 shoes. The Ariana Grande ponytail finishes the look for a dumb kind of 80s/90s throwback thing. Unusually trendy for me. 

I’ve been rejected for all kinds of jobs and sometimes it feels like I am writing beautiful, elaborate letters in the flawless Gregorian calligraphy of ancient monks and then lobbing them into the Mersey. I’ve been rejected for full time jobs, part time jobs, jobs in my field, jobs I could easily do, jobs I would just be willing to do for the wage, Christmas temp jobs, free internships in my field, free internships that would have cost me money to travel to and only vaguely in my field. Usually, the rejections are blunt and any requests for feedback are met with absolutely nothing so you don’t know if you’re a million miles away or a millimetre away. However, this week, I actually got a really personal rejection that said I was only a little bit away, and that felt much less hopeless than the outright rejections.
So many people say you’re not a writer until you can paper your walls with rejections. That was certainly true for J.K Rowling, whose beloved books were apparently rejected twelve times before publishing.  Admittedly, some of the rejections are probably my fault. Once I applied for a journalism job with my creative writing fiction portfolio because “if they read it they’ll know I can tell a good story, and that’s basically what journalism is.” Needless to say I was rejected very kindly initially, with the hiring officer pretending that I’d attached the wrong portfolio and then later very, very rudely when I suggested that it was indeed the right portfolio. Either way, I probably can’t paper my walls with rejections, but what I can do is provide some tips for dealing with the endless stream of them. I’ve actually just received another rejection while writing this.
1. Allow yourself to feel shitty

It feels shitty. That is fact and you just need to let that feeling be and try to move on when you’re ready. If it takes a few days, that’s probably a bit much though. Let yourself feel shit for an hour or so and then try and change your tune. When I’m in a super grumpy mood I try and do nice things for other people in the hopes that it will improve my mood and something nice will eventually happen to me.

2. Put on a big cuddly hoodie or jumper; yours or that of a significant other

A cuddly jumper and no pants has practically been the uniform of my unemployment, because it’s comfortable and that comfort allows me to work really well. However, this doesn’t work well for everyone. I know people who have to get up, get dressed and go for a walk for ten minutes in order to get into the frame of mind for work. However, when you’ve just had a fat rejection from an application you put a tonne of effort into I find that you just need a big old cuddle! It’s okay sweetpea, you’ll get ’em next time!

3. Have a beverage

I am absolutely not saying crack open some alcohol. Have a glass of water mate. Or some juice. Or even a coke. The important part of this is really taking care of your body and taking time to get into some good head space. Rejection can come as a big shock and even if its not shocking it is generally a horrible feeling in your stomach. It’s not nice to feel good enough, it’s not nice to get excited and let down. I find a glass of water just empties your head and lets you press a reset button.

4. If you can get feedback, do it. If you can’t, review on your own

It takes a lot to swallow your pride and ask for feedback. It also sucks. But it’s for the best. Most of my feedback emails get ignored, but the ones that don’t usually give me a lot of hope. The feedback is usually that my applications were very strong and there was generally nothing actually wrong with them, there were just more experienced or stronger applicants. That feels a lot better than what my mind would spin out, which is usually “you were utterly inadequate and will never get a job in your field enjoy your eternal unemployment peon.” Try not to let yourself be ridiculously critical like I am and instead go back and look over your application and pick out the parts that were good to use for next time. It’s a much more healthy and productive way of dealing.

5. Do something else

We are not all cogs in the ceaseless clock of capitalism at all times. Sometimes we are incapable, sometimes we do not want to participate. That’s hard to swallow when your rent payments are due and your phone is getting cut off but sometimes you just can’t carry on. You’re not a machine. You can’t do it. Be kind to yourself, you’re doing the best you can.

More adventures in Chester – going to the zoo!

Yesterday had the best weather I’ve seen here up north in weeks! It was about 18 degrees at least, the sun was blazing so I decided to go to one of my favourite places in the whole country, Chester Zoo! Apparently Chester Zoo is the best zoo in the UK and has an excellent reputation worldwide for animal conditions and conservation. Sometimes I have mixed feelings about zoos, because while some of them do amazing conservation work some of them are very small and don’t have enough room for the animals to move around and be happy. It’s another one of life’s difficult moral dilemmas. I think sometimes that Chester Zoo does well is that it gives the animals a good amount of room to move, but also creates opportunities for you to see the animals up close.

This bird was actually really affectionate, he kept pressing his little feathers against the cage and chirping when I’d pet him. At the same time it is always sad to see a bird in a cage and this cage wasn’t huge, the birds inside seemed to be hopping from branch to branch quite a lot and not flying very much. I don’t know if it’s just characteristic of this type of bird though…

Dress: Dr Martens
Flower: Chateaux de Gateux
Tights with hole in the toe which I remove after this photo: Marks and Spencer

I went for a simple, summery look. Sorry I didn’t go for proper professional photos for this day…The main reason why was that I didn’t really want to focus on photography for once I just really wanted to enjoy the day. But, I did wear my Dr Martens dress and I have to say I rate this dress incredibly highly. I turned it inside out to iron it and the pattern of this dress is fantastic. The pattern is constructed really beautifully and the fit is generally fantastic. The cotton the dress is made from is incredibly high quality and the resin dipped part of the dress feels very smooth and cool. I actually took the tights off because it was too hot, but because my thighs rub, further proof that we are not Gods perfect creature, I popped on some Sparkle and Fade cotton shorts underneath.

I really love my Chateaux de Gateux rose clip/brooch. I bought it at Hyper Japan last year and had a really great conversation with Charlene, the person who makes them. She said she usually makes all the petals herself or sometimes she will buy a few different silk flowers, disassemble them and resew them to make fuller, more realistic flowers. This particular rose is incredibly well made, very sturdy and has loads of small details such as a vine leaf for the backing, that really show how much love was put into making it.

We brought a picnic of gluten free goodies and it felt very classical Britain to have a picnic in the sun. Pictured above is some egg fritters, potato salad, chicken salad with courgettes and tomato and gluten free brownies! My very dear friend made the whole picnic and I contributed some sugared strawberries, elderflower presse and a tiny little bottle of prosecco. Had to get the prosecco in before that upcoming drought we’re supposed to be having, ha ha ha! We also put a tiny bit of scotch whiskey sauce on the brownies and ate them with the strawberries and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Somehow elderflower presse makes everything feel so much more twee. Dandelion and burdock has the same effect.

We came to the zoo at just the right time of year, I feel, because there was so many baby animals! We saw tiger cubs, baby elephants, baby orangutans, baby giraffes and lots more. A baby giraffe was about the same size as me! It was sat in the corner of the giraffe enclosure looking moody, as if nobody truly understood the brilliance of it’s poetry. I had an amazingly good day at the zoo to be honest! It was especially good to be there on a Wednesday when it wasn’t particularly busy. The main thing I noticed is that there was a lot of people there with immense photography equipment! There was a guy whose lens was probably about as long as my forearm, who was trying to get a photo of a very uncooperative lion. I often worry about going into something like photography etc. just because of how accessible the equipment and ability is these days. Obviously, I’m all about accessibility, but if it is so easy to do I wonder why I would bother since I don’t feel like I bring something special to the table. However, that is just a lack of confidence talking because my work does have a few fans who really like it, and it would be unfair to them to talk my work down.

I’m going to hopefully record another video this week, so staaaay tuned!

International Lolita Day!

I can only apologise for the fact that I’ve been missing since last week – my main computer has been riddled with technical issues and I’ve only just managed to get everything back up and running again.We’re still not 100% sure if the computer is fixed, so I might be a bit on and off with posts over the next few weeks.

With that out of the way; June 6th is International Lolita Day! My community decided to have our meet in Chester. Even though I went a few weeks ago, I was happy to go again; I feel like Chester is a great setting to wear classical fashions. We discovered a few new places too, which I love. I always call myself an “Urban Explorer” so the aim is always to find somewhere exciting and new.

The first place we went to was called Hanky Panky Pancakes! I actually turned up to the meet an hour late because one of my shoes broke and then I had a load of problems with train delays, but thankfully everyone waited for me. It turned out that we’d all gone for a black and white/ivory theme with pearls for some reason even though nobody spoke about it beforehand!

The pancake place was just on a side street in the city centre of Chester and it was incredibly popular. We got quite lucky and we only had a ten minute wait until we got to sit down and order. The inside is very cute, it has a low key 50s theme; the waitresses wear Rosie the Riveter style head scarves and the waiters wear button down shirts. There are various quirky framed artworks around the walls and plenty of natural light. They played some popular, upbeat music from the 50’s mixed with some cheerful jazz.

I was personally really impressed with the selection of pancakes that were available to me as someone who is gluten intolerant. However, we had one vegan in our party and I had to say the “peeping tom” pancake with no butter that was available to them was pretty lacklustre. Everyone else in our party was sat with an amazing pancake stack while our vegan was sat with something that looked like a large brown envelope for postage sprinkled with some tomato. Before they cut into the pancake we all made a bunch of jokes about how we were hoping there was a baked apology inside that pancake.
The way ordering a pancake stack works is really interesting and the combinations of stacks you can order are probably limitless. You can choose one, two or three pancakes and then select which topping, ice cream and sauce you’d like to go with them. You can add more toppings for a little bit extra. I went for summer fruits, toffee ice cream and chocolate sauce, though it was very hard to choose just three toppings. I was also very impressed by the quality of their gluten free pancakes. Sometimes when a place offers gluten free, they offer pre-packaged rubbery food but these were fresh pancakes and really delicious too.
Next we went for a walk around Chester, which is lovely as always. My favourite place that we went was Penhalligon’s Perfumery. I don’t know that I would ever wear a Penhalligons scent, but I definitely enjoy their philosophy and aesthetic. If you’re interested I wear two different perfumes at the moment. The first. and my favourite perfume that I have ever smelled in my life, is Amazinggreen by Commes des Garcons. I really like the gender neutral aspect of the scent, for me it makes it incredibly sexy? Plus its always fun to tell people that the notes are vetiver, flint, gunpowder and green pepper. I’m not the type of girl to sleep around, but I bought this scent because I thought it would be a mysterious and attractive perfume to leave on someone’s bedsheets. No exchange of names. The second perfume that I wear is a bit less heady, it’s a Lotus Santal by Thymes perfume. I picked it up because it was on sale for very cheap, to be honest, and because it’s the first sandalwood and patchouli fragrance I haven’t hated, normally I can’t stand either smell. I wanted something that smelled vastly different from my favourite fragrance, so that my nose wouldn’t get tired of the scent and I’d stop smelling it! However, I think Lotus Santal would make a great room fragrance because it has an element of earthiness to the smell.
I felt very Victorian in my outfit and walking around talking about perfumes definitely helped that feeling! Our next stop was actually the huge Holland and Barrat in Chester because our vegan friend was still hungry after a really pathetic pancake. Actually, that particular shop is huge and has a lot of different kinds of products. There was a great selection of vegan foods for our friend, and I was really impressed by the kinds of beauty products that were available. They had a nice big stand full of Burt’s Bees products and Weleda products, both of which I am very interested in. They also had a really cute stand where you could make your own scrub for showers and baths, I thought that was a particularly fun idea.
After that, one girl recommended we go to one of her favourite spots in Chester, Sally’s Secret Garden. The Secret Garden is a little gift shop and tiny café upstairs in Chester’s famous dual tiered shopping streets. The weather was beautiful all day, so we sat in the back garden and enjoyed the sunshine while drinking some tea. Again, very Victorian past times. We also took some outfit photos because it was very quiet and we wouldn’t be disturbing anyone.

These photos were taken in Sally’s Secret Garden; the sunlight was beautiful and the garden is so quaint and charming. I’m not sure what that ribbon flower basket type thing next to me is, but I think it’s adorable!
I felt like the fanciest Victorian lady all day; the hat really reminds me of a riding hat or some kind of grumpy governess hat and I think I really want to take my lolita style to a more historical mood in general. Apart from wearing rocking horse shoes all the time because I adore them.
Hat: Surface Spell on Taobao
Necklace (on hat): Grimoire
Blouse: Vintage from Pop Boutique
Dress: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Tights: Hand made
Shoes: Antaina 
Petticoats; Classical Puppets and Atelier Dormir
Two people in our community came dressed in ouji (prince) style and they looked amazing! I loved all of the small details on their outfits and how elegant the layers looked. There was so much creativity in these outfits.

I don’t think I could pull off brown and black and cream like this; but this outfit balances all three just perfectly and that cat waiscoat is absolutely darling. I think in lolita I would want the cats and diamond pattern to work throughout the outfit but I feel like this just works so well in a way that maybe lolita couldn’t. I love it!

My favourite thing about this outfit is the starry silver overskirt/buttcape. I took a close up of that particular element just because I felt that it worked so beautifully. Now I want my own prince, ha ha!

First YouTube video!

Today I edited and posted my first normal YouTube type video. I say normal, because I guess this is the kind of content I expect to see on YouTube? I’ve got lots of scripted stuff planned and some artsy things too but those take a little bit longer to turn out so please be patient. If you’re interested in the process of making a video, I’ll try to make a post about it tomorrow but for now please enjoy my first video!

Doing ALL the things!

Yesterday I filmed my first YouTube video! Here’s the first draft of the custom thumbnail I’m planning to use for it, the text was actually too small on it so I’m changing it for the final thing. I actually am really interested in academic fashion videos and making actual good, maybe even educational content, but I thought for a first video I would just get into the swing of things and film something easy to make!

That photoshoot I did earlier in the week really helped when I was turning my bedroom into a studio yesterday! I could really do with some professional lighting, or at least something better than my little pixar lamp for the days where I’m not so lucky to have good sunlight on my side. Tomorrow I’ll be editing and if I can doing a tiny little bit of animation to make the video look real nice. I don’t really know what I’ll do for a title slide, I’m not an amazing graphic designer but all I can do is try.

Here’s another little teaser shot of one of the items I reviewed! It’s a fancy as heck hat from Surface Spell. In truth I wasn’t perfectly happy with this particular hat, but you’ll have to wait for the video to see why….

As for what I’ve been up to today, I was at my auntie’s house learning to sew. I’ve always been interested in clothes, as we well know by now, so I decided it was finally time to learn. I’m really lucky to have my auntie with me because she’s been sewing since the 70s if not before so I’m definitely in good hands.

I traced the patterns from my sewing bee book onto baking paper because I was really excited and couldn’t wait for an order of technical paper, isn’t that awful? But definitely a good solution if you’re not able to buy the right kind of paper, or live somewhere remote maybe, or have some kind of last minute pattern cutting emergency.

My auntie recently inherited a sewing table from a friend of hers that came with this really useful card for cutting patterns. It has measurements on it and a grid so you can make sure everything is nice and straight. The blouse we’re making is a 1930’s style blouse from the first Great British Sewing Bee book and we’ve decided to make it out of a white crepe de chine fabric. I wanted to make it white because I wanted it to do with my sailor skirt from Metamorphose and so some nice ribbon detailing around the edges. In retrospect this was probably not a great choice for a first project. The pattern itself has some complex elements, darts and shirring and a placket for example. So, again, very grateful for my auntie’s knowledge and experience.

The combination of crepe de chine and baking paper is also not fantastic because they are both naturally very slippy but again, hindsight is 20-20. They have used a patterned fabric in the book, which is definitely advantageous to a beginner who might put the wrong sides together. We’ve been following the instructions very carefully and we’ve managed not to mess it up so far… I will keep you up to date with our progress and how the final blouse turns out. If I knew any photographers it would be really cool to take my little sailor outfit to the Albert Dock and take some lovely dynamic photos but alas, I don’t.

Tomorrow I will be editing the video I took yesterday, so hopefully I’ll have a nice post where I can link you to my video!! Staaaaay tuned!

Being your own everything is really hard!

That title turned out way more philosophical than I meant it to, but I suppose it applies to life as well as photo shoots, which is what I was actually talking about. Though, as a life tip while we’re here; being your own everything is very hard, sometimes you need to reach out to others for support and other times you just need to rely on your own strength and both of these solutions are just fine.

Today I gained a new appreciation for the work of Cindy Sherman! I did everything for this photo, which is why everything is probably not as good as it could be with teamwork, but I really enjoyed the challenge! If you’re interested to know about the process, have a read on through.

On Sunday I did a make up test which I’ve never ever done before! I have also never done such big eye make up before. I normally do a big wings on my liner, but I’ve never done all the way around. I’ve been watching a lot of drag queen tutorials on YouTube to try and get the look right for this shoot, because I’ve wanted to do it for a little while. You can see I tried to create a bigger crease on my eyes, I don’t know whether I really succeeded to be honest, but I think it’s because I have too much brow to do anything really extreme below it. Today I applied what I learned in my little Sunday afternoon test, and I’m happy enough with the results. It was really fun to try out a totally new look.

Also, whenever I apply any dark liner I always feel like I look like a piece by Yoshitaka Amano, what do you think?

That profile facing photo is actually of me operating my camera from my phone! I downloaded the Canon EOS Remote app and it was a little bit tricky but really fun to use. I don’t think I have it totally figured out just yet, for example I need to figure out if you can do anything crazy like adjust the focus from the phone.

Next, I had to turn the dining room of my parent’s house into a studio. This involved putting a blanket up over half of the blinds to give the room a little bit more mood lighting. The blanket was also kind of orange coloured so it added a nice warm light, which is why you see a kind of red/blue look to the pictures. The other half of the blinds were turned to direct the light, which is why it’s so nicely shady on one side of my face. I also piled a pixar lamp (you know the one I mean) on top of about 6 thick dictionaries for a little bit of extra brightness and then tied greaseproof paper around it to diffuse the light a little bit. I always really love it when you see articles about photographers or artists who create amazing works on a shoestring budget so it was really fun to try it out myself. My camera was also on a tripod and delicately balanced on three dining room chairs, if my parents had been home they would not have let that fly.

Modelling and setting up the camera just right for all the shots was also really challenging. I was stepping back and forth trying to get the focus just right and get myself looking right in the lens too. I’m not camera shy at all, but it’s tough to get my face looking just how I want it sometimes. I definitely have a new appreciation for Cindy Sherman’s work after today, the whole process of it. I must have taken over a hundred photos in the end, hopefully I can get two or three final images out of my day’s work.

The actual reason for the shoot was to capture an image of the rosettes that I made! They are made from 28 individually sewn loops of ribbon (42 if you count the gold ribbon on its own) and two tails on to which a custom designed embroidered patch is mounted. The back is structured with craft foam and a clip/brooch attachment. Currently there are only five in the world and I probably won’t make this style or size again. The theme of the patch is based on a meme/joke around cyber bullying that I will explain in detail at a later date. The style of the make up and poses I chose were based around this elitist bitch character, so hopefully it all comes across and works to convey that character as well as showing off my rosette.

Tomorrow my taobao order is going to arrive so I’m going to do my first review/unboxing video. After the challenge of today I feel really excited to do more and more and really improve my skills as a photographer and videographer. It was quite a mental challenge too because I couldn’t wear my glasses the whole time out of worry for smudging the make up, so I was struggling to see at some points and battling with a lazy eye in the pictures. I would say overall everything took me about five or six hours including clean up. When I finally cleaned up at about three o’clock I realised that I’d not eaten anything since about eight in the morning and my stomach was roaring, so I guess I must have been really enjoying myself to forget about anything else at all. I’ll probably post late tomorrow if at all, wish me luck with my filming!