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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ri's Music Review

Music Review of: Shojo Jikake no Libretto: Lolitawork Libretto

Hello all! I'd had this review knocking around for some time, but I've been pretty busy lately, I'm sorry! This album was released back in July last year, but I didn't find out about it until November (what a nice birthday month surprise that was). I love it very much, and wanted to review it for a while, even though it's probably a bit late to be reviewing this album nearly a whole year later. Also, it's my very first music review and I hope it's ok and comprehensible. Oh well!

Shojo Jikakeno Lolitawork Libretto is Japanese singer/cellist Kanon Wakeshima's 2nd album, following Shinshoku Dolce (English: Sweet Violation) her debut back in 2009.
The title which translates to 'a libretto on the workings of a girl' really fits the overall theme of this new addition to the world of 'loli related music'. Upon listening I felt as if I was being drawn into the fairytale world of a young girl's imagination, just as the album says, as well as being given a chance to peek in and see the workings of her day to day, her love problems, frustrations and the things that bring her happiness throughout. I feel nearly like this album could become a best friend you know? *laughs*

In contrast to the previous album the overall feel is much lighter, though there's still an underlying current of something a little darker, despite the cheerful tune of a lot of the songs the lyrics speak of escaping to a world of your own imagining, of wishing that the real world was more like this place you retreat to and then realising that your ideals leave you nearly feeling trapped. I think that this is something that a lot of girls especially, dare I say it in the lolita community can relate to.
The track Celmisia is reminiscent of Kanon's last album, it sounds more along the lines of Suna no Oshiro and Still doll. But like I said most of the tracks have an upbeat feel. Kanon still graces us with plenty of her lovely cello music, the track Shakespeare no Wasuremono is a full instrumental track with corresponding orgel version, the album's equivalent of Sweet Ticket and Sweet Dreams.
Tracks that stood out for me were first Kajitsu no Keikoku 'Fruit of Warning'. This track had a nice steady beat and a bit of electro in the background to keep the pace. However I found the lyrics just a little chilling! But not in an entirely bad way either.
'A red fruit said that it grants wishes,
A fair trade for those four shackles, And all means of escape will be lost.'
'Lesson 1 Closed in by darkness, lesson 2 to be drowned in tears, lesson 3 Overcome by paradise, last lesson Your entire being will be eaten away.'
Kanon's vocals are particularly stunning in this song and throughout, even though she seems to adopt her more 'cutesy and childish' singing style for the majority of songs on this CD.

The songs MarmaladeSsky and Otome no March are two of these. Both talk about being a young girl, in love for the first time and trying to work up the courage to express your feelings. These two songs were very fun and bouncy coupled with Princess Charleston (think old-fashioned fairground carousel music meets modern pop!) and Twinkle Star which is nearly danceable *gasp* and I think it's fair to say we're seeing a completely different side to Kanon's music. These would be songs I could imagine myself playing during girly sleepovers. The general vibe seems to be light and fluffy, as opposed to the darker tunes from Shinshoku Dolce, and I have to say I really enjoyed listening to this album.
The penultimate track on  the CD is 'Shoujo Jikakeno Libretto: Storytelling by Solita' . Like many, I heard this track first before I listened to the whole album, and loved it! The addition of solita's vocals put what I thought was a lovely little spin on the 'typical Kanon Wakeshima song'. However, this seems to have been the most punchy of the songs on the album, and still...It couldn't really touch Still doll or Suna no Oshiro. None of the songs really did. Much as I loved them, I find myself listening still much more to Shinshoku Dolce for my daily Kanon fix.

In conclusion I really enjoyed listening to this album, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Kanon's last batch of music, though not much particularly stands out from it on its own. Having said that, even in its weaker moments the concept, lovely lyrics, and the artist's beautiful voice never fail to come through. The album is a lighthearted and a sweet follow on to Shinshoku Dolce that does not disappoint, as expected of Ms.Wakeshima and the lovely Mana-sama!

I give this 4/5 stars :]

Feel free to comment and share your opinions on the album or my review


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

You're Own Loli Shrine

It's important to have your own space. Everyone needs their own little patch, whether you're a hobo with a box, or a princess with a palace. What matters is that it's yours, and that you can do anything you want with it. This article was inspired by my co-blogger - Ritoru's - article that was posted prior to this one. In that post she spoke briefly at the beginning about starting your own cute little shrine which you "dedicate to the gods of cute!" I really think this is a good idea. And as I have to share a room with a slobby tom-boy 9 year old sister, and have my 5 year old sister play in here quite regularly, having some privacy, and my own space to chill out is a rare occurrence (sadly enough T.T).

To start us off, I'd like to talk a little about my little chunks of chill out zone. There are about 3 that I am reasonably proud of; my dressing table shelf, my bed, and my wardrobe (however messy the last one may get).

In my bed room, there is a huge white shelf unit from ikea, it's very angular, and by no means classic victorian. More failed modern. But I do what I can with it. I turned two of the shelves into a sort of dressing table.

The shelf above this one (not pictured) covers the more practical side of things. It's where I store my deodorant, contact lens solution, cosplay things (wig caps etc), make up, make up remover, and so on and so forth, along with a couple of big jewelry boxes.

The shelf underneath on the other hand, I have arranged in a half functional, half aesthetically pleasing way. It's pretty simple, the two "posters" on either side are actually bags from one of my favorite stores for cute things, ARTBOX (ignore the picture on the homepage, England has a royal wedding on Friday -.-*). I just stuck the bags up with blue tack. In the first picture you can see stickers, and bottle caps that I just found some way or another of securing to my wall. I also clipped a few of my favorite hair clips to the bag on the right side (the pastel, and white one). ^-^
Everything else is pretty self explanatory really, it's just a case of collecting a few nice things, and arranging them in a way you find pleasing to the eye.

My next little haven is right next door to this one. My wardrobe is hardly something a loli could be proud of, right now, I own two offbrand skirts, a parasol, a simple cutsew, and a couple of blouses (neither of which fit very well >_<). But it's not the inside I wish to tackle. I go to quite a few anime and game conventions, and I regularly pick up posters. Last October, I went to a small convention in London's Brick Lane, called hyper Japan, where there was a Baby, The Stars Shine Bright stall vending their wares. Unfortunately I didn't have £31 pounds with me to spend on two hair clips, but I did manage to get hold of two posters that they had up on the back of their stall. It was the last day, so they had no qualms about letting me buy them. They're both covers off of the Gothic and Lolita Bible.

This one just adds a small bright flash of pink to an area that would otherwise be bland and boring ^-^
I keep it above my large mirror, which is why you can see a little patch of silver-ish-ness in the bottom corner.

My next little area is really quite out of place sitting where it is. As I mentioned before, I pick up quite a lot of posters, and it's really no secret that I'm a total anime nerd. So the area to either side, and above my bed is mostly full of posters for shonen (boys) anime. But, just to the right I have a small space reserved for the other G&LB poster that I bought at Hyper Japan!

It's slightly mixed with a small steampunk theme (the cogs/gears in the bottom left corner) but I guess that's just me! This area is quite creative, as I get bored and draw little things like pocky, bows and cogs, and cut them out and stick them to my wall with blue tack!

Get your own little haven!!!
Step one:

It doesn't have to be anything fancy, not at all! In fact, I'd be surprised if it was, just a small vanity area, or a shelf, or as Ritoru-anechan said, the inside of a locker at school/work if you have one. It could be anywhere, just so long as it won't be disturbed too much by other people.

Step two:
Find some cute pictures (you could use postcards, or print some pictures of coordinates you like off of the web) or if you can, do a few small drawings and pin them up on any near by walls. If you're not allowed to stick things to your walls, find some cheap frames (the kind with the little leg on the back so then can stand on a desk), and paint them or decorate them in some kind of cute fashion, then simply slip your picture inside.
If you are allowed to stick things to your walls, try finding some cute stickers, or making a collage. Be imaginative, and don't be afraid to stick bottle caps, or ribbon to your walls or picture frames!

Step three:
Either break out your one from your childhood, or try and get hold of an old fashioned jewelry box - perhaps from a secondhand store, or online? - and keep it in a corner of your desk or shelf (I wouldn't advise keeping this in a locker, as it could get damaged, or stolen xO). If you're lucky enough to own a fancy stand type display - like my torso and dress one - hang a couple of your favorites bracelets or necklaces off of it. You could even put a couple of head bows, or a mini top hat on it like I did. Again, I wouldn't reccommend that one for a locker. For that, I'd stick to the things mentioned in the second step!
Returning to your childhood once again, maybe you have a love for plushies, feel free to chuck a few of hem in there. Sanrio creations such as Hello Kitty, or Cinnamon Role are always winners!

Step four:
If you're lucky enough to own a dress makers dummy (and by that I mean one of the ones covered in cloth that you use for making clothes), and have enough of a wardrobe to actually make a nice coordinate, try dressing up the dummy in a very special coordinate or dress. Something you're not going to wear so often. This can be a really nice way to exhibit your wardrobe. But be warned, cats, dogs and apparently rampant hamsters make light work of clothes left withing the reach of their grubby paws!

Step five:
For those unfortunate enough to not posses a dress makers dummy, you could try getting hold of some nice padded hangers, and some brass, or metallic coloured coat hooks (the kind that screw into the wall) and hanging a fancy OP or JSK off of it? With a cardigan or bolero over the shoulders, just to make it a little more complex, if that's what you're going for of course!

Step six:
If you have enough space, forage up some nice books (or perhaps DVD's or CD's?) to inspire you! Next to my dressing table-shelf thing I have a copy of  the Gothic and Lolita Bible, a small book of flower fairy poems with illustrations, and a nice thick book of Harajuku street snaps. Your inspiration could be anything, shoujo manga, classic Disney movies. Or books like 'An Interview With a Vampire', 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' classic fairy tales - like the ones by the Brothers Grimm, or 'Wuthering Heights'. Perhaps you're a fan of Malice Mizer, or Kanon Wakeshima? Or maybe you just can't resist 'Sleepy Hollow', 'Vanhelsing' and 'The Adams Family'. If it's something that fuels your creativity, slap it on in there! I know that I could just turn to a lot of my manga and get some good idea for outfits, or maybe I just feel like pigging out on ice cream and watching a movie over a tub of Ben and Jerry's. XD

Step seven:
Have fun with it! It's your space, and if you don't feel like following any of my advice, you don't have to. This is merely here as a rough guide, and I know it caters far more to the sweet and classic side of things than the gothic. But it's all about interpretation, maybe you'll find a nice big wine red jewelry box in your antique store one day? Or maybe you'll find one shaped like a giant cupcake? Who knows, eh?

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Ri's April Ideas

Ri’s April ideas:
Hello! I do believe this is my first post

.Start your own cute shrine! A place in your house or room (or locker if you have one) which you dedicate to the gods of cute! My mini cute shrine is  next to my bed, so every morning I can wake up and yes…mentally groan at the fact I’m late for school, but be slightly soothed by the kitsch cubby. It’s an arrangement of teddies (rainbow-bear, my Sanrio Hello Kitty plushie and their friends) as well as framed shots of Innocent world and Angelic Pretty  related stuff, and assorted candy-canes and chocolate coins left over from crimble surrounding my oldy-fashioned clock.

.Head over to Claire’s Accessories loli-ladies, for they’ve recently introduced some new steampunk/steamloli jewelry.
They also still have lots of their Alice in wonderland themed stuff on sale, and plenty of fairy tail themed things as well.

.The weather is supposed to be taking a turn for the worse, possible snow.  Beat those blues and get ready and have your fave tunes at the ready!. My  list at the moment is (in no particular order)
1.Melancholic—Kagamine Rin (vocaloid)—A surprisingly cheery song!
2.Princess Charleston---An upbeat song from Kanon Wakeshima’s new album Shojo jikake no lolitawork libretto which I will be reviewing soon!
3.Akai kasa—Ikimono gakari, nostalgic love and red umbrellas, kawaii!
4.Fruit’s Candy---Even if you aren’t into Japanese language  music, there’s a super cute English fandub version which is very singable and catchy. This song is itself a pick-up and about picking yourself up, with enough sweet references for anyone ^_^
5.Imperfect girl ---t.A.T.u –eh, I don’t really like Tatu’s early over-sexualised image for sure, but their songs have nice meanings behind them. Anyhow, this song is very cute!
6. Utakata Hanabi—I’m in love with Supercell, their combination is a true winner. Meaningful lyrics, the lead singer’s beautiful clear voice, piano and electric instruments make for easy ear candy.

No English stuff, I know! My fave music changes as often as my moods and at the moment I feel like Japanese stuff!

. Sit down with a good book, at the moment I’m reading some of Novala Takemoto’s works. They’re very interesting. (Original writer of kamikaze girls. If you haven’t heard of him, check him out. He’s a very famous writer of loli/otome-related literature) and Kono Oyuki’s Marimite books, which may be appealing to members/fans of the otome culture.

.Teach yourself an interesting new hobby or skill. i.e: applique, crochet,  Russian, copperplate etc. Or join a new group! Meeting new people can be a buzz and a real change of energy in your life.

.Despite the frost, flower’s are out. Seize the season! If your local florist does spring wild flowers like mine get a-hold of some crocuses and snowdrops for flower pressing or crystallising for future use as cake decorations.

.If you’re a make-up wearer, and I am, why not spruce up your spring make-up bag? Porcelain skin is definitely pretty and very loli, but downright pallor? In my opinion not quite. I find that a light coloured blusher for cheeks and colourfull lipgloss can do a lot for washed out winter complexions.

.Set some goals! Maybe it’s just me, but I love doing this. Writing down what you want to achieve and focusing your energy. Whether it’s getting to level 175 of tetris or pulling tight your  purse strings so you can see your best friend again, FINALLY in the summer I think it’s fun and a good idea to get a few things sorted in your head by writing them down on paper.

I think that’s about it! Thanks for reading

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Wonders of Headbows

Hello again guys, Chiru here! I just had to figure out how to get the updated version of the place that I'm typing this into right now, what would you call it? A post uploader? I have nuuuuu idea O.o
Anywayz, I recently discovered the awesomeness that is headbows!! And even though I wouldn't call myself a fully fledged lolita yet (I know >_< after 4 years, it's terrible T.T), I'm getting there!
I recently made the headbow for a dark Alice (in Wonderland) cosplay that I'm doing, and I'll definitely be getting some more material and doing the same thing - just on a smaller scale - with it! XD

 This is actually I really huge headbow!! o.o I wanted it to be the main focus of my cosplay so I tried to make it as big as possible. Surprisingly it stands up and doesn't flop. But it's sooooo fun to wear! I can't wait for the dress that I'll be wearing with it to arrive! Once it does I'll take some photographs and write a review of the site I ordered it from; Lolita Show.
I seriously can't believe it's taken me this long to realise how awesome headbows are ^-^

ANYWAYZ!!! To bulk out this article a bit I'll update you guys on a few other things as well...
Shoes firstly. I went to Camden Market on a girly shipping trip with one of my best friends and our mums the other week, and I was trying on some adorable loli boots. Unfortunately, I have HUUUUUUUUUUGE feet >_< I'm a size 8 (British size) which is pretty hard to find shoes for in the first place, but loli shoes T.T baaaaaaaaaad. So this pair of boots came up about a size and a half to small, which had me a bit depressed for a while. I'm going to Camden again on Saturday with another friend, and I'm going to try on some more classic maryjanes and see if they fit. Mostly out of curiosity o.o

Um, what else... hmm, I think I'll leave the rest for another post so I don't run myself out of things to talk about ^-~

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Ahhhhhhh!!! Such a long time!!!

Oh. My. God!!!
It's Chiru here, and I just HAVE to apologise for being absent for like... a year? Maybe less, maybe more >_<
I recently got a blogger account of my own so I can write fully formed posts and not just DA journal entries. Chiru-chan's Wonderland covers; cosplay, lolita, anime, manga, video games, photoshoots, cons, and other random stuff to do with those things! But, after posting for like, 3 days in a row on that one I remember that maybe I should pay some attention to Chiruda and Ritoru's Adventures in Loliland... so, screwing my lolita head back on again I shall write a post for this blog!!!
Oh, and FOLLOWERS!!!!!!! WE NEEEEEED THEM!!!!!!! Both on this account and mine!!!! So go follow 'Chiru-chan's Wonderland' as well!!!! THANKIEZ!!!!

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