A lake in winter is always a peculiar thing, except when frozen over. Sadly, we were too late this time, but the mood there was just too fine to be left unpictured.
13 – name 5 mori girl style hobbies!
- Growing your own food. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, a balcony large enough or appropriate window sills, that is (sadly I have none of these at the moment). My mother is planning to start gardening in spring so I’ll be able to visit and help her and get my fair share of this mori-style hobby soon!
- Working with wool, be it spinning, knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting or even sewing things from felt. You can make your own one-of-a-kind mori clothes and accessoires, and I wish my knitting and crocheting skills were a bit higher. Spinning is also a neat hobby if you have to go by train a lot: you can always take a hand spindle and some raw wool with you.
- Drawing, just like Beatrix Potter. Aquarelles and pencil sketches are the most mori-able kinds of making art in my opinion, and they are both used to depict things from the outsides – like in botanical drawings or animal scribbles. Ink could be quite nice, too.
- Climbing and exploring, maybe hiking with friends, old school style. I’d love to do this one day, preferably with Scoundrel, Weirdboy or Jules. Imagine downtrodden trails, your feet in woolen socks that reach your knee, a straw hat on your hair, your bento in your bag or backpack and the wide sky above you…
- Cooking and baking, preferably with things found in the wood or grown in one’s own garden, but at least wholefood. You could make a dinner with your friends, carry the table outside, hang some lanterns and dine with the music of the crickets in summer or curl up on a rug between hills of cushions to spend an evening with the muffins you just made.
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.
I love reading gift idea lists around Christmas. The following list is divided into three parts, one for general ideas, one for Lolita and one for Mori. Of course this doesn’t mean any restrictions, I just like my ideas a little bit organised. ^^
All ideas can be afforded with a maximum 10€ or less if you’ve got some or all of the material already (except maybe the headphone idea from the Lolita category).
- Grain pillows are incredibly useful. I have one in my bed every night during the chillier time of the year. The definite advantage of grain pillows over hot water bottles is that they can’t spill and don’t get as cold in the morning. They can be used as cooling packs, too, just put them in the fridge instead of the microwave or oven. AND they are easily self-made, all you need is a small bag of grain, some more heat-resistant fabric and the usual sewing supplies. You can also sew an extra cover, as the pillow itself isn’t washable. Just don’t use metal colour or buttons if you want to heat it in the microwave, and nothing that could be too sensible to heat if meant for the oven.
- Calendars can be a very personal gift. I’m talking self-made, of course. You could use photos, draw something or even make a collage with pictures you think the person the calendar’s for would appreciate. I’m making one for my father this year with watercolour paintings of some sights of my wonderful town and one for his sister with photographs of Hollis, as she likes teddy bears.
- Syrup is one of these things you can never have enough of. You can find wonderful recipes online for about every flavour you can think of. You could make your own labels like I did last summer for the Rosemary and Thyme lemonade syrup or decorate pretty bottles with ribbons and tags listing the ingredients.
- Dolly Pin Cushions consist of a doll’s head and arms and a body (torso and a wide, stuffed “hoop skirt”) made of fabric. The head-and-arms sets some DIY supply shops sell are originally meant for tea cozies (as far as I know), but I think a pin cushion would also be nice. If you want you can also craft it in a way to leave a little storing space under the doll’s wide skirt. I think I’m going to make one for myself this year…
- Headphones can be wonderful accessoires, and they can also make you more confident (you won’t hear any negative comments but only the soundtrack of your own marvellous live). Accessorize sells rather pretty and funny ones (I love the ones with the Union Jack design), but you can also mod them yourself. Just add some paint, deco rhinestones, lace or other little trinkets according to the presentee’s taste and style. I think I’ll do this myself in the new year, be sure to get a new Hedgefairy tutorial (a little late for this Christmas, anyhow)!
- Dress-shaped biscuits. I remember reading about this in some blog, but I couldn’t find it anymore, sorry. The idea was to print out stock pictures of your favourite brand pieces, use them as stencils for the dough and decorate the baked biscuits with sugar drawings of the original piece’s features. For packing you could make a flat box, line it with tissue paper and decorate the top matching to the respective brand you used for the stencils. Or just design your own dresses and make it a made-up brand!
Mori Girl Presents
- Calorimetries and/ or headbands are something that I’ve been told about they weren’t too hard to knit, but with my grandiose non-existent knitting skills I highly doubt that. Anyway, I think they make a pretty winter Mori accessoire! I especially like this (albeit in another colour) and this one from Ravelry, but tutorials can be found all over the aethernet.
- Soft curlers are a great project for fabric scraps and a pretty and healthier-for-the-hair alternative to normal curlers or even curling irons. You can find one of many tutorials here.
- Felt brooches could also qualify as a “for everyone” gift as they are easy to make and can take any form you can dream of. Robins and other small birds would be great motifs for Mori girls, but any other woodland creature or flower or plant would be pretty, too. I’d recommend sewing them together (glue can be so ugly if something goes wrong, and hand-stitched seams looks so much better, anyway!) and stuffing them a little bit for more texture and fluffed-up bird goodness.
As I showed you the pictures I took of Jules before, here’s the vice versa now. When we went through the photographs afterwards we both were struck with the idea that they would make perfect art for a folk-singer-songwriter-something record. Vinyl, at best, and probably something between Loreena McKennitt and Black 47 and a little bit of folk-inspired punk, overall rather 90s I guess. It would be a challenging project, after all.
for Jolly: chair without context again :)
I think I like the last three best, and the very last one would be the cover picture for the record if I made one. But – I dare say – all of the pictures turned out really good, and some of them even made it into Jules’ portfolio for his application for fashion design studies.
I really love and appreciate working with my best friend and am so looking forward to our next session!
In my last Satorial Saturday (I know, I haven’t posted one for two weeks, but my outfits were simply plain boring) I showed you a coordinate I wore to a photo shoot with Jules. As it wasn’t really planned out we both happened to be model and photographer, and here are some of the pictures I took of him.
8- what is your favorite type of plant life? whether it be tree, bush, flower, fruit or vegetable? why is it so special to you?
Oh, it’s too hard to decide as I like them all. There are trees that I can climb, I have an especially weak point for oaks. Their leaves and fruit are so pretty! And there’s a birch tree in the yard of the café right across the street which I can watch all year long, from bare twigs to newborn leaves to flaming red to snow-covered and sole branches again. Also, my favourite spots at the river are all related to trees, and there is one that’s really special, as you can sit on a broad branch right above the weir and watch the water flow and roar.
I love bushes for their flowers and berries, but maybe for the berries a little bit more. And my favourite flowers are wild roses, which grow on bushes, too. Not that I don’t love other flowers too, I’ve got a thing for nettles and things that grow unnoticed by most. On one of the steep stairs through my fairy tale town is a tiny spot in the wall that surrounds it where tiny blossoms decorate the grey stone, they always cheer me up. Oh, and I love non-blue bindweed nearly as much as wild roses.
And fruit and vegetables are edible, of course I adore them! I think my favourites are berries and citrus fruit at the fruit side and anything related to pumpkins on the vegetable side. And pumpkins not only for wonderful Jack O’Lanterns, but also zucchini – my grandmother makes a wonderful zucchini stew and I really miss my mother’s zucchini cake, too. And they bloom very prettily, too, and that’s the point where we are with the flowers again.