Wednesday, February 20, 2013

let it burn no more.

Here's a more serious post. Last Thursday was Valentine's Day and I received a ton of letters and cards on that day that I planned to stay up all night writing. Around 2:30 in the morning, I was sitting at my desk which faced the window and started to smell what smelled like barbeque. There were a ton of people running and screaming in the hallway, which was pretty typical but not usually for so long. Around that time someone also knocked on my door. I didn't open it so I don't know who it was. The strangest thing was the sirens outside. I live in Brooklyn, so hearing sirens every night isn't uncommon. What I didn't quite understand right away was why the sirens never ended, and why it sounded like more and more every minute.

It was around then I went on facebook, and read a few posts on my newsfeed like "I'm crying so hard right now," or "I'm praying," or "look out your window right now." Something was up and I immediately got up and looked out my window. And it was something that I've never seen before.
Photo from my window
Absolutely unbelievable. Right outside my window, right across the street from my room, my school was burning down. I'd never seen so much fire before, that it didn't seem real to me.
Photo by Tori Eng
But it was most certainly real, and it was terrifying. My school's main building was on fire. From where I could see, the whole 6th floor was illuminated and engulfed in flames. The fire burnt through the roof and it was the most surreal scene I've ever seen.
Photo by Becca Wong
Photo by Joseph Ghaida
Photo by Maddi Walker
From my window, I could spot about 6 fire trucks. It wasn't until later in the morning that I found out there was a grand total of 39 fire vehicles and 168 fire fighters on scene. I couldn't bear to go to sleep until there was some indication that it would be alright. The first was finally put out around 4:15am.
Photo by Diana Q. Ngo-themissding
As of now there have not been many photographs of the aftermath. Since the fire, the whole area surrounding the building and connecting to the building have been cut off, and the area is off limits to anyone who is not certified as part of the clean up crew. Thankfully, no one had serious injuries from the fire, but the fire destroyed the artwork and art supplies that were stored in the building, including, for many of the senior fine art students, all of the work they've accumulated and been working on for their senior show. I can't even begin. How tragic that is.

I have only one class in that building, which was relocated for Monday. During the time we usually have class, we were to attend a meeting in the student union to discuss plans and ask questions about the aftermath of the fire. Attending the meeting left me so aggravated. Our faculty announced the plans that they had, in which many were terrible. Many of the fine arts and painting majors that attended had genuine questions and concerns that the faculty members deflected or answered in a roundabout way. Students gave suggestions for what they believe would be good steps forward, in which all students agreed with, while the faculty flat out responded saying they're not interested in taking any of those suggestions, because the plans that they created are ones that are in the interest of the students. Which they clearly are not, since all the students are opposed to it. It got to the point that even the teachers who were sitting and listening couldn't take it anymore and spoke out in favor of the ideas given by students. An uproar of applause. One thing that I absolutely cannot stand about our school is the incompetence of our faculty members. Absolutely cannot stand.

While I wasn't directly affected too much by the fire, it was truly among the most terrifying things I've ever witnessed in my twenty years of living, and as an artist, it hurts to know so many people lost so much from this. Some students are left with nothing; all the work from the past four years and their supplies. Losing all of that is like losing part of yourself. At this point, some seniors may need to stay longer to complete their education. I just hope everything ends up working out.

Love, Kaia

sailor or a school girl.

I wore a new dress today! I traded it for two items from the BTSSB lucky pack that I bought. I didn't know how much I'd like it at first because this dress is very form fitting, which is unlike the clothes that I usually wear. Figure wise, I have a short torso and pudge around the waist, I'm well suited for empire waist and babydoll cuts, so those are the styles I generally go for. This dress has a drop waist bodice and has no elastic in it. I when I got it, I wasn't expecting at all for it to fit.
I can't even begin to explain how amazed I am that it zips up all the way! Not only that, the shape is very flattering and curves in at the waist. I've only had it for a few days but it's really grown on me.
The dress is Victorian Maiden. It's one of my favorite lolita brands, but this is the first dress I own from them. Also my first sailor style dress. I've always kind of wanted one. This one is black and ivory, which I didn't think would be so easy to coordinate but I happen to have a ton of ivory colored things.
Today I got a ton of compliments on my hair! I took out my braids during lunch break and so many people talked to me about my hair during the afternoon, which was unexpected! I've worn the same hairstyle for about three weeks now but no one has said anything about it until today.
Posing here with my dressform, Camille. In addition to this dress, I received three other dresses in the mail this week and last week. I'll hopefully be posting them soon.

As an omake, here's some pictures I snuck from a critique on Tuesday.
Everyone went in with something that looked really awesome and well put together and like with most critiques, I felt pretty inadequate because I'm really not much of a seamstress. Our assignment was to create a fully lined lapel jacket.
My teacher is really good at sewing and isn't afraid to tell us when we do something completely wrong, and I was so prepared to be told off. I presented last, and I couldn't believe how nice everyone was. My classmates gave the sweetest comments and told me how cute my jacket was and asked me to try it on, then told me it was so cute that I should just wear it out. I get really shy when I'm complimented and I was pretty much reduced to a pile of goo by the end of the critique. I can post pictures of my jacket and sketches once I get it back from grading.

Love, Kaia

Saturday, February 9, 2013

let luck be on my side.

I love getting lucky packs, and I'm always hoping that BTSSB SF are doing winter lucky packs while I'm in California in the winter. It hasn't happened in a while. But this year I decided to try my luck with an overseas lucky pack. An expensive one to boot.
I ordered directly from the Baby Japan website for the first time. There were 3 different set options for Baby and 2 for AATP. I ended up going with the Princess Set, which was about half the price as the most expensive option. It was said to come with two jumperskirts, a cutsew OP, a coat, blouse, a bag, socks, hair accessory, stationery, etc.

I had it sent to school during break and had to wait till I was back to see what I got. Pretty anxious to open it when I got this big box upon my arrival!

 I wouldn't say I was disappoint with what I received at all, but I'd be lying if I said I felt like I got what I wanted. The problem I had was that there was a coat that I was dying to have, but it'd been sold out on the website and wasn't for sale in the San Francisco location, so I had really hoped I would get it in the lucky pack. Didn't happen.

Onto the contents!
This piece was the first one I saw when I opened the box.

Sweet Jewelry Princess Garnet! I was really surprised with this one; I wasn't expecting any of the border print JSKs so this one was a pleasant surprise. I would have loved this one in the navy or offwhite colorway, though. Black and pink takes me back to my not so pleasant middle school days.

My face fell when I got this one. It's definitely very pretty, but I always pray that I don't get anything pink in my luckypacks. Pink is my favorite color but Baby and Angelic Pretty make bubblegum pinks that are too saturated for my liking. The black with pink was already pushing it a little. There's no give on this one. No shirring in the back so it's a little tight for me. The details are lovely, though. It has a flocky crown print and pearls on the chest.

This coat was the next item, Teddy Ribbon Coat. It was definitely not the coat that I wanted, but BIG sigh of relief I got cream. I was hoping to not get black. Dark colored dresses I'm alright with since there's usually a balance of light colors in the print, but I have a hard time wearing too much black now.

Next is the blouse! I was hoping to get the shirred babydoll blouse because I've wanted it for as long as I've been in lolita (five years now!), and another girl in the comm got one in hers. Unfortunately I didn't get it. Hoping to sell this one because there's no stretch in it and it doesn't fit me.

The cutsew OP I received was really cute. I almost like how it looks, but the sleeves are a little puff and the skirt isn't too full so I don't like the proportioning. Too top heavy. If it were sleeveless I might have wanted to keep it.

A piano keys cardigan! This is charming. It comes in three colorways, pink, white, and black, and I think the white one is my favorite.

A pink bolero. I was pretty eghhh about this one but it looks like my pack was coordinated relatively nicely, as this pairs up perfectly with the first jumperskirt up top.

This bag, I really do like. It's perfectly sized for papers and books. I've been wanting a heart bag but those sell well and I'd been pretty certain that they wouldn't be giving them out in lucky packs so I was preparing for the worst as far as bags go. I was expecting something small like a clutch or a pochette.
More pink. I suppose to go with all the other pink in the pack.

Plain white socks. I'm not fond of knee high socks so these will probably be sold.

Brand stationery items! Usakuma kind of freaks me out. I wish they'd do black bead eyes instead of red and blue eyes.

I put everything on sale or for trade, so I was trying out some of the things this morning. I have a habit of wearing the things I'm selling for as long as possible before I part with it. Which I think makes sense but it's also a bit silly because I've been wearing this Sweet Jewelry Princess JSK for a few hours and I'm starting to get attached to it.
The pink is much more pastel than I remember it being when I first opened it. This one has already found a new owner, so I will be parting with it by next week. I wasn't super excited about any of the items that I got in the pack, but after having them around for almost a month, they're growing on me.

Still hoping someone will trade me for the coat and blouse! I'm going to get back to work.
Love, Kaia