- chiliad. A thousand years. Or simply the number 1000.
- bonkers. A very bouncy word for “insane”.
- nimbiert. Adjective for someone with a halo. German. Derives from the latin word for halo, nimbus.
- ventriloquist. A person able to throw their voice. From Latin venter (stomach) and loqui (to speak).
- firmament. The canopy the sky was believed to form over our world. In this form used in French, German and English.
This was a hard one. I wanted five examples for each category at first but changed my goal into three when I noticed that five would never happen (and I still needed months). My main problem was that my definition of Mori mixes with my definition of Lolita quite a lot, so most of the things I could think of were ones that I have mentioned before.
10 – what are your favorite books? do you think they’re mori or not?
- The Brambly Hedge by books by Jill Barklem are some of my all-time favourites and something I’d call mori, even though they are quite something for Lolita, too. The stories are so full with mice and candied violets and houses in trees and picnics, they have to be mori!
- Life on Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren is less wood and more sea, but I’d nevertheless call it a mori-able book.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, another one I’ll always love. I’d even go as far as to say that one could see Mary Lennox as the original Mori Girl, even though nobody knew back then.
11 – name 3 of your favorite mori girl style songs or musicians, even if they’re not explicitly “mori.”
Is there actually music that is “explicitly mori”?
- Loreena McKennitt, one of my favourite artists ever. I seem to mention her here often, I fear, but I simply love her.
- Patrick Wolf, who sees himself in some sort of Irish bardic tradition. My favourite piece of his music is The Tinderbox.
- Blanche, a Southern Gothic inspired alternative country band. I discovered them by luck some years ago and have taken a liking to their haunting style. I especially like this recording of their So long cruel World.
12 – What films, if any, inspire your mori girl look and life?
One thing I read about Mori rather often was that the character Hagu from Honey & Clover was kind of “the original” Mori Girl. Which is a little bit confusing as there are not only the initial manga and anime, but also a live-action film adaption and not only one but two additional live-action dramas, one from Japan and one from Taiwan.
As most dramas are rather unnerving I watched the anime, and I even noticed that I had started reading the manga some years ago.
Hagu ist nothing of a Mori Girl. At least not the original Hagu. She’s a 18-year old that looks and acts like a (rather annoying and sociopath) 9-year old. Actually, this character managed to ruin the entire – otherwise quite fun and absurd – anime for me. I dare say I was rather baffled, if not disappointed, and didn’t even make the attempt to watch further that the fist two episodes. Maybe it gets better later, but if a series can’t get me with the first two episodes, it’s simply not for me. She might be a Mori Girl in one of the live-action adaptions after all that I’ve seen from clips, though.
So much for my two pennies worth on one of the Mori Girl moving picture staples, sorry for the bit of bitterness. But now: on to the list!
- My Neighbor Totoro is so centered about woodland spirits that it was the first one that sprung to mind.
- Chocolat, one of the rare occasions that I liked the film even though it differed from the book. The atmosphere of the story is lovely, the costumes are wonderful and I always like things related to patîsseries and chocolateries.
- The Secret Garden, again. Even though I only advise you to watch it if you’ve read the book, as they mixed it up a little.
My holiday were divided in three parts: I spent Christmas Eve down at my grandmother’s place together with my grand-aunt and my mother having rather usual and not so very festive dinner, on 25th I had Yule Breakfast with my mother after which we went for our traditional walk, which was a little more like the holidays should be with two sorts of cake for breakfast, boiled eggs and tea, but the most awesome and appropriate part of this year’s Christmas was when Jules and I celebrated together on Boxing Day our style.
Jules arrived in the afternoon (sadly Ludwig couldn’t come to accompany Hollis, as he was otherwise engaged), so we decided to take our tea first and then have the gift giving. As mentioned in the post title everything was a little bit makeshift – from the decoration to the choice of the table cloth to even my skirt wich isn’t really finished yet but I had to wear it!
Or whole table and setting had something of a children’s make-believe or pretend tea party about it, and we fully embraced this A Little Princess style.
As we went on to the gift-giving, I gave Jules a T-shirt with a glittery green ドラマ おしましょ! (jap. dorama oshimashiyo – Let’s make drama!, an idea by the Scoundrel) print and two packs of sequins to complete it to his liking (that’s why there isn’t any picture yet) while I got wonderful orange-yellow-ish striped arm and leg warmers with amber embellishments from him (no picture yet, too). As most of the time with Jules and I the things fitted the taste of the respective other quite well, and I was relieved to see how much he loved the shirt! He even bragged about it in the most cute and adorable way to Scoundrel when the latter called later in the evening.
We retreated to the kitchen to prepare our dinner and even had the starter – puff pastry squares with grated cheese – there. Our main course was a rural (given that my mother’s house could be seen as my country cottage ^^) combination of cob slice omelette and button mushrooms à la Provence au jus de vin rouge et citron, not so bad for makeshift, especially when you know how to make your menu card fit your mood.
Our dessert was a crème of yoghurt with ginger honey and cob nuts again…,
… and then it was time for christmas crackers! Jules had never had one before, so it was some kind of a must. My mother used to make them herself when I was little and I continued this tradition yesterday.
I had grabbed the tastes-like-diabetes “Best Friends” key chain unicorns during Jules’ and my trip to town on 23rd. The glitter was something I had in my really small craft stock at my old room, as well as the cardboard for the crowns and the marbles. Makeshift again, but nevertheless incredibly fun. Maybe I’ll even manage to get the crackers ready in time and with a bit more design to them next year!
I hope you had equally great holidays with your friends and families and made it well through the ranges of dinner, biscuits, puddings and pies.
Disclaimer: Usually I’m someone who doesn’t post twice a day. And originally this post was meant for yesterday, but I was too busy to finish is, and anyway, it’s the holidays, and about everything is special during these days. Oh, and I tried to incorporate all brand names in the text at first, it’s horrible. You’ll find the polyvores when you click the respective pictures, which is far more convenient.
I haven’t done a Porcelain Sunday in ages! Well, today won’t be one, but there are inspiring pieces and matching outfits, so it is pretty much the same. Two of my very favouite holiday pictures, and very different ones, too.
Barbie in The Nutcracker
I love the original ballet. I love Tchaikovsky’s music. I love the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann. But I must admit, the version I hold dear most is – right – the Barbie picture. It’s not animated that well and has an incredible amount of not-sticking-to-neither-tale-nor-ballet, but so incredibly sugary and sweet, a very depiction of the Sugar Plum Fairy herself. Whenever I’m sad and need comfort that feels like a marshmellow but without the calories, I turn to this movie.
- Dress: With the Sugar Plum Fairy theme I decided to go for something between Classic and Sweet Lolita. The dress represents the more classic and festive side. I also wanted to go for hues of plum instead of pink in contrary to the movie. The dress has a nice mid-19th -century feel about it thanks to the bell sleeves and the flap at the back (the original story was written at the beginning of the century, though). Also, the skirt looks quite light due to the pale colour which also is a notion and quality we associate with ballet costumes.
- Blouse and Skirt (and Corset): I chose the blouse mainly chose it for the rich, reddish plum colour. While the classic version of my Sugar Plum Fairy interpretation balances the parts of blue and red equally, the more sweet take is more on the red side. The Skirt is Alice and the Pirate’s Twilight Circus, a print that I like quite much. It shows stage performances (kind of) without turning directly to ballet. In relatiom to the Barbie picture I’d link the motives to the sweets-inspired supporting characters. The corset I put in mainly as an additional piece and another block of colour to the blouse. I think it’s pretty and I already used it back in my Ero Lolita Matching Monday.
- Headdresses: The alice band with the large round lace piece which in my head belongs to the classic side strongly reminds me of another Tchaikovsy ballet, Swan Lake (there’s a Barbie adaption of this, too, by the way, but here I’m more of a Princess Tutu fan ^^), where the leading lady often wears a headdress (on both sides of the head) made of white feathers in a rounded shape (a bit tangled, this sentence, isn’t it…). Plus, it looks like something sweet covered in layers of cream to me. The oldschool headdress was a choice of heart in this case, I just like the style.
- Tights: Lacy ones, but striped ones would have been great with these outfits, too. The main point is to choose something light and sugary.
- Bag: It’s far too expensive even for Lolita, but I liked the shape so much. Something shaped like sweets could be nixe, too, and again it’s a pastel pink/ plum shade.
- Shoes: The fur-trimmed rain boots with Art Nouveau artwork are meant for the dress, while the Neosens 20s style shoes are for the sweet version. Of course it could be the other way as well, but I liked the contrast of the pale blue of the low Ludwig heels with the more red-toned rest of the outfit. It also matches the bolero jacket I thought nice with the plum blouse.
- Accessoires: For jewelry I took things that had either to do with ballet or with sugar. There are so many sweets-themed accessoires out there, one can’t even count. The heart-shape cutout gloves are of the same brand as the purse, and I thought they would make a neat addition together with the parasol.
A much darker tale is Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather. A beloved Yultide classic in my inner circle since its release and the book wonderful per se (it’s Discworld) Hogfather tells the story of Hogswatch eve events mostly settled in Ankh-Morpork revolving around Susan Sto-Helit, Death’s (adoptive) granddaughter, Bilious, the Oh God of Hangovers and several other very unique characters. Actually it’s a bit like Charles Dickens with a dark fantasy twist. With the coordinate I aimed for something between dark Victorian/ Classic Lolita and very wild and strong Mori Girl.
- Dress and Blouse: I wanted to incorporate the dress in a coordinate ever since I saw it first. It’s exceptionally versatile and can become everything with the right accessoires. Rather plain to match Susan’s current profession as a “kind of Goth Mary Poppins” (Terry’s words) it works as a base for the other pieces of the outfit rather than as a piece for itself. The blouse is one of my favourites, and I mainly used it as it is winter and I wouldn’t go out without sleeved with that weather.
- Jacket: Even with the Hogfather theme I wanted a bit of Victorian decadence in this coordinate. The elaborate fabric with a flowery woven-in pattern and the puffed long sleeves made it perfect for the cause.
- Hats and Scarves: Here’s the wild compound for the theme. I decided to go for a brown and a grey version. (Faux) Fur is a perfect way to incorporate something either very aristocratic (advised for Lolita) or very strong and primal (Mori, rather) into your outfits, depending on glossyness, texture and colour.
- Ruffle Collar: A break from the toughness of the fur elements, the ruffles fall softly and ad a more usual sense of Mori Girl to the outfit, feminine and elegant, yet not too shiny and perfect.
- Accessoires: I know, I know. It’s Hogfather, not Deerfather, but I really couldn’t find anything wild boar-related. Things with antlers, on the contrary, are quite easily found, and do transport the right feeling, too. H&M for example has cute antler-shaped rings at the moment (which sadly didn’t fit on my fingers, but as I don’t really wear rings often, it’s not that much of a loss).
- Shoes: The granny boots are a hint on Susan’s occupation as a nanny again. The brown colour way seemed nicer with the brown fur set and the black one with grey, so I used both.
I solemnly vow to deck the halls and be jolly,
To party like I never partied before,
To dress and feel as festive as possible,
Not to be quiet and demure,
To scare away the demons and hardships my family had to endure,
To troll my carols loud and clear.
I solemnly vow to celebrate the return of the light into a dark world.
I vow to have the best Yuletide ever, someday.
I thought it would never come. I got myself into some kind of Yuletide spirit at last yesterday evening and finished three of four presents that had to be ready until Christmas Eve and went to bed thinking that at least I was in the right mood now, even if my fairytale town wasn’t.
I had an exam today, so I woke up quite early this morning. It was still dark outside, but though the gaps of my curtains I saw something waft down the street outside, something white…
The last two pictures are from my campus, isn’t it beautiful?
- Paper Days of Christmas, a project where the artists of Paperbicycle add a new pattern for a Christmas ornament on each Advent Sunday and several designs in the following week. I especially love the first one, but second and third are cute, too. And of course I’m looking forward to the very last one…
- Once Upon a Blog, aka. The Fairy Tale News Blog, is a wonderful piece of online culture that provides me with all the information and details of upcoming movies, books, fashion and other creative projects related to fairy tales.
- Jane and the Dragon. Albeit a Canadian children’s TV series (or maybe because of this…) the tales about a girl who wants to be a knight are really charming and not as loaded with clichés as one could expect. It has moments of everybody shines, a great, folky theme song, and such cute fantasy designs, I just have to love it! You can watch the first episode here.
- Mistletoes. Who doesn’t love them? I wanted to hang the ones that my mother sent me over my bed to dry, but now they look so pretty in my Christmas bouquet that I can’t just take them away again.
- The Fair Adventure by Elizabeth Janet Gray. A girls book from the 1950s it tells the tale of 16-year-old Serena Page, youngest of the five McNeil children, searching for her way during a hot summer in her native town of Little Athens, Virginia. I loved how the author made the vintage South so real for me, and I loved the chaotic McNeil family. Somehow the book reminded me of Astrid Lindgren’s Britt-Mari (which was actually never translated into English, which is a shame), but I found the characters even more lively.
- The book swapping board at our supermarket. That’s actually where I found The Fair Adventure. And some other books of interest. And where I brought all the books I didn’t need anymore. My boards are still full, but I think there is another box I could spare.
- Canadian Smocking. My grandmother has a Canadian smocked pillow on her sofa, and I always admired it. Now Burda has given me the right tutorial to copy it for my own bed!
- Cellophane biscuit bags. I didn’t make any biscuits this year (yet), but I got me the bags. I love the rustling of the thin plastic, and mine have golden stripes or stars respectively.
- Brandi Milne. Teli made me the cutest Christmas card ever (I’ve got to get a bit of string to hang my cards across the room just like we do at home) with a motif from Brandi’s portfolio site. She’s got a good amount of gory, bloody and creepy, but some of her designs are downright cute and beautiful. I could also imagine her pictures as tattoos very well, some of them simply scream “have me inked all over your body” to me.
- Whole-grain bread with chocolate spread. It’s like a snack bar, but healthier, cheaper and tastier.
And the winner of my first illustrations giveaway is… Maéra aka. Orkmädchen. Congratulations!
Just write me a PM on Natron & Soda to tell me your address, and the pictures will be sent immediately.
For those who didn’t win, there will definitely be a next time. I had so much fun drawing the illustrations and am feeling so honoured that you wanted them, how couldn’t I repeat a giveaway like this? Thank you all so much for participating!
Last week I received a parcel from my mother, just in time for Saint Nicholas Day. I’d jokingly complained earlier that Bambi receives parcels from his parents several times in a year, and she was so wonderful to send me one, too, how sweet of her!
She covered everything in small fir branches and mistle toe twigs. I love mistle toes, and so does she. A really fond childhood memory of mine is a big, dried mistle toe bushel hanging over her sofa.
Now these are in a jar on my window sill decorated with the straw star and raindeer she sent with them.
Also, she sent me beeswax candles. Those are another point on my “why I could never go vegan” list. There’s nothing like the scent of hot beeswax in a cold winter’s night.
And of course there were sweets in for me, too. Chocolate covered lebkuchen hearts, peanuts, walnuts and two little chocolate Santas, I guess the latter from my grandmother.
And just in time when Scoundrel started to read Moominpappa at Sea to me my Grandmother also gave me a very pretty cross-stitch bookmark:
I still have no advent calendar (and maybe I’m not even getting myself one this year, and we decided not to put the large one up), but this is just as wonderful.
By the way: I’ll take entries for the giveaway until midnight (GMT +1) today and will then draw the winner from my new hat! Good luck!