Saturday, August 29, 2009

Etsy Update

PHEW. Now I can officially say I updated the shop in August, haha. Get 20% off for Back to School from now until September 10th! I also finally posted some items in larger sizes that I had been hoarding. My job has become particularly taxing lately and I am hoping to be able to quit some day soon and focus on Etsy (I know, I know, I keep saying this...I can dream!). My school is an hour away, so that means there are new thrift stores to be explored! Which means more things for the shop. Pray to the job/stress fairy for me, won't you? ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My So-Called Inspiration

I love the '90s. It's one of the eras I grew up in, so naturally I'm nostalgic, right?! If I haven't mentioned it before, I also love TV shows. They're long, complicated movie :O So obviously, TV show + the '90s = YES! Recently I have discovered My So-Called Life, and can't get enough. Before this, I was obsessed with Dawson's Creek. Then there's Boy Meets World, Fresh Prince, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (still working on this one!), Friends, Seinfield...even Sex & the City started in the 1990's.

Deep green dress: Thrifted
Caramel booties: Thrifted
Transparent black tights: Thrifted
Floral carpet bag: Vintage, Chelsea's.

(Sorry for the awkward pose, it was raining a bit so I was trying to hurry!)

Not to mention movies like 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, Jawbreaker...I mean seriously, it's good stuff xD! Angsty teen mallrats, cute wholesome boys, high school drama...And don't get me started about what's on my Ipod (Violent Femmes, The Cranberries, oh my!). Okay, I will shut up haha. But the point is that it inspired me to try to put together a '90s-ish outfit. I could have done a big plaid shirt, Doc Martens, etc, but I was trying not to look costumey! I know it could use some accessories, but I'm at a loss when it comes to that stuff. Anyway, I'm going to try to do a Fat Love Friday post tomorrow, but I have school and work all weekend, so we'll see how it goes. On that note, thanks for putting up with my sporadic posting <3!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bento Experiments

Like a lot of bloggers, I started school today! One of the things I wanted to do was save money and eat better, so I decided to start packing my lunch. Being the slight Japan freak I am, I invested in a bento box awhile ago and I actually look forward to coming up with ways to fit my tasty snacks all neatly together! It's quite smaller portions than we Americans are used to haha, but I have found you can pack a good amount of things, and it really keeps you full. Here are two I've made so far:

Top tier: Cucumber & cream cheese sandwiches and blueberries.
Bottom tier: Organic vanilla yogurt and granola with almonds.
Extra tier: Deviled eggs
Little snacks: Babybel cheese wheel, Pocky, and fruity Japanese candy. (For the commute!)

Packed and ready to go the night before! That's an Organic strawberry beer I've been hoarding for the last week, I need to just drink it already :P Yum.

Top tier: Broccoli salad, cherry tomatoes, and hard boiled egg.
Bottom tier: Dove caramel chocolates, cottage cheese and peach slices.

I think this leaf design is adorable :D!! It even came with chopsticks. Plus, I love funny little English sayings they put on things sometimes. It says "I love natural blessing." Aw! These are super simple and sort of non-traditional bentos, but some people get really into them, making their food into all kinds of shapes and designs. In fact, check out this Flickr group if you get a chance, it's so inspiring! Hopefully I'll have more to show you if I can keep up with making them :)

P.S. Anyone going to school at the Western campus Tri-C in Ohio? I feel like such a new kid! I don't have much time between classes, but I'd love to see a friendly face or meet for coffee or something ^_^.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hayao Miyazaki - Part Two

1997: Mononoke-Hime (Princess Mononoke)

Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Thoughts: Supposedly it took Miyazaki 16 years to fully develop this story. But it all paid off, because at one time it was the highest grossing film in Japan. It also won several awards. This one also has themes about human impact on nature and also portrayed the military in a negative light. It was also, in my opinion, his most violent. This one wasn't my favorite (mainly because I had a hard time separating it from his lighter, more family-friendly tales), but I do remember enjoying it.

2001: Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away).

Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Daveigh Chase (Lilo of Lilo & Stitch), Susan Egan (Megara in Disney's Hercules)

Thoughts: My favorite! I'm not sure why I like this one the most, to be honest. I thought it was a story mostly about being brave, and I found myself really admiring the main character. I was also really fascinated by the traditional bath house. There was also the friendship between the other main character that I just found so endearing. This movie also takes place in a more realistic city as opposed to a fantastic land or countryside.

2004: Hauru no Ugoku Shiro (Howl's Moving Castle).

Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Jena Malone, Lauren Bacall.

Thoughts: A romance! I think these are the oldest characters, as Sophie is supposed to be around 18. First of all, I LOVED the idea of a moving castle - genius! I also loved the character Calcifer and found him funny. I also loved the end of this film. I wasn't too keen on the villians in this one, but ah well. It also had a military element, like many of his other films.

2008: Gake no Ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).

Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Tina Fey, Matt Damon.

Thoughts: This was DEFINITELY the prettiest! It had such amazing colors and textures. I also love the work they did with the water. I thought this one was the most geared for children. The plot, to me, was definitely not as cohesive and straightforward as his other works. I also really loved Ponyo's mother's character! It actually kind of struck me as a new take on The Little Mermaid. It wasn't my favorite, but it was very different from the other movies and I thought it was really cute and colorful.

Sources: Youtube, Wikipedia, International Movie Database.

P.S. I know I'm missing at least two of his other works, but I haven't seen them yet!

Hayao Miyazaki - Part One

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been having some troubles lately, but nothing too serious. I'd really like to keep this a place of positivity so I won't go into detail, but I've found something to be cheered up about! Not fashion or vintage related, but I hope you enjoy it :D! (And don't worry, I'm cooking up some of those posts, too!)

I have loved Hayao Miyazaki (Born January 5, 1941) films ever since I first saw My Neighbor Totoro as a little girl. First of all, if you don't know who he is, he is a Japanese filmmaker/writer/director/artist who has been called the "Walt Disney of Japan." (Though supposedly he hates being called that.) In fact on his last few films he now works with Disney Studios. Surprisingly, he graduated college with a degree in political science and economics, not art or film. In 1985, he founded Studio Ghibli, which is now quite famous.

Here are some of his most well-known films, in order of release date, and some brief thoughts on them:

1984: Kaze no Tani no Naushika (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind).

Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Uma Thurman, Alison Lohman, Patrick Stewart, Shia LaBeouf.

Thoughts: I don't enjoy war/conflict themed stories as much as other people might, so I'm a little biased I guess. This is the first time I saw his flying/aircraft and creature work. I was also impressed with the female lead, which I came to realize is very common in his films. It deals with technology and also portrays an obvious concern with human impact on the environment.

1986: Tenku no Shiro Rapyuta (Laputa: Castle in the Sky).

Famous voices (in the dubbed version): James Van Der Beek, Anna Paquin, Andy Dick, Mark Hamill.

Thoughts: This one was very sweet. It's sort of that classic "treasure hunt" plot, where they go in search of a mythical land. I loved that this one took place in the sky, with all the floating/flying/etc. LOTS of aircrafts in this one, but much less military-esque and dark than Nausicaa. Definitely one his most most adventure-themed movies.

1988: Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro).

Famous voices (in the dubbed version): Dakota Fanning.

Thoughts: This is probably my second favorite. It was actually dubbed twice, the most recent one featuring Dakota Fanning. I actually HATED this new one, so I highly suggest seeing the original dubbed version! This is just a story about the magic of being a child, and the bond between sisters and between fathers and daughters. It's a very sweet, innocent story. Plus it has a very catchy theme song O_O.

1989: Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service).

Famous Voices: Kirsten Dunst, Matthew Lawrence.

Thoughts: I really identified with this one, as I think a lot of young girls did. It was probably most easy to relate to of all his films. It's about a young witch growing up, trying to find her place in life. I also think this is as a close to a romance as Miyazaki gets in any of his films (probably because these characters seem the oldest he's dealt with). I also really liked her cat companion. I guess growing up in America, you can't help growing up with a love of talking animals haha.

Sources: Youtube, Wikipedia, International Movie Database.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Spoonful of Sugar

Vintage dress: Livejournal sale
Teal bow flats: H&M
Cream knit cardigan: Kohl's (shouldn't sweaters be out by now!? They were so hard to find :O)
Vintage taupe bag: Coach, thrifted

Finally an outfit post, yeesh! I wore this to go see Mary Poppins on Broadway with my mom and sister the other night :) I haven't been to many shows, so it's always such a special occasion to get dressed up to go. If you haven't seen it, you really should! I must have seen the Disney version about a million times and I really enjoyed the stage adaptation. Though I can't help but be nostalgic and favor the movie! It was a particularly educational gig for me, too, because we made sure to go the signed performance so I could see the ASL interpretation :D Which just added to the experience!

Here was by far my favorite part of the performance, and then the second is the original 1964 version. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Crafts Intended For Children

While I'm feeling uninspired with my closet, it seems I've strayed from the usual fashion related topics so far this week. Just bear with me a little longer! If all goes according to plan there should be an outfit post tomorrow, since I did plan an outfit for my trip downtown to see Mary Poppins tomorrow evening :) But more on that later!

For now I wanted to share a nerdy little hobby of mine. Now, I haven't made any for quite awhile but it's just because I haven't been able to decide if I should put them up on Etsy or not. If you aren't familiar with what they are, they are made out of perler beads. To make them, you use a board with small pegs, arrange the beads, and then iron them to melt it together! I'm kind of a cartoon/SNES character freak, so that's what I usually make.

They can be used as car ornaments, coasters, wall hangings, magnets, Christmas ornaments, or whatever else you might imagine! Some of them (like the Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Chibi-Chibi) can be quite large if you use several boards together.

So I need some advice! Do you think they would sell? It's okay to say if you don't think so! If so, what do you think would be fair prices? Which characters would you like to see made? Any input is dearly appreciated :D!

Happy Berry from Paradise Kiss (Anime and manga series).

Kamek and Lemmy Koopa from Super Mario Bros.

Alice from Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Sugar Bunnies from Sanrio.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Chicken Dinner Candybar: A History

A few folks have asked me where the name Chicken Dinner Candybar came from, so I thought I'd answer here just in case anyone was curious :)!

"Chicken Dinner" was the name of a real candy bar that was produced in the early '20s by Sperry Candy, a company based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The unusual name was meant to echo the feeling of well-being and prosperity associated with “a chicken in every pot”—a slogan that went back to Henry IV of France and which would be revived for the 1928 Republican campaign. And it was pretty popular, too! It stayed in production for nearly 40 years before being discontinued in the 1960's.

They even had a Chicken Dinner truck! No doubt inspired by the Oscar Meyer wiener mobile. As for the actual taste, it was supposedly some sort of chocolate nut roll.

I guess I chose it as a name for this blog and my Etsy store is because well, first of all I think the name is kind of catchy! It's a little long, but it's got a little ring to it :) Plus I think the whole approach to selling the Sperry Candy creation is kind of hilarious! Makes me think of the fictional "3 course gum" in Willy Wonka! Chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans all crammed into a neat little rectangle...haha.

I thought of more serious or "prettier" names (I was convinced I was going to use the names "Classic Energy Vintage" or "The Festooned Macaroon" but thankfully was convinced they didn't sound quite right :P!) But basically I thought it was lighthearted and fun and just fit somehow :D

Sources: Here, here, and here.