花見 ~ Hanami 2014 – Part 1

(Note – May 30, 2014: I realized that this post has been in “Draft” format for over a year! Ooops! Since the weather was so poor this spring, maybe it was a good thing I delayed this post since I feel like I missed out on springtime this year. Enjoy these lovely photos!)

Hanami literally means “flower viewing” and although it traditionally applies to the spring viewing of cherry blossoms (sakura), it can also apply to plum blossoms (ume) or other flowering trees in the springtime. I had hoped to visit High Park this year, but alas this past winter was one of the coldest on record! The trees bloomed very late this year and didn’t last for long. Instead, I’m sharing these previously unseen photos from when PlasticFantastic and Sam came over to my house to hang out last spring, and we took some lovely photos with the flowering trees around my house during periods when the sun peeked out.

Here are Serena, Rin and Mio wearing in beautiful wa-loli dresses! Wa-loli is a genre of lolita fashion that combines traditional Japanese clothing styles with lolita elements.
Wa-Loli Day with PlasticFantastic

Draping sleeves typical to kimono and yukata, an obi and a poofy skirt with a petticoat worn underneath are common in wa-loli style.
Wa-Loli Day with PlasticFantastic

Wa-Loli Day with PlasticFantastic
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Rin & Serena attend Volks USA’s Showroom Closing Event & Tea Party

This weekend was the final one that the Volks USA Tenshi-no-Sumika would be open to the public before closing it’s doors indefinitely. AlphaZ enjoyed his visit in early February so much that he was determined to go back one last time. On Saturday there was a discount sale, as well as the opportunity to purchase some of the showroom’s display dolls at the “Dollfie Orphanage.” I arrived with our aunt around 10am and we drew numbers out of a box to determine what order we would enter the line – I got #96, and there were about 160 people in line by the time the shop opened. I met Obiwanivan and JoltFiend while we were waiting around for the store to open.

Chilling with @innocentsake & @JoltFiend today!

Volks USA final weekend
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Rin & Serena Visit Volks Tenshi-no-Sato in Kyoto

One of the highlights of my trip to Japan in October was having the chance to visit the Volks Tenshi-no-Sato showroom in Kyoto. It is their gorgeous flagship location and an absolute must for any Volks doll collector. Admission is free, however reservations must be made in advance by simply emailing Volks. The staff at the store had no record of our reservation, but luckily AlphaZ had a copy of the confirmation email saved on his phone! (For future visitors, I recommend printing out a copy of your reservation just in case!) It was actually quite easy to get to Tenshi-no-Sato from the train station, however I found this guide on Angelden.net to be very helpful.

Volks Tenshi-no-Sato, Kyoto

Unlike other Volks showrooms that also carry their hobby kits (model airplanes), Tenshi-no-Sato is dedicated only to dolls and the special relationship that owners have with them.
Volks Tenshi-no-Sato, Kyoto

After unpacking, we left our bags with the staff and borrowed a lovely basket to carry our dolls in during our visit.
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There are indoor photo areas, but the true gem is the Japanese garden outside. Since the weather was beautiful and sunny we went outside to take advantages of the beautiful garden.
Serena at Volks Tenshi-no-Sato
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Serena & Rin at Volks Akihabara Showroom

I’m finally getting around to sharing a few photos that AlphaZ and I took on our trip to Japan in October. It was a wonderful vacation, even if it got off to a bit of a rough start @__@” Cin & I had some difficulties with trying to travel on a stand-by pass and in the end decided it wasn’t worth wasting our vacation days traveling back and forth to and from the airport and bought full-fare tickets on United Airlines to get us to Tokyo. For me, it was an interesting peek at how another airline functions, and since we had confirmed tickets it was rather stress-free. In the 2.5 day head start that AlphaZ, Squall18 (aka Bosu) and Sarcasm-Hime had, they tackled a lot of touristy things and shopping!

AlphaZ took Rin and Serena to the Volks showroom in Akihabara and took a few photos. He accidentally mixed up their wigs, but it’s interesting to see Rin-chan as a blonde! ^__~”

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Steampunk Maidens

I managed to get my hands on the Volks Lady Wizard outfit (thanks Innocentsake! ♥) and the Lady Thief outfit earlier this summer, and decided to take a few photos using these awesome clothing sets! The overall look isn’t completely steampunk or medieval maidens but something in the middle – I hope you like!

Steampunk Maidens

I’m crazy about Alice’s face! She’s so pretty!
Steampunk Maidens

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Anime Revolution 2013 in Vancouver!

I’m totally showing my age when I say that a decade ago I attended Anime Evolution in Vancouver, Canada. It was my first time attending a con outside of my hometown, and my sister and I had awesome time. We actually cosplayed at that convention, entered a cosplay competition and won an awesome award and gift pack! Fast forward 10 years: Anime Evolution doesn’t exist anymore, but this year there was Anime REVOLUTION! I happened to be in Vancouver on a layover last Friday, and woke up bright and early to check out the convention – alas, no room in my tiny carry-on suitcase to pack a cosplay! (… at least not for me! Hehehe! ^__~” )

AlphaZ had wanted to come along with me and meet some of my Vancouver doll collecting friends, but the flights to Vancouver filled up and he wasn’t able to come along T__T” Ah, the risks of traveling on stand-by. . . For this same reason, I didn’t pre=register for my convention pass just in case I ended up somewhere else. Sadly, he had the DSLR camera packed with him, so once we got separated I only had my iPhone to take photos >__<” It turns out that the badge purchase line was shorter than the pre-registration line @__@” I arrived around 9:30 am, and was already in the dealers room shortly after the convention opened at 10am! It was actually very quiet for the first 30 minutes while I was walking around so I was able to shop and look around without hoards of people everywhere! ^__^”

What caught my eye right away were a couple of itasha (cars covered in full decals) decorated with the Anime Revolution character mascot Senkaku-mei on them –
Anime Revolution 2013

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