Friday, April 12, 2013

We've Moved!

In case you haven't heard, Elegy is now blogging on their new website over at
Come check it out!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ohayocon and My First Artist Alley~

I finally did it. My first artist alley! The weekend was a blast: I had a lot of fun, sold a lot of things (I was a lot more successful than I thought I'd be), learned a lot about what does and doesn't sell, and noq I'm super excited for future artist alleys. The weekend was a blur and I've got a lot of work to do, but I'm going to attempt a quick weekend recap.

 ✦Day One ✦

The week before Ohayocon, I was a nervous wreck, and the day before I had just about talked myself into not even showing up. Honestly I was that nervous, and I'd convinced myself that I'd be nothing but a failure. I don't consider myself a pessimist, but I'd rather think the worst in situations so I don't get crushed by high expectations. And since I'd only sold my things at a few other things - once at Frill, and I didn't have a booth, everything was together in a boutique set up, and I sold a whopping 2 items; the second time being at Anime Weekend Atlanta, where Frill set up another mock boutique and I sold... nothing. So can you blame me for having super low expectations?

On Friday, the Artist Alley didn't open until one, and we had four hours before then to set up. We got there at 12. Not intentionally! It should've been more like 11, but we had to stop at Staples to pick up my print catalogue thing for my booth, and they were moving in total slow motion =__=. It ended up taking us until a little after 1 to get totally set up, since there were only my bf and I, and I had to sit and watch the booth while he went back and forth to the car to get everything. Lesson learned! We won't be doing anything like this next time.

Day one's booth set up and me :3 Next time's booth will be better, promise!

My friend, Lindsey (wearing the Loli-Moxxi costume I made for her, which I haven't had time to blog or even post about yet) and I.

Paradise Rose was there! Sadly our booths were on the complete opposite sides of the room, so we didn't get to talk much. But she's super nice and I'm super happy I got to meet her :3 Aaand I believe she was the only other Loli-booth there...

Sarah! At last, a photo is taken of both her wearing the Wa-Lolita coord I made for her years ago, and I.

The Artist Alley closed at 8p on Friday, and we proceeded to get food afterwards. I was super exhausted and pretty much went straight to bed when I got home, as we had to be back the next morning at 9a to set up.

✦ Day Two 

So this weekend, we were blessed with sharing the hotel with America's Got Talent auditions =__=. Naturally, parking was a blast. But we managed to find a spot, and got there in time to get the booth set up, and then I was off at 10a to attend the Lolita Crush. I hadn't attended the Lolita Crush in the past, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It was pretty much a tea party, and we were served by a super cute maid staff, they did cute dances, Pretty Princess (I think it's called?) board game was played, we had arts and crafts, and had a little fashion show. I was nervous leaving my bf in charge of the booth for so long - the crush was 2 hours - but upon arriving back at my booth, I found out he'd actually sold more with me not there, haha. And he was totally comfortable manning the booth, so that was my chance to walk around the dealer's room and see the rest of the Alley. I suck at spending money on myself, so I only purchased a few things on Saturday.

El booth. This was taken at the end of the day, as my signage is askew, and I'm looking super tired.

Quite literally, only a few things were purchased. A cutey bat necklace, and starry 2-way clip from Paradise Rose.

Oh yea. The con's theme was Zombies, so this is what we did during arts & crafts time at the Crush: 


A few Lolis from my local comm stopped by: 

I also suck at getting photos of my bf and I (don't have any from Friday ;A;), so here we are. I don't know why his face is smirking, but this was our best photo - in all the others we were blinking or looking super pissed/tired, lol.

Saturday was the longest day, as the Alley was open from 10a-7p. We got out of there pretty quickly, and were sleeping a few hours later. Call me a killjoy, but most days I spend alone with my sewing machine, no human contact, and next to no physical activity. So this weekend left me completely drained. Saturday was also the day I ran out of business cards... >_>

 ✦ Day Three 

Sunday! The last day has finally arrived. I made a few makeshift business cards on computer paper... but sadly my printer ran out of ink after I'd only printed 2 pages worth, which translates to a meager 16. Haha. Those lasted all of 30 minutes. I resorted to using my little hangtags that I attach to clothing that gets shipped out. Although they're quite tiny, they have my url on it, so they had to do. 

The day began with everyone getting there... super early? There was a bit of confusion as there no set-up time listed for Sunday, so all the artists just came at 9a, since the Alley opened at 10a, and that's how it was for Saturday. We got there at around 9:20, and had to wait a while before they unlocked the doors for us. So we took pictures to pass our boredom.

The cliche Lolita-shoe-shot! I have no photos like this, so it had to be done. It was also the first time wearing these shoes in public, so I was quite excited.

Once again, I got no good coord-photos of my bf and I on Sunday, and this is all I have of him, lol.

Also my first time wearing this wig :3 Ooh, and my new 2-way clip!
So here's the thing. Pretty much all my loli-clothes are samples, made to fit a model. They're generally not the best in terms of quality, and they typically don't fit me very well. For example, this skirt has a pretty bad quality print. It was a test run, and didn't come out as expected. It's also pretty short, so I had to pull it down a lot in order to be comfortable, and y'know, not have my petticoat totally showing. This blouse is also a bit big, and the elastic on the wrist is big enough to be comfortable around my elbow. I'm not trying to diss my own clothing, I'm just saying. Most of the time, the clothing I wear wasn't specifically made for me.

Sunday was pretty low-key, as most everyone (as in the con-attendees/regular people) were up late the night before. So the alley was pretty quiet until closer to noon. Despite being not as busy, the day still went by pretty quickly. My bf and I took turns shopping around, as the Dealer's room either closed at the same time or earlier than the Alley all weekend. I ended up purchasing some plushies :3
Once the Alley closed at 4p, we were packed up and out of there before 4:30. We went straight home, and I promptly fell asleep on the couch for 2 hours. Yes, still completely wigged and fully loli-d out. I hadn't meant to, it just sort of happened, lol.

Overall, I had a pretty terrific weekend. I sold a lot more than I dreamed I would. Since I hadn't had any soaring experiences selling my things in person rather than online, my only goal was to at least make back my table fees. Which I did the first day, a few hours in. I absolutely loved this experience, and hearing people talk about my work/compliment me in person is such good positive reinforcement. (Seriously, one girl thought my dress was... brand. *O*) Sometimes I get so stuck in my bubble that it's hard to tell if what I'm doing is any good, or total crap. I hope to do many more Artist Alleys in the future, especially since my bf and I have a dependable, working car now~


Friday, January 4, 2013

The Super Late/Huge Christmas Blog Post~

So yea, it is the new year already, but I haven't gotten a chance to write about Christmas yet! This year was super busy as my boyfriend and I drove all around and back and forth to 4 different christmases in order to see everyone. My parents are divorced, and most of my family lives out of state, so it was a lot of driving and celebrating the holiday on different days.

✦ Baking ✦
Last Christmas I made chocolate chip cookies for everyone, and this year I continued in that tradition. But I wanted to make *Christmase-y* cookies instead of boring chocolate chip, so I decided to use my new cookie press to make fun shapes and then decorate them with delicious icing and sprinkles :3 I used this recipe for the cookies, and left out the almond extract (gross); I attempted to use this one for the icing, but after following the recipe and ending up with just a bowl of powdered sugar, I opted to just throw things together until it looked/tasted right. And apparently, it did. I heard nothing but good things about these cookies :3

I also made cutey cinnamon treats for my mom's dogs, but totally forgot to get a picture =__=

✦ Gifts 
I feel really lucky this year, in terms of gifts. I knew for a fact that I was getting a new camera - because 1) my boyfriend sucks at keeping secrets from me, and 2) I'd been hinting so heavily all year long, since the refurbished Fujifilm he got me last year was less than spectacular. But everything else was a complete and total surprise. 

Since um... I was using the camera to take the pictures... here's the box :p Don't get me wrong, I was super thankful/grateful for the Fujifilm I got last year, but it wasn't what I wanted. What I wanted had been sold out, and preferring to surprise me instead of asking me what other models he should look into, he got the Fujifilm. It was okay for a bit, but then I started to notice how grainy/dirty/dingy my photos always looked coming from the Fujifilm. It was really irritating. I haven't used the Nikon very much yet, but the few photos I have taken are leaps and bounds better than anything taken on the old camera.

This was a complete surprise from my dad! I knew he was getting something special, as him and my boyfriend were keeping secrets from me. I never would've guessed it'd be this though. ♥ I could always use another dress form - especially since I'm pretty much back down to one form. The white one I picked up about a year ago was broken when I received it, and it's only gotten more broken since then and I can't really use it for anything except then sad doorstop it's become. Perhaps I'll turn it into a lovely piece of decor one day.

She is so lovely ♥ And a bit bigger than the one I have - which is great!

And the last surprise... a wig?! O__O Yep. My Auntie is super awesome ♥ I don't really get to see her much since we live in different states, and I really had no idea just how supportive of me/Lolita she is! She's really done her research, and having a conversation with her about Lolita and what I make was priceless, since most of my family doesn't really understand what I do. I knew exactly what it was upon opening the box and catching a glimpse of cotton candy-colored fiber, and I about died when I pulled this beauty out. I never expect to get anything Lolita/Loliable as gifts from family, except maybe a pair of tights here or there, but nothing like this. It's my first blended wig, and I really love it. I just wish I looked better in Sweet so I could get more use out of it ;A;

And of course upon taking this wig out of the box, I was met with puzzled looks from the rest of my family, which prompted me to give an impromptu lesson on wigs. Then my grandma took the wig from me and this happened: 

Best Christmas Ever. ♥

Coords ✦
I consider myself a daily Lolita, in that I wear Lolita on a regular basis whenever I go out in public. But seeing that I work from home, I typically go outside my house maybe... twice a week. Which means all the other days I'm make-up-less and sweat-panted. However these past few weeks I dressed up nearly every day, and though it was a bit tiring getting all dolled-up daily/coming up with so many coords, it was a lot of fun. Wearing Lolita makes me feel super pretty (for the first time in my life ever!) so I really enjoyed being dressed up so much between Christmas and New Years.

(Notice how crappy/dingy/dirty this picture looks? Yeah, the lighting is bad,  but this was also taken pre-Christmas, before I got my shiny new camera...)
This is the coord I wore to my first Christmas celebration. My Aunt and Uncle drove in from out of state, and we celebrated with my grandparents a few days prior to the holiday. It was also my first time wearing black lipstick (out in public :P) and I really like how it brought my look together. We also did last minute shopping before meeting up with everyone, so I enjoyed all the weird looks and staring children while in Best Buy :P
Wearing this look really solidified my love of the Gothic style. I feel like 2012 was a year of experimentation for both myself and Elegy, and I really feel like Gothic is my main style, as well as the right direction to focus on with my designs. As much as I adore Sweet & Classic, those styles really don't suit me or my personality, and I definitely feel the prettiest/most comfortable in black.

(Notice how much better this picture looks? Yes, there's actually light in this one,  but it was also taken with the new camera!)
Actual Christmas Day coord! This is the very first time I've had the opportunity to wear Resplendent Nightmare - I was waiting for something special, and Christmas seemed special enough! I felt super pretty in this coord, like a total Christmas doll. ♥

I don't have photos of the other 2 coords I wore for Christmas celebrations, but I did manage to get photos of a few other coords worn throughout the week:

A simple kuro lolita coord, featuring a JSK I made a little over a year ago and never got around to adding to the shop. This was just worn while out doing errands, nothing special.

Ah, well this is different. I really loved the wig I got from my Aunt, so I attempted a "pastel goth" sort of look. I don't think I look good in pastels or the Sweet style, so I attempted to make it more wearable with black. I'm not a big fan of how pink looks on me, but I think if I were wearing maybe lavender(?) in the place of the pink I'd be looking much happier, lol. The skirt I'm wearing is one of the first ones I made a few years ago while I was still figuring out what did and didn't work for Lolita. It usually resides in my closet alone, as I don't really wear pink. As much I love this wig and pastel wigs in general, I'll probably be saving it for some sort of giveaway in the future, as it doesn't totally work with my style. But it was a fun coord to wear to go see Django, haha.

Okay, okay. I'm done. I promise, that's it! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/whatever holiday you celebrate~


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Looking Back at 2012, and onto the New Year~

Well, that was fast! Another year has gone by, and Elegy is still here. If you remember last year, I wrote up a New Year's Goals for 2012, and I'd like to check in and see what I've accomplished:
  • Step away from Etsy and have an independent shop. Yep, did this in the beginning of January!
  • Sell my garments at a con/event, etc. Yes! Did this at Frill in June.
  • Start vlogging. Yep, also started this in January. Granted, I haven't super kept up with it, but I did get it started which is pretty much all I wanted to do.
  • Get professional, embroidered labels for my garments. You bet! I did this early this year as well.
  • Have a photo shoot! Hell yes! I've had quite a few too.
  • Design & print my own fabric. Done not once, but twice! 
  • Upgrade my sewing machine. Sadly, no. :( Didn't quite have the funds for it this year.
  • Participate in a fashion show. Yeah! Again, thanks to Frill.
I think I did pretty well, accomplishing 7 of my 8 goals. And the one I couldn't accomplish was due to lack of money, not lack of motivation. (It's just really hard to save up money while paying off astronomical student loans ;A;)

In addition to all these goals, I also got published in two online magazines; did a lot of networking with photographers and models; got at least one secret made about me (maybe more, I don't know. I don't read BtB anymore); travelled to Georgia and participated in the first US Lolita convention, Frill; made a wedding dress (of which I still haven't blogged about D:); and got back into screen-printing. Now as happy as I am about all the things I've accomplished, I'm not slowing down. I already have a ton of stuff planned for next year!

Goals & Things for 2013:
  • Sell my garments at least 2 cons/events. I know for a fact that I already have 2 things planned/confirmed for next year, so I'm hopeful that my things sell, and sell well! 
  • Participate in more fashion shows. Frill was the only show I participated in last year. Part of the reason I don't do a lot of show is... because I don't know about any! I know there're fashion weeks and stuff, but I really don't know anything about the one where I live, and it's incredibly intimidating. 
  • Get published into more magazines, etc. Yes I would like some more exposure, please ^_^
  • Make-over my shop & logo. This is a big one. I know at this time last year I was working on the re-design for what my webshop is now, but over this year I've done A LOT of soul-searching and really feel that I've nailed what Elegy's style is, and what my brand is all about. I know this may seem like it's taken a long time, but since I was just getting into Lolita at the time I started Elegy... I've been searching to find my own personal style, as well as really settle on Elegy's. I think I've nailed it, and I already have my new branding look pretty much figured out. I just need time to apply it and carry it out. I'm hopeful to have the new website/shop launched by the end of January.
  • Get garment care labels. Ugh, this one. I've been so bad about getting this done. I've been super lazy in just writing down garment care and wash instructions - I know it's bad and unprofessional! It's just a huge task to design and get tons of labels printed - the minimums on these are typically pretty big, and since I use different fabrics for a lot of my garments, it adds up to a lot of money and a lot of tag variations. I know they'll end up lasting for years at that rate, but it's just something that keeps getting put off.
  • Release 4 prints/collections. This past year I did a lot of experimenting, as I mentioned above. I put out a lot of random designs and didn't really have a lot of organization when it came to collections.  I did a lot of shoots this year, and I think I got tied up with that, along with trying to figure out Elegy's style. This year, I'd like to nail it down to about 4 different prints/collections. Resplendent Nightmare was enormous and took a ton of time and money, and I think I was a bit too ambitious, because I was left broke and completely drained after it was over. Not that it wasn't a success! Because it definitely was. I just think I need to be more organized to help create a more cohesive brand. I've already got 2-3 prints figured out for next year, and I'm super excited to make them a reality.
  • Get organized! My studio is seriously a train wreck. Most of my fabric lays in heaps on a heavy-duty shelf thing, and the rest in a massive pile in a box on the floor. I already know exactly what I want to keep everything organized and nice, it's just a matter of investing in it. It's just been hard to find a consistant way to stay organized and feel settled, as I've moved pretty much every year for the past 8 years or so =__=
Hm.. I suppose this is pretty much it. As of now, I've got a head-start on a few of these things, so here's to hoping I can get them all accomplished! What're your goals and resolutions for the new year? 


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Another Sewing Machine Fiasco~

Once again, on the eve of Christmas I had a sewing machine breakdown.

I don't think I ever posted about it last year, but my Husqvarna Viking machine did suffer sever heart failure and passed. I was in the middle of working on my bf's Christmas present (a velveteen coat, which to this day I don't have a single picture of ;A;). It was 2 days before Christmas, I had a handful of orders to finish on top of Christmas presents. Needless to say, I was panicked. First thing I tried to do was get it fixed. I loaded it into the car the next morning and drove all over town in crazy traffic, where I was told it would need to be sent out and it would take several weeks to get back to me. I neither had the time nor patience for that. Luckily, my savior of a boyfriend stepped in and purchased me a Brother SC6600 to tide me over. Well, temporary turned into permanent, and I am still happily using my Brother today.

Fast forward a year later, and the same thing happens! Not with my sewing machine this time, but with my serger. Yes, I have one of those Brother 1034Ds that everyone and their mother seems to have. And this time it wasn't 2 days before Christmas, but more like a week and a half. I'd had a bit of a scare with my machine nearly a month ago, when the top part of the knife suddenly snapped off mid-stitch. Yep, snapped clean off, while sewing just 2 layers of fabric. I know. But I got that taken care of, and ordered a replacement knife right away. It arrived in a few days, and I replaced it, simple as that. Freak out unnecessary. But a month later, it begins acting up again. (For those interested in the technicals: The upper looper became loose on the inside of the machine, throwing off the timing, which in turn made it not sew. At all. Therefore making it impossible to sew with.) I did spent several hours in tears trying to fix it, but to no avail. I got online, found a Brother service facility thing in my area, and took it straight to them the next morning. I was expecting to deal with catty older women - since that's what happened last year when I was trying to get my Husqy fixed - but boy was I wrong! I had the pleasure of talking with the loveliest woman ever. Long story short, we ended up getting an entire new machine. The cost of the repairs added up to be half of what I paid for it in the first place. And being nearly 3 years old, we decided it really wasn't worth it. I ended up walking out that day with a lovely Janome 7034D! I absolutely love him. ♡ It took a little while to get used to threading him of course, but I absolutely love everything about this machine. It is a bit harder to thread the upper and lower loopers, but I find that I'm not re-threading this machine because of broken threads, tangles, etc. nearly as much as I was the Brother. The best part of purchasing this machine from where I did is the upgrade service. So a year from now, I can trade my entire machine in for a new one at no cost to me.

Eventually, I would like to upgrade both of my machines to JUKI industrial lovelies (both the machine and the serger), as well as venture into embroidery machines, but until that day comes I will keep dreaming of them.