Monday, May 30, 2011

"Idea-ology" by Tim Holtz Craft Findings

Today I was on one of my regular Micheal's Craft Store runs to see what was new (and hopefully on sale!). It was a huge disappointment until wandered into the stamp and scrapbooking isle and discovered this collection!

"Idea-ology" covers everything from grungey-antique looking paper, baubles and bits for your crafts and jewelry, fasteners, clings and various other parts.

What caught my eye were some items I've been looking for for a looooong time: small bottles for Reinette et Mirabelle inspired jewelry! They come in sets of nine, in various size and shapes, and were selling for 16.95$ (but! 25% off). So I bought two packs. I also purchased a "pocketwatch back" which I'm going to make into a necklace, a set of metal keys, and some swivel fasteners for making keychains and cellphone charms.

Tim Holtz's Website surprisingly doesn't include a list or information on the entire Idea-ology line, but it does show some of his other paper, stamping and crafting series, and also includes a gallery of items made from his products, and demo videos as well!

I'm definitely going to be buying some more of these pieces, they fit so well into the dolly kei aesthetic!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Updates, Instagram Account

Work has been busy of late, and of course, I'm still doing everything on this blog from the blogger iPhone app because of my broken computer (I honestly have no idea what to get for a new computer, I've never had to buy one myself/by myself before).

First: I'm sure at this point anyone with an iPhone or iPod touch has heard of the "Instagram" application. It's a Photoshop-type app that has an assortment of old-timey and kitchy filters you can apply to your photos, along with the ability to share them to an assortment of social-networking sites (twitter, Tumblr, Facebook etc.). There is also the Instagram photostream where you can view other user's additions. Definitely a fun little app! My Instagram username is "dollymacabre" for anyone else using the application :)

Secondly: While Dolly Kei isn't necessarily brand-oriented like Lolita and Gyaru, there are definitely some shops and brands that are recognizable as being "dolly". I've decided to do a series of Dolly Kei brand "breakdowns" to talk a little bit about their creation and what they're known for. I'm thinking about calling them "Brand Doctrine"? I haven't really decided yet. If you have any pertinent information on any of the dolly brands or shops you'd like to share, please e-mail to

Thirdly: I've mentioned a few times that I had been working on a sort of bigger Dolly-related post, which I obviously have yet to publish. It's concerning the morals of the fashion, and I've pushed it back for the next little while. It's mostly complete though :)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Boys and Dolly Kei

As popular as Dolly Kei is becoming in both Japan and abroad, Dolly Kei boys are still in the vast minority. Street snaps are few and far between, and most of them at best are what I would call "dolly-inspired" as opposed to full-out Dolly.

The gents from Mad Tea Party vintage shop in Japan are great inspirations for dolly boys, Click for their blog and here as well Much like the Grimoire blog, the Mad Tea Party blogs are a mixture of outfit, shop and inspiration snaps.

Other sources for Dolly Boy snaps (there isn't many, and it definitely can take some "digging" to find them)
Tokyo Fashion
Rid Snap
Talon Street Snap

(You can thank a request for pictures of Dolly Boys from hipsterloli on Tumblr, and my iPod not cooperating for this post, hehe)

If you have any pics of dolly boys, or links to fashion snap sites or blogs that features them, you can link here or e-mail me at

What do you think of Dolly Boys?

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tonight I dream of Ian Curtis

On this day in 1980, Ian Curtis of the brilliant post-punk band Joy Division, hung himself in his home at the age of 23. It was on the eve of what would have been their first North American tour.

I don't think I need to go into all the details of his life, as I'm sure many bloggers have and will when this day comes along every year. Suffice to say, he suffered from depression, physical and mental illness, which I'm sure with the stresses of his band demands, caused him a lot of duress.

What I will talk about though, at 1am on this May 18th, is how I feel about Joy Division and what Ian Curtis's music meant to me.

I can remember being about 14, and not being particularly happy. I'm sure a lot of you can relate to just "not fitting" at some time, possibly still. I don't think this feeling always goes away for a lot of us, I think maybe we just get comfortable with it. So I'm 14, unhappy, I don't fit. And I stumble across "Love Will Tear Up Apart". I don't remember how, but what I do remember is the melancholy voice, the wistful lyrics and the strangely cheerful melody. I didn't know what I was feeling at the time, but when I think about it now, I think it's akin to recognition, or to be cliche, the feeling of coming home.

When you're 14 you don't consider that other people might be able to relate to what you're feeling. It escapes me sometimes still. But here was Ian Curtis singing all these lonely things, and all these sad things, and I knew what he was saying. Some of the things, heartbreak for example, I didn't understand until I was older, but there he was when it happened, singing exactly what I was feeling in these moments when I feel so lost and hopeless.

Things like this and music like this are precious, they can save people in one way or another. Ian Curtis has kept me company during many lonely times, and has kept vigil in the dark with me when I've been afraid. My heart is broken and I hear myself in "Atmosphere". I question myself and where I'm going and it's "She's Lost Control". I'm waiting and it's "Shadowplay". Blissful abandon and I'm "Transmission". In turn I always take him out to play on this day, no matter how long ago (maybe just a minute ago?), it's been since I've listened to him, and I take a peek at the Joy Division posters lovingly rolled into their tubes from my teenage years, too cherished to ever throw out.

And now I'm older, I'm still unhappy sometimes, I still don't fit, but I'm sitting here with a cup of tea and listening to "Unknown Pleasures", and it's quite okay because I'm definitely not alone.

From "Transmission":

Radio, live transmission.
Radio, live transmission.

Listen to the silence, let it ring on.
Eyes, dark grey lenses frightened of the sun.
We would have a fine time living in the night,
Left to blind destruction,
Waiting for our sight.

And we would go on as though nothing was wrong.
And hide from these days we remained all alone.
Staying in the same place, just staying out the time.
Touching from a distance,
Further all the time.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

Well I could call out when the going gets tough.
The things that we’ve learnt are no longer enough.
No language, just sound, that’s all we need know, to synchronise
Love to the beat of the show.

And we could dance.

Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance, to the radio.

If you are not familiar with Joy Division, I highly suggest the album "Unknown Pleasures" and the film detailing Ian Curtis's life "Control".

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

New E-mail

My new e-mail for this blog. Feel free to send any questions (dolly kei related or not), links, photos, art, shops or items you think I may be interested in, or may be suitable for my blog :) Suggestions and comments welcome as well!

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Grimoire Almadel Interior Snaps

I was thrilled to wake up this morning to a second post on Almadel's blog, consisting mainly of decor snaps! I couldn't wait to post them here and share!

This is the fitting rooms:

So I have to say, I am so in love with Almadel's decor! It's like a strange Victorian home filled with clothing and accessories. I also find the original Grimoire shop has a decidedly more "foresty fairytail" feel to it, where Almadel has more of a "Victorian curio" feel. But at the same time, I definitely think the contrast between the two shops is complementary.

This is the display case for the Reinette et Mirabelle brand.

The opening of the Almadel also introduces us to a new Dolly Kei accessory brand, "Rathiel du Dolly", which according to Hitomi, aims to be less sweet, and more classical, myth, constellation and jewel themed.

There is more interior snaps, some accessory shots, and coord snaps on their new blog entry: Click here!

Also, if you can read Japanese or have a good translator (yesterday I was using Babelfish to no avail, but this morning I switched over to Tap-Translate for iPhone and everything makes much more sense now, hehe), the new post also has Hitomi talking about the decorating process for the new shop.

So what does everyone think of the new shop so far? Do you like the toned-down decor, or were you expecting the beautiful clutter of the original Grimoire?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New E-mail

My new e-mail for this blog. Feel free to send any questions (dolly kei related or not), links, photos, art, shops or items you think I may be interested in, or may be suitable for my blog :) basically anything you think I should check-out or discuss.

Suggestions and comments welcome as well!

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Grimoire Almadel Staff Snaps

So I think we have (hopefully), an accurate grasp on who the new shop staff are, here are their coords from the grand opening (from DropTokyo and the official Grimoire Blog)





And of course, Hitomi looked amazing as usual:

Grimoire Almadel, OPEN!


Not a lot of pictures yet, but enough that we can definitely get a feeling for the decor. While the clothing carried in Almadel seems to be the same fare as the original Grimoire shop, the interior for Almadel is definitely lighter, less cluttered, and more...flowery?

Some lovely dolly girls waiting outside Almadel.

I'm trying to figure out who the new shop girls are! Edit: it does indeed to appear to be Mai, Saki and Eri.

Almadel also has it's own shop blog now, where you can find more pictures and comments on the opening:

And as I posted earlier, Almadel's twitter:!/GrimoireAlmadel

Heri, wearing an Almadel badge (she's changed her hair colour again too!), which were given to the first 100 customers.

I did a quick babelfish translate of the Grimoire blog entry on the Almadel opening, but unfortunately, it didn't translate in a way that particularly made any sense so I don't have much more to add sadly.

I am dying to see more though!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Grimoire Almadel, Grand Opening Tomorrow!

We have an image of the store finally! It's just the exterior, but still:

I'm so excited to see the interior! Will it look like Grimoire or will Almadel have a completely different feel? I can't wait! Details on the process so far can be found on Grimoire's Official Blog , and keep watching for the first pictures!

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Frozen Charlottes

Something that has become a little bit of an obsession for me lately, is an antiquity called a "Frozen Charlotte" (sometimes referred to as a "pillar doll".

A Frozen Charlotte is a tiny, tiny porcelain, china or bisque doll made from 1850-1920, moulded all in one piece, and usually naked except for rare occasions. They're almost always white, sometimes a little face will be painted on, and sometimes,( very rarely), they'll be painted entirely black. It was common to place the tiniest ones in cakes or Christmas puddings for good luck and as party favors (similar idea to King Cake babies I believe).

The little Frozen Charlottes get their name from an 1843 cautionary poem by Seba Smith, about a young girl who refuses to dress properly for winter out of vanity, and freezes to death as a result.

Click here for the poem in it's entirety

Living Dead Dolls also released a doll in 2006 based on the poem as well:

Frozen Charlotte necklace by Ghostlove, I need this!

I'm so in love with the idea of these tiny dolls and the sad poem that goes along with them. I recently purchased a bag of little tiny plastic babies that I'm going to repaint to make my own Frozen Charlottes jewelry, which I'll post a tutorial for when I finish them :)

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Accessory Line from Suppurate System!

After 2 years without new releases, Suppurate System is finally releasing new accessories! I’m so excited! Although Suppurate System is typically associated with goth, gothic lolita and visual kei, I've always felt many of their pieces would be amazing incorporated with dolly kei.

Translated from their Japanese online store:

“It comes and the store is grateful truly. At present with SUPPURATE SYSTEM it directs to the long-awaited new work accessory sale which is after approximately two years and becomes quasi- Bicchu. Decadent dark tea party - dark corruption tea meeting - the accessory which is made theme successively is appearance! We plan 5/5 sales. Now please wait for a while.”

The new line is called "Decadent Dark Tea Party", and in true Suppurate System style, the pieces are dark, creepy and strangely beautiful.

Some of the pieces:

Bloody Apple Baby Necklace

Skull Berry Key Necklace

Coffin Cookie Necklace

I'm in love with every single piece! But I've ordered the Skull Berry Key necklace and Coffin Cookie ring! I'm thinking I might need the Bloody Apple Baby necklace too, it's so weird...

To see the rest of the collection, click here

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