Friday, 7 September 2012

Tips for lolitas on a budget #1

Hi lovelies!

I wanted to write a little something before going to bed tonight and this subject came to my mind.
I myself am a lolita on a budget as I live alone and pay for everything. I figured I could be able to give some useful tips to those of you who suffer the same.

How to resist buying

The hardest about being on a budget in my opinion is to resist to the temptation of buying when you know you shouldn't. Countless times I've seen my dream dresses on EGL while I had no money at all. I've also made a lot of mistakes and bought things when I really couldn't do it. After making a few mistakes, I finally found some ways to resist the temptation.

Tip #1 - When I know I can't buy anything, I simply avoid EGL comm sales and lolita shops at all costs! If I can't see that my dream dress is there, I won't be tempted to buy it and I certainly won't regret not buying it if I don't know it was for sale in the first place.

Tips #2 - I found that taking the time to review all dresses from every brand/websites and making a new wishlist is quite fun and I can plan ahead what I'll be wanting to buy next. Planning your 'to buy' list in a down time is fun and it keeps you in touch with lolita even though you can't buy anything. The next time you'll have enough money to buy something you want, you'll know what you are searching for and also it will prevent you from buying things that aren't on your list.

Tip #3 -  I do am a compulsive buyer. I feel happy whenever I buy something, even if it's just food or everyday stuff like tooth paste or soap. So using the fact that I simply like buying things, I try to counter my need to buy lolita by going to dollar stores, thrift stores or cheap clothing stores and try to find some loliable items for great bargains. This satisfies my need to buy cute and fluffy things while not spending much at all. Sometimes I can just go out and buy Hello Kitty band aids or cute hairbows. I try to find things that I actually need, but in a cute version. I've come to buy less things than before over the months and am pretty satisfied about it.

That's mostly everything I can think about for now. It's pretty late now considering the hour I have to get up at tomorrow. I'll try to think about other tips I learned over the months about being on a budget and will probably write another part when I remember or learn new ones.

See you soon!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Otakuthon 2012

Hi guys!

I know it's been a while since the last time I posted something new. I've been really busy with my new job and had to take a bit of time to get accustomed to my new schedule (getting up at 4-5 am each work day and going to bed pretty early too). Then why is it  2 am when I am writing this? I've been having nightmares all night so I'm trying to change my mind and write my long overdue post about the convention I attended in early August. So here we go!

Otakuthon is one of the biggest anime/video game themed convention in Québec province. It takes place in Montréal and started a few years ago, in 2006 I think. I've been attending it since 2007 if I remember right. I never missed a year! Each year we get pretty excited about it and need to think way ahead about our cosplays. It takes a lot of preparation and money each year. This year was a bit unfortunate since I couldn't get any pocket money on the side for the occasion. I fortunately had the chance to buy all the materials for the cosplay I was making myself but after that I was forced to quit my job and didn't work for 3 months. It was very hard to live in these conditions but at least I was happy I had a project to work on and a big event to look forward.

So this year was my first time making a cosplay myself! I used to order them online but this particular one was too expensive for the quality (in my opinion). They only had it on HelloCosplay for 160$ bucks without shipping... I wasn't ready to pay that much for the cheap plastic armor that was coming with it. So I decided to buy a sewing machine and make it myself!

These are the 2 characters I was cosplaying this year:

Neku Sakuraba from the game The World Ends with You on Nintendo DS.
I ordered this one online.

And the one I made was Ryner Lute from the anime The Legend of the Legendary Heroes.
 This is the one I made myself.

I loved my experience with the sewing machine! I felt very proud when I finished my cosplay since I self-thaught myself the entire time. I didn't know how to use a sewing machine before creating this cosplay and learned while making it. For a first try I guess it does look good. But it isn,t really sturdy though... especially the armor and leather parts that I have to redo if I plan to wear it a second time.

So on with the convention!

Otakuthon takes place in the Palais des Congrès of Montréal. The first year I attended was the time when it began to take place there. Before it was much smaller. But since now it is really big, we even miss some place there! This year we were around 9000 to 10000 people to attend according to what O heard... and what I saw too! It was so crowded. We hope they'll open new places around next year so some things take place in different buildings too, a bit like Anime North (in Toronto).

This is one of the banners for the event:

I'll try my best to remember everything that happened in the 4 days (we went to get our tickets on Thursday before the convention, which was Friday, Saturday and Sunday).


It was again pretty hot outside but I still wanted to dress lolita that day. We needed to get our tickets and also wanted to go to Chinatown a bit (it's right next to the place Otakuthon is situated).

I made a quick coord for my Vanilla-chan jsk and headed out with my friend to downtown/Chinatown. As predicted. the subway ride seemed like being in hell. Those 4 days were planning to be so hot, we knew it'd be hard to survive in heavy cosplays on Saturday. So we went to Chinatown first since we were waiting for a friend to finish work. She was only finishing at 5 pm so we had plenty of time to go around. While going out, we were asked by a kind man to do a small interview for him. He told us he was the creator of Cosplay in America. He asked me about how the loliuta fashion is percived here and a lot about the city's view on lolita and otaku stuff mostly. It was a nice chat, my friend and I were pleased that he asked us for the interview. While nothing was used in his videos, it was still a great experience. He did put us in the video about Otakuthon, but we aren,t really talking... I will tell you later ahah.

While walking around Chinatown, I discovered a very lovely shop called Kawaii. They sell Hello Kitty and Japanese/Korean imported cute goodies and clothes. They are less expensive than buying them online (if you include shipping) so I was very happy to get my hands on a few things. I don't have a picture unfortunately, but I can still tell you what I got! I bought a sentimental circus mouse pad since mine was dead a long time ago and I also bought a fan with the elephant from the same series. I don't recall buying anything else since I wanted to go to the Chinese bakery too. I got myself a few mochis and pastries, everything was so good! I'm a fan of the 2 bakeries that are in Chinatown, they make the best/cheapest pastries and breads that I know of!

We finally got our tickets when our friend arrived and we even met one of my lolita friends a bit before. We talked a bit, got our friend's ticket (since we already had ours) and went home. We tried our hands at baking Dangos since they are very popular in the anime we planned to cosplay on Saturday. It was pretty hard since we didn't have rice flour (I didn't think of buying it in Chinatown) and they don't sell it in my local groceries. After struggling for maybe an hour or 2, the dangos were finally ready! It was so messy everywhere, as you can tell.

And thus the first day ended... with a bit of drama caused by a girl on Facebook who mistook me for a guy on the picture Cosplay in America took of me that afternoon. I look so manly in my Angelic Pretty dress... of course! XD

Everything ended well though.


Friday (first day)

That day was beginning pretty late (at 5 pm). We still decided to go there earlier because we were so excited!

We were cosplaying Neku Sakuraba and Beat from the game I mentioned previously. We didn't do much mostly everyday, but we did take a lot of personal pictures! We did about 2 photoshoot of our cosplays and it was very fun to experiment with the cameras! Neither of us had much money for the 3 days so we didn't spend that much time in the dealer's room. The most we spent was that day though. I bought a Ao No Exorcist wallscroll and the 2 Cétacia books our friend has written. We asked her to sign them for us too. She was sitting next to Cosplay in America's table so we also talked to him a bit more. He filmed us playing with his squeaky burger toy... which is why I prefer not showing the video XD

After going around for a few hours and taking a lot of pictures, we went home. I realised then that I had forgotten my precious wallscroll in the ladies bathroom... It was very expensive for a wallscroll but I had wanted it since the last convention I went to so I still bought it despite it being 20$ versus 13$ in Chinatown. This particular image wasn't available in Chinatown, hence why I bought it for that price. But now that I had lost it I needed to spend twice the money on it. That's why I couldn't buy much this year. Nobody had bring it to the lost objects of course... I'm still happy I bought it again Saturday though, it does look good on my wall.

Here are a few pictures we took that day.

And these are the pictures of ourselves we took that day:

Saturday (day 2)

This day was the hardest to survive through. We had very heavy and warm cosplays and it was around 42 celcius outside. Needless to say that we had a bad time riding the subway to the con.

My costume somehow accumulated humidity (no it wasn't sweat) and I ended up spending half the day with the chest plate section of my cosplay completely wet. It wasn't very fun to move around like this. And my boots were really not fit to walk long periods. I ended up with very large blisters all over my feet. You can see that day wasn't the best.

Since it was very hot pretty much everywhere inside, we took our time and did very few things. We shopped a bit, watched a few animes in the projection rooms. I almost hadn't slept that night so I ended up sleeping a bit everywhere XD It's funny because my character had the reputation to take naps everywhere and be very lazy... I had no problem being in character! I bought my wallscroll again along with some goodies made by artists. I didn't buy much that day because it was hard to take out my money with my cosplay in the way. We took a lot of pictures using the colored glass for effects. We were also allowed to use the stairs by one of the security guards so we were able to do more experiments with the camera. That part was very funny and we had a great time!

We also attended a bit of the concert that was going on with the singer of the opening of Neon Genesis Evangelion. She was so cute and nice. Japanese artists are so different from American artists, I really prefer Japanese singers, they are so polite and respectful. I enjoyed her attitude and voice of course. I filmed 2 of the songs, I will post the youtube video I made out of the convention at the end of the post so you can go see the filmed parts too if you wish.

Here are some pictures we took of other cosplayers:

 And here are some of the pictures we took of ourselves:

 This last one is particular. I used photoshop brushes to create an effects so that we look like we're using magic. I don't have the magic circles from the series, but the effect is similar I think.

Sunday (day 3)

That was the last day of the con. We did a bit more stuff than the previous 2 days and saw a concert of video game music. They are a local orchestra and they are really good! They even sang sometimes like in the main theme of Skyrim and the main theme from Halo. There also were a singer and guitarists that were invited to play with them. We filmjed almost everything but I ran out of batteries and memory and my friend ran out of memory at the same time that my camera died. So the last songs aren't complete... I didn't post them yet on youtube but will do soon.

So that day we shopped a bit more since it was the last day and walked around more too. We took again a lot of pictures in the form of a mini photoshoot and met some nice people. We met a few cosplayers of the same video game as us and took pictures together.

Here is the last bit of pictures that we took that day:


I think that sums up about everything that happened at this year's Otakuthon. I'm pretty excited about next year too! Since we weren't really noticed this year even with our big cosplays, we plan on cosplaying flashy characters for 2013 :P I'll be cosplaying Rin Okumura from Ao No Exorcist and my friend will be Mephisto Pheles from the same series. For the blue flames effect on Rin I'll be using blue LED lights along with electric blue fur. I can't wait to begin to work on it!

I went to a Star Wars exposition last week and I took a lot of pictures so my next post will probably be about that. Sorry for not posting anything lolita lately, but that should come back soon! I always avoid EGL and lolita when I don't have money to avoid spending uselessly so that's why I've been away from lolita lately. But since I have a job now, I think I'll be able to come back soon to the lolita world!

Here's the video I made about Otakuthon:


Thanks for reading!
See you soon!