Sweet Mildred Lucky Pack Opening

I purchased a “Small Accessory Luckpack” from sweet mildred on Etsy as part of her Small Business Saturday Sale. Each pack contained a zipper pouch, and some accessories, and hey were super affordable at only $20 each. You could opt to get one with or without pierced earrings. I selected the “With earrings” option, and here is what I got.

Sweet Mildred


The necklace is silver tone with pearls, and features a key and some beautiful flowers. The motifs are common and universal, so this will be something I can pair with a lot of different options. It’s well constructed, the clasp and charms have some weight to them, and the beads are nice. All in all it’s a solid piece that is worth the price I paid all on it’s own.

 

Next we have a wooden pin of a playing card with a really fancy lady on it, who I think might be Marie Antoinette, but I’m really bad at this sort of thing so… it’s at least that time period? It’s got great colors and I love the detailing in the image. It has a pin back and seems quite sturdy.

 

Next we have a pair of earrings with an Alice in Wonderland motif; they feature a rabbit in card suit heraldry blowing on a trumpet. They are brass tone, and on hooks with a little pearl bead on each. Again, they have a nice weight to them and seem to use good quality materials.

 

Next, we have a little ring with a glittering pink strawberry on a white filigree base. I love when people use these painted ring bases because I have a lot of metal allergies, and they don’t bother me. The earrings I’ll just paint with nail polish; I do that with even some of the gold or silver ones I buy depending on the makeup.

 

Lastly, we have the pouch. Mine is a black fabric with cats on it on the outside and it’s lined in black x white polka dots. I’ve turned the corner over so you can see it here. There is a black zipper as well. It’s well made and sturdy with a good thickness to it. It would make a great travel pouch for accessories.

Value-wise, it’s an exceptional deal. The necklace retails at $25, from what I remember, similar rings to this sell for $5, earrings are $10, pins are at least $5. So even before we add in the pouch, we have at least $45 worth of accessories. All in all, I’m really happy with what I got, and would definitely recommend similar lucky packs from Sweet Mildred in the future.

Lolita Blog Carnival : My Favorite Indie Brand(s)

This weeks lolita blog carnival topic is “Your favorite Indie Brand”, but I’m going to be honest here; I know so many indie artist that I really can’t just pick one, so I’m going to feature a handful of my favorite indie brands (and this is not at all an exhaustive list!) and what I like about each one. Ready? Ok, let’s go!

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Belladonna

Belladonna is owned by my significant other, Michelle, and her best friend Rachel. Michelle does the print designs and dyes the lace, and they both do dress designing, sewing, etc. I help them out sometimes with convention booths, stock photography, etc.

Best points: Their wrist cuffs are made nicer than the brand ones I’ve bought. The bows look really nice, the elastic is cased and the lace is soft. I’m more likely to wear a bunch of deco bracelets than wristcuffs personally, but when I do wear wristcuffs, I go for belladonna ones. I’ve been disappointed with every brand pair I’ve bought since I got my first pair from them. Their custom print dresses have great themes as well, and they make a point to offer colorways that work for a variety of people. They are sticklers when it comes to lace and material quality as well (I’ve watched Michelle take a fabric sample and try to destroy it to test if a fabric is going to hold up well to wear, including trying to tempt our cats into scratching it).

Black Friday Specials: Free shipping for the first 15 orders + discounts on a bunch of items

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Sweet Mildred

Sweet Mildred is another local designer, and she’s probably the indie brand that I have purchased the most from over the years; mostly headdresses, and the occasional piece of Jewelry. I have a whole book shelf that is just headdresses I’ve bought from her, and it’s full now so they are spilling onto other shelves and any place safe I can tuck them.

Best points: Her headpieces are wonderful, and she makes things that will match pretty much anything from sweet to classic to Gothic. They are versatile, well made and make quite an impact. Her accessories often include delightfully quirky things (I’m in love with these angry conversational heart rings I got from her that say things like “not sorry”), that make great conversational or statement pieces for any coordinate. She also makes a lot of dresses in all sorts of interesting fabric prints. If you want something to make a coordinate pop, or you want a piece with a lot of visual interest, check out Sweet Mildred.

Small Business Saturday Specials: 30% off all items + lucky packs

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Haenuli Haenuli Haenuli

Haenuli

Haenuli is a brand from Korea. They primarily produce custom print garments, though they also make some accessories (usually to coordinate with a specific piece). The main designer who goes by the nickname NuNu also draws a really cute slice of life as a designer comic strip which is posted to their facebook page.

Best points: Haenuli’s dresses often come in a lot of colors, and they offer a lot of sizing options. They also offer print tights in multiple sizes. The pieces I own and have handles are really solidly constructed, and the material choices are good. Their prints are intricate and interesting, and even when the motifs are popular motifs, the overall look and tone of the artwork is unique. They also have a lot of creative and interesting dress designs.

Black Friday Specials: 10% discount with code: HNL10persale 

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Moss Marchen Moss Marchen Moss Marchen

Moss Marchen

Moss Marchen is another local brand. The designer Martha creates accessories which trend towards gothic lolita and mori styles.

Best points: Moss Marchen has really great ribbon embroidery pieces, which are surprisingly cheap considering the time commitment required for making them.  The long-style necklaces she makes are also very nice and visually well balanced. The designer has a good eye and a skilled hand. They are made of good materials, and very reasonable in price for the high level of quality. As a bonus, her floral corsages are really nice and a great alternative to buying a corsage from a major Japanese brand like Pink House where they will cost you significantly more if you can even find one.

Unfortunately, this brand frequently sells out and is often not available for sale online. At the time of writing, the online shop is currently closed. It’s best to try to catch Moss Marchen at an event.

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Peppermint Fox Peppermint Fox Peppermint Fox

Peppermint Fox

Peppermint Fox is based out of Australia and is a team of two. Their brand trends towards otome style, and features lots of beautiful water-color-styled artwork. If you were a fan of beatrix potter as a child (or even now) you are sure to find Peppermint Fox delightful.

Best points: Their tiny companion series of pins. Each pin features an animal illustration, and each one has a name and a short back story. The stories are touching, and the expressions and clothing choices of each little animal backs up their story and personality. They make great gifts too, because you can easily match up a person you know with a sweet little personality.

Black Friday Specials: N/A, but there is a general sale going on at the moment.

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I Do Declare I Do Declare I Do Declare

I Do Declare

I Do Declare is a US based brand run by designer Kelsey. While most lolita has a strong Victorian influence, I Do Declare goes back farther in time and draws influence from the European middle ages, and older.

Best points: Technical sewing craftsmanship and detail work. The pieces made by the designer directly have intricate, high level technical details like lace inserts, traditional applique, bead work, etc. In the image spread above the white lace is a close up of a lace and bead work insert the designer put inside of the back of a white gown that gave the illusion of being able to see the wearer’s spine. The manufactured garments produced from her work also have a high level of technical detail, which show off the designer’s skill and vision. It’s a pleasure to look at her work, and the quality is absolutely stellar.

Black Friday Specials: Pre-orders for the wool witch hat shown above open at 8:00PM EST.

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voodooodolly VooDooDolly VooDoooDolly

VooDoooDolly

VooDoooDolly sells mostly jewelry and hats. The designer Mallory sculpts, molds and hand casts her jewelry, going as far as to use vintage metal sources in some of the pieces to add additional meaning. While fashion in general is an art-form, I would argue that many of her pieces are really more of tiny pieces of wearable sculpture. If you wear Gothic Lolita, and you don’t own some of her work, you are really missing out. I don’t know how to put it into words properly, but looking at her work feeds a starving part of the soul that longs to live lost in an art gallery full of masterworks. It eats at me that I can’t do her work justice, because it is so beautiful.

Best points:  The hand cast jewelry and elaborate hats. The jewelry which is interesting and powerful is really, really high quality and a steal at the prices she sells it for. Her hats are all unique, elaborate and detailed.

Black Friday Specials: I don’t know of any, but she doesn’t need one; she’s already selling things terribly cheap for what you are actually getting.

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545430_945698161629_573562109_nOther blogs participating in this theme:
Art du noirCupcake Kamisama’s Lolita World

Peppermint Fox Pin Review: Positive!

Peppermint Fox is an Otome brand based out of Australia which makes clothing and absolutely darling little pins. I ordered a couple pins from them a while back, and bought another at the Palace of Princes Nightfall event, and have really enjoyed them.

So when they said they were re-releasing their tiny companions series (which is the series the pins I have are from), I jumped at the chance to pick up some more of their darling little animals. The older pins have a layer of clear resin on the top of the image, however, due to a health concern over the artists handling the resin, they switched to a clear sealant instead. Both the older and newer pins are wooden with a nice thickness to them.

I ordered six of the tiny companions from the last hurrah re-release, and later I put in a separate order for the Beloved Bookshelf from their library series.

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The pins came in a small bubble mailer, which arrived in great shape, given that it came from Australia to the US!

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The pins came separated into pairs in little celo bags, with an extra pin back button tucked in with Thompson and Klaus, and a little mini print.

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And here are all six of these cuties out of the packaging! The surface of their older pins was a glass-like smoothness that was raised off of the image a bit because of the resin coat. These have a more textured brush-stroke or faint wood-grain like surface, which I actually really like because it seems to fit really well with the sketch-like aesthetic of the art. The coating is less dimensional as well, so it feels like the art is right there on the surface instead of a layer down.

cuties

Here are the backs, you can see how dimensional the pins are, and the rich dark color of the wood on the back ad sides. This gives the pins a nice sense of an outline when you look at them in person.

backsHere is the cute little mini print of the Crown Fox and the button. (The crown fox is one of the older pins I have and one of my favorites so I’m super happy to have him!)


fox button

The  Beloved Bookshelf pin actually came two days before the tiny companions, and since it was ordered alone it shipped separately (I didn’t even try to contact them about combining shipping as I was unsure when they would all ship). It was packed in small bubble envelope, which contained the pin in a little celo bag, and a postcard.

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Here is the front of the cute post card, and the pin all packaged up.


 

The pin is a little bit darker than the stock photo, but it doesn’t really bother me. I assume it has to do with the printing and sealing processes.
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All in all, the quality is very high, the packaging was well done. Everything arrived in great shape; no nicks, scratches, dents, cracks, or anything else on the product. The freebies are a little bent from the pins, but they were freebies and frankly, I feel like that just goes to show how durable the pins are. Out of the seven I ordered, six have remarkably accurate colors compared to the stock photos, and the one which is a little off, actually matches more things in my closet with it being a little darker, so I’m quite happy with it.
p.s. If you get anything in this type of mailer, tear the mailer, don’t try to pull the glued part open. And if you do pull the glued part open, absolutely don’t let your cat rub it’s head on it. It will stick making your cat a derpy unicorn and you will have to use cat shampoo to remove it from your sad cat.