Local Inspiration

  Hopefully, I’ll soon be heading to downtown McAllen to gather some inspiration. I’ll be taking my notebook along to jot down some quick ideas.

  My goal is to make a compilation of the things that I’m generally interested in so that I can create my own unique style within that of Japanese street fashion.

  Does anyone have any suggestions such as stores, accessories, or things for which I should keep my eye out? I would also love to hear in what fashion genre you’re interested and what you do when searching for an outfit to expand your wardrobe.

Blogging Subjects- Help is Here(Hopefully)

  I’ve hit a wall- one that refuses to collapse unless I bring in Mr.Gorbachov or the Hulk; either way, I hit the point in my “blogging career” where inspiration isn’t a wide and flowing river, but a trickling stream that offers nothing but pity.

  We all come to this soon enough, now, what you do in response is what matters. If you decide to give up altogether, then that won’t get anything done; but if you try to find a solution, then you might hit the jackpot.

  Writing daily is a good practice, but for those busy folks, writing on occasion is alright, too.

  Writing ideas. Coming up with something to write and post isn’t always easy, so here are a few simple examples to set your mind at ease and give you a small helping hand.

  1.)Nature. Describe the scenery around you- it can help give your readers a feel of where you live, and can even bring you closer to them through possible similarities.

  2.)Childhood Reminiscence. Post something a little more personal- maybe a funny occasion when you were younger, something that you looked forward to, or even a heart-gripping story. You could write about your favorite pet, elementary school, or best friend.

  3.)Opinions. Start a discussion about technology, environmentalists, famous singers and actors, or anything with which you have a genuine interest.

  4.)Review Movies, Books, Etc. If you’ve read a book, seen a movie, listened to a song, or done a drawing or arts and crafts object, voice the description of it and state your likes and dislikes while trying not to give spoilers(unless you’ve included a spoiler warning).

  5.)Lists. You can never have too many lists. Lists… well, list, your likes and can be helpful for others who are searching for something. Make a list of the top 10 books you recommend for others to read and why, or do the same with any other topic. The length and subject is up to you.

  6.)Gathering Resources. Leave feedback on other Blogger’s posts and ask for advice. Read their posts and study the topics that they cover, why they do so, and how they format it. Everyone has a different style, but looking at their way of doing things might inspire you to make some changes or write about something new.

  7.)Facts. Not all blogs are educational, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t post random facts like why flamingos are pink and other things.

  8.)Awareness. Not everyone has time to watch the news in the morning, listen to the radio, or even pick up a newspaper. Watching the news and writing down the important and current events can help keep others up to date, and make you a semi-journalist.

  9.)Cultural Studies. If there’s a country or culture that you’re fascinated with, do a little research and post about that. Let others know about India, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, China, Spain, or any place that you like. It doesn’t have to be a full-on report. Just include some common facts, maybe photos, why you like this place, the system of currency, or some unknown facts and opinions.

  10.)Target: Stomach. A lot of people love cooking, and eating the food that’s cooked. Jotting down clear steps to making a dish that you like or want to try can appeal to a great deal of people and give you something to write about.

  11.)Secret Talent. Maybe you have something that you’re really good at. Don’t keep it all to yourself. If you’re talented, be proud and tell people.

  12.)Everyday. Write about your day- why it was good, why it was bad, what the weather was like, if you met anyone new, what you did that made you smile, anything and everything that happens to you in a single day.

  13.)Arts and Crafts. Share D.I.Y(Do It Yourself) projects that you liked and want other to know about. Explain the hard or easy process and be sure to tell everyone how to do it and how it turned out, whether it was a failure or a success.

  14.)Quotations. Quote things from others- famous or not- that go with your mood, style, or anything else.

  15.)Support. Share information about a charity or at-home-cause that really calls to you. Include things like what they’re supporting, how to help the cause, other social media pages to follow, like, contact, etc., and what you can do to help.

  16.)Dreamland. Dreams can either be weird, or completely normal; then again, our thoughts on what normal actually is varies. Describe a dream that you had(old or new) that you want to share. Cover the dream itself and how you acted when you woke up.

  17.)It’s a Drabble. A Drabble is a short, fictional post of only 100 words. It’s a good challenge for writers and those who are interested in writing, and it helps the mind. You can create an account at Drablr.com.

  18.)Shopping Hauls. Focus on what arrived in the mail or was bought at a store. Clothing, jewelry, any accessories, shoes, art supplies, you hobby supplies- use your stuff at a shopping session and share with your readers. There’s Miss A, eBay, Amazon, Milanoo, Goodwill, Barnes and Noble, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, h.Naoto, Hot Topic, and so many other hauls.

  19.)Faith. Religion. Share your beliefs and what you think is right.

  That’s all I have for now. Hopefully this served its purpose and I’ve lit a fire under you. Good luck, and happy hunting fellow bloggers and readers.

D.I.Y. Denim Projects

  Do you have an old pair of pants laying around? Maybe they don’t fit, are way too faded, or your love for them has simply vanished. Instead of throwing them away, and if you’re not planning on giving them to someone else because of sentimental value, why not cut them up and use them to make other cool things?

  I had a pair of denim pants that didn’t fit anymore(they were high water), so I got my sewing kit out and went to work.

  Phone case. Materials: 1.)Needle and thread(preferably a color that matches your pants), 2.)Old jeans, 3.)A phone, and 4.)Scissors(fabric would be best, but since I didn’t have any, I used regular).

  Step 1: Cut a piece of fabric large enough to fold over your phone, leaving about an inch or so on each side. You can also try something else: Cut two symmetrical pieces of fabric and leave an inch of space on each side.

  Step 2: If you cut a large piece that folds over, make sure that your phone is placed on the inside-out part. If you cut two pieces, place the phone in the center.

  Step 3: Begin sewing. When you’re sewing, leave some space between the edge of the fabric and the phone. Don’t sew directly beside the phone, but don’t put too much space. Whether you’re using one or two pieces, leave the top open and don’t sew it. Use your phone as a guideline.

  Step 4: Cut off the excess fabric on all sides, mindful not to cut too near the thread, otherwise it might unravel(so you have to leave some space). Take the phone out and turn your pocket right-side out so that you can see the darker part that you normally see on pants.

  You’re done! Add other things to it that will be your own design, if you want. I’m sorry that I couldn’t show the step-by-step pictures, but here’s my turn out.

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The “RGV Lolita” Group

  While at Omnicon, I attended a panel, or seminar, about Japanese Street Fashion which covered Decora and some Visual Kei, then gravitated toward the Lolita fashion. I was very impressed by the three representatives of the “RGV Lolita” group that directed the Power Point and gave all of beginning Lolitas easy hints and tips on how to start off in that category.

  They have a Facebook group especially for those Lolitas in the Rio Grande Valley, which is at the tip of Texas, that currently has 61 members, myself included. They gather and meet monthly to discuss small events and other gatherings, trade clothes and buy and sell garments as well, have a tea party, and trade any advice that they’ve acquired.

  I’m very excited to be a part of something that has others who are interested in the same “odd” things that I am when it comes to Japanese fashion. If you live in the Rio Grande Valley and are interested in or are already Lolita, I suggest checking out their Facebook group.

“DETAILED” Coverage on the Visual Kei Fashion Statement

  This is my second post about the ever-popular subject that has spread from the proud nation of Japan to many other countries, cultures, and ethnicities around that brightly colored globe: VISUAL KEI– complete with the in-depth secrets, tips, and examples of clothing and jewelry that will draw you into this vast category of fashion.

  The problem with most blogs or informative articles(I mean no harm or offense to your trusted sources, whatever they might be) displayed on the internet such as “WikiHow” and “Yahoo!Answers” is always the exact same thing. That, sadly enough, would be actual examples of the clothing in action!

  Sure, there are pretty helpful 12 step tips out there waiting for you to read them– I’ve read my fair share of “How to be Visual Kei” and “How to Dress Visual Kei” articles– but they’ll likely leave you with a load of important questions that just have to be answered.

  In case you haven’t read anything like this, I’ll provide you with a four-step example of a vague, and somewhat useless informative paragraph below in bold.

  “How to Dress Visual Kei– 4 steps” 1.)Visual Kei involves dark colors, unless you’re involved with Kote Kei, also known as Kote Kote Kei, 2.)You should be creative, 3.)Add lots of jewelry, 4.)Be fun.

  If you’re an intuitive person, these four simple steps could easily provide you with all/any information you need to jump right into your closet and throw a bold, layered, and sometimes complex outfit together; however, if you’re not that kind of person, then you might need an example or two.

  Now, to those of you who have the mentality that you have to copy any outfits or accessories I present to, there’s no need to fret– it’s just an example. Just because I may like and suggest cross jewelry doesn’t mean you must buy necklaces or bracelets. It’s all about you, yourself, and your preferences.

  Nails. Nail art isn’t for everyone, and there’s by no means anything wrong with fake nails. Depending on your fashion sense and how extreme you might be, nail art will always vary. If you were gloves, you might not want to paint your nails. Half-gloves expose your fingers– they might also come in handy if you live in a really hot region, like gloves and want to tie it into your look, and don’t want to have a heat stroke.
If you like cutesy nails, something like this has variety AND can easily match black, white, red, pink, and brown articles of clothing or any accessories you may want to wear.

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If sophisticated or gothic nails are to your liking, then maybe something like this would be for you.

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There are MANY different types of nail designs, feel free to pick out some that you like or paint them however you wish. Remember, there’s no right or wrong in Visual Kei.

  Accessories: Rings. While I like to designate at least two rings to each hand, you might not like that many, or any at all. The color of any gem ring doesn’t have to match your outfit. Chain rings, flowers, skulls, crosses, whatever you’re comfortable with displaying on your fingers.

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  Necklaces. Chokers are very popular amongst many people, and not all have spikes. If that type of jewelry isn’t your style, then try something calmer, like a chain or maybe a heart. Whatever goes, and if you want to put together a matching outfit, then keep in mind the basic color pallet you’ve given yourself. You can wear more than one necklace, or none at all. One is fine, too.

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  Bracelets. There are all types of wrist wear. Crystal, chain, latch, ribbon, beaded, weaved, all are various styles for you to find and try out. Adding a bracelet might give you an extra splash of color to show your style, or you could just like that particular piece of jewelry.

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  Earrings. If you don’t have any piercings on your ears, and either don’t want to get one or aren’t allowed, clip-on earrings are an option. If you have the standard piercings(which would be the ones on both of the earlobes) then choose some earrings that you like and go nuts. There’s nothing the matter with mismatched earrings, either. For those of you with “cartilage” piercings(this is a piercing on the upper part of your ear), using ball earrings is more common, or a miniature hoop. Cuff earrings are also in demand, though not necessary. Below is a diagram of the different types of earrings available to those who want/are allowed to have their ears pierced as they please.

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  Clothing: Your Visual Kei inspirations. Start off by looking up some people who’re also into Visual Kei. They don’t have to be famous, but someone widely known such as a Visual Kei band would be a great inspirational source. Thoroughly examine their various outfits, jewelry, hairstyle, and makeup to get a good feel of the general air. Take the band member “Uruha” of “The GazettE” as one of the simpler and more basic role models.

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Making the outfit may be difficult for those of us on a limited budget, but if you can afford to go ALL out, then I won’t stop you from ordering this from Cosplay sites in Japan, or even showing a picture of this to a professional who can make a replica; however, if you can’t afford the whole thing, there’s no need to fear, the solution is simple. Let’s say that you love this outfit and wish to own it or at least something almost exactly alike.
1.)Break down the outfit. As you can see, he’s wearing a black, straight laced corset over a black, collared button down shirt. He’s also wearing similarly colored pants, and a white vest outlined with black. Amazon offers a wide variety of half-corsets, white vests, and black blouses. Also, you can see a spikey bracelet on one of his wrists, accompanied by another bracelet with long pieces of string cascading down.
2.)Do research. Look up websites where the products are guaranteed as shown. Make sure you check every place, including stores near you. Remember, it doesn’t have to be exactly the same. What works for one of your inspirations might not work on you the same way. Be flexible. Read comments about the store or online store your visiting to make sure that the quality is good.
3.)Be patient. A lot of people are impatient and want the whole outfit at the same time. But you’ll probably have to acquire a “copied” outfit piece-by-piece over some period of time. Save up and spend wisely.

  Hair: Needed materials. Have you dreamed of having that messy, layered hair look? Find a picture of a hairstyle you like and show it to a barber or stylist you have faith in. Explain each detail of this style carefully and wait for them to finish. You’ll need a whole long list of things, depending on your choice: brushes, combs, dyes, gels, hair sprays, flat irons, curling irons, and hairpins. Taking care of your hairstyle is a commitment– you may even have to spend an extra hour or two in the mornings to get it exactly the way you want it. If you happen to get lazy, you still have a layered haircut to fall back on.

  Highlights. These will most definitely give you a desired look; but the downside to highlights is having to get them done almost every other week. Hair that has enhanced coloring will need special care. Temporary dye is also an option. It washes off when you shower, so you can have streaks of red, blue, purple, green, or whatever “hair chalk” or temporary dyes you have or like for a day.

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  Makeup: What you’ll want to have at your disposal. This is also a lengthy list– but it’ll pay off. Blush, eyeliners, eye shadows, lipsticks, foundation, powders, mascara, glosses, and lip liners.
Below, I’ll provide you with two pictures that help as examples.

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  Just match anything you want, refer to famous or nonfamous people, be yourself, and have fun with it. For any questions that you may have about anything relating to Visual Kei that I didn’t answer or you want specified, leave a question here or if you have Tumblr, my user name is the same as this website: ThatHelpfulPerson.

  I hope that this blog helped you and answered any questions you have/had.

Visual Kei- All the Categories and Tips

  Visual Kei– when referring to the musical aspect, it covers various genres, but resorts to mainly heavy metal, glam rock, and punk rock.

  On to the “visual” part of Visual Kei. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, and accessories, all are very important aspects of this popular cultural significance.

  First, we’ll go step by step through the explanation and process.

  Makeup. Depending on what level of visualization we’re talking about, the makeup will vary, though not by much extremity. The makeup will consist of a light foundation(and if you would like to achieve a pale look, then I suggest skin lighteners) of about one or more layers, eyeliner, eye shadow, and lipstick. Usually, darker colors will be used; blacks, browns, and deep reds are basic. However, lighter colors may be used.

  Hair. Flamboyant, messy, long, short, blond(e), pink, blue, curly– it all goes. The style of hair is normally very choppy, with numerous layers of different lengths, and sometimes even colors. Sometimes it’s parted to one side, with the ear exposed. This can be done by simply cutting strands of hair to a length just above the ear.

  Accessories. Part of this appealing category depends less heavily upon rings, necklaces, chokers, nail art, fake glasses, hair clips, bracelets, jewels, piercings, etc. A wide array of things may be used to enhance the look.

  Wardrobe. Very flippant clothes are used. Dark clothing, customized shoes, and striking blouses are a few examples.

  Subgenres. “Visual Kei” has many different branches, some influenced by lolita goth, a popular version of goth that consists of an alternative cutesy style with all the morbidity and black color. Both have influenced each other in some way.

  The first category is known as “Angura Kei”, which is characterized by more traditional clothing. It’s from the time of about 1960. Kimonos are frequently used.

  “Eroguro Kei” puts its focus on eroticism, sexual corruption, and decadence. Although many people associate it with an inappropriate subject, “Guro Kei”(the shortened name for this category) actually depicts things more on a bloody, gore-filled scale.

  “Kote Kei” apparently consists of the following idea and/or goal: seeking the bizarre. Blood, roses, crosses, and corruption are the known imaging.

  “Oshare Kei” is a much lighter form of the usual Visual Kei preferences which includes neon colored clothing, very light makeup(if any such as eyeliner and face paints), and happy messages in songs. Bright colors are used in the hair, as well as different colored contacts.

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Black Butler, My Artwork

  Hello to every Black Butler fan out there. I really do love drawing, as you may already tell by the topic I’ve chosen. While I can’t come up with my own works, I can look at a picture and copy it down without any kind of tracing or help from anything other than my skills and pencil or pen.

  I would like to share these with you, and ask what your opinions about them are.

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{Sebastian Michaelis.}

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{Ash Landers.}

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{Ronald Knox.}