Day With a Camera: Sugar Plum Fairytales

Once upon a time there was a kitschy Queen with a pretty, pretty princess and a bossy kitten that enjoyed the finer things in life. Things such as sugar, fluff, puff, stuff and more sugar sprinkled mayhem on top of that. In fact she thought the world might be a bit better if covered in sugar and so she spent her life running amok with her beautiful best friends while trying to make her dreams come true. Then the universe smiled on her and she met her King who had a couple princes and another pretty, pretty princess. They all 6 (her new lucky number) ran around with big handfuls of glittery love to throw onto the ground like petals at a wedding while the bossy little kitty sang the song of sunshine to all who would listen.

my pink cookie heart

popple baby

sugar plum cupcake

grapefruit

Buddha at the Art Institute of Chicago

This is a beautiful Buddha from the Art Institute of Chicago where my King took me last week and it reminded me of old, happy memories. I love it and it reminds me of my home in Japan and our home here because we have mini Buddha’s all over the house.

Jamie and Amber Renee by ZambiCandy

ZambiCandy drew this of Jamie and I recently! I commissioned it for her birthday because I knew she loved Zambi’s work and because we had been playing our 3DSs non-stop together and talking about how fun it was just like the cartoon above! It was perfect because we each got each other sentimental prints and gifts this year. Absolutely excellent work by an even sweeter artists. I highly recommend her for any chibi or manga work you want done!

PST! See more daily photos like this via instagram. My username is: amberrenee — xx!

Strawberry Switchblade Sings My Soul

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One band I cherished since a child (much like Bowie but more relatable on a sensitive and misunderstood girl level) and never outgrew is Strawberry Switchblade. I formed a cherished online friendship with Rose McDowall in the late 90s and grew to understand her in a more personal way as the creative soul she is. In grade school I created a very cute, pink and polkadot website devoted to the band visuals and audio decadence, I had musical appreciation websites for Strawberry Switchblade, No Doubt, Veruca Salt and Shampoo (my all-time favorite bands), to which I thought why not create features here as I’ve been meaning to do for years.

Rose is as magical as her music is. She and Jill Bryson wove visual gumdrops for my eyes to munch on obsessively and still inspire me heavily to this day. Miseducated’s first layout and many layouts thereafter were created while blasting Strawberry Switchblade songs over and over (and I mean OVER AND OVER). When I met my very best friend Kimi online in 1997 it was like the magical world they wove, a world of polkadots and acid-like colors dripping with cute psychedelia, came to life in our relationship. As a troubled child I often felt Kimi was the one person in the world who understood me, who would always be there (she’s still there). Our song was “Since Yesterday” by Strawberry Switchblade. When she calls even today that song rings out to let me know it’s my soul mate calling.

If you’ve never heard of Strawberry Switchblade and don’t appreciate the delicious 80s whirlwind of drum machines and their unique electronic music filled with happy, depressed, in love, best friend adoring, memory mourning troubled girl lyrics then you might not enjoy it but I honestly, yes with a big bias, cannot imagine how anyone could not want to dance, twirl in daisies and sing to their music. When I listen now it transports me back to memories from childhood, the good and bad, middle and high school filled with love, loss and raves, as well as today the love I still have for my very best friend Kimi, my cherubic three year old daughter and my boyfriend who is, at last, my love dream come true. Step back in time and many of the photos in the gallery below were posters on my wall and locker. Can you get enough?

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Many who know me well see the photos and instantly understand why I was so odd as a child (or even as an adult!) with my polkadot dresses and big, offensive, neon bows. I stood out like a miniature pop star in a small town school and many thought it was hilarious at my expense. I still get it to this day if I visit the town, people look at me like I’m an obviously lost alien. Hell it even happens in the city I reside in occasionally, I only seem to not be an eye sore in southern California on my many summer visits to stay with Kimi and in Tokyo, Japan of course.. but never really here, and so I know Strawberry Switchblade is singing my woes in a way that I will always understand. When you find a band like that you rarely let them go, who would want to? I’m still ready to dive into their “Deep Water” and never return.

1980s Toy Box: Poochie by Mattel

It’s time again for another of those absolutely pointless posts that allow me to relish in the visual deliciousness of popular icons from my childhood.

I’m planning a whole slew of updated posts filled with nonsense information about the adorable icons of our past. If you lived in the 80s as a kid you’ll probably enjoy it as well.

Our first feature is Poochie. I had the cartoons and stationary.. it makes my heart go to a special place when I see things I loved as a child. Everything is colorful, cute and so very magical. I love feeling like that. Like anything is possible!

How does your childhood nostalgia make you feel?

Who is Poochie?

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In the early 1980s Poochie was introduced by Mattel. She’s the cute poodle with hot pink hair and purple sunglasses who worked as an advice columnist whenever her owner was away. Sounds like an early blogger with a flare for fashion to me~

Although she was once very popular in North America she had her greatest marketing success in Italy and other parts of Europe. It’s very common to see Poochie items and ad prints in Italian!

Poochie, is it really you?
Sitting at the top knowing what to do
Poochie, now I understand–
how you’re always there with a helping hand.

Oh boy, it’s not so far away
I know you’ll be there come one day

Poochie is it really you…

Poochie Television Special

Poochie Commercials

Japanese Magazine Clippings: Happy and Free

I’m starting off Wednesday with another Japanese Magazine Clipping Inspiration Board. I’m really loving the 80s-kiddie style they’re bringing back in Japan (as well as Fairy-Kei!) — it’s really exciting for a candy girl like me.

I used to only want to have had kids if I could have them in the late 70s/80s (haha) because everything is so magical then. Don’t you agree?

I’m also so glad they’re re-releasing all the 80s character designs in Japan again, too! It’s like they took a page from the 90s-Miseducated book.. 80s nostalgia & rainbows obsession.

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6%DOKIDOKI Fashion at The World of Popples in Tokyo

I’m always excited to see what the 6%DOKIDOKI girls are up to as their shop is always one of my absolute favorite places to hang out in Harajuku. Their stage shows and events are always so colorful and delicious, it’s impossible not to want to jump right into the photos!

The girls had a fashion event in the Popple room and created the cutest outfits you could imagine, complete with large Popples surrounding their stomachs! Looks like a cute cushion when you’re not wearing it? Or rather a baby boppy? 😉

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More great photos singing with color here and here, at TokyoFashion. Fashion and show photos thanks to the wonderful girls of 6%DOKIDOKI.

Fairy-Kei and More Japanese 80s Revival Fashion

One of the reasons I love this style so much is because it looks exactly like my world as a little girl. I wish I could raid my closet and room from then so I could create my own little fairy-kei world again. I’ve realized this is exactly what I’m doing with Colette’s clothes and decor.. she’s getting all those adorable goodies I kept safe! Popples, Baby Brite, Avon character jewelry and more.

I guess I’m probably a big fan of decora too? Seems to be a bit of a difference in color hues with both styles of fashion. I’ve been a long-time lover of decora and that’s because it’s bright and tasty (think Barbie hot pink and an overload of rainbow accessories).

So let’s take a look at what makes fairy-kei special and what makes it different from decora…

fairykei

Fairy-kei is a candy-coated, marshmallow rainbow-covered delicious arrival in Japanese fashion. As Miseducated and SPANK! often do, it features the cute characters and motifs of the 80s: My Little Pony, Care Bears, Popples, Barbie, etc. The palettes favored seem to be all soft, light hues of the 80s marshmallow rainbow. Fairy-kei uses as many as 6 colors in an outfit, but don’t be too hasty with color — make sure that each of the colors balance each other out. Colors you use should be used at least one other time in the outfit, usually, to add icing on the cake and to tie it all together. Think bows, beads, accessories and pompoms!

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Photos are thanks to scans and the lovely places below.

All Dressed Up

Made In Girl Magazine
Tokyo Fashion
Niles Perch
SPANK!
Pop-Kei Community
La Carmina
Asia’s Vintage Clothing Explosion
Hello Reimei
Fairy-Kei Community
Drop Dead Kawaii aka Petsugar

Fairy-Kei Tips

If you’re an 80s kid, ransack through any old stuff you kept or stored and see what treasures you can find! It’s like new but has more meaning attached. If you can’t find any try ebay, flea markets and thrift stores for marshmallow rainbow 80s goods.
Tutus! They’re easy to find these days and very easy to make. You can make your tutu as simple or as decadent as you like; they’re all sweet when paired with a tee.
Pompons, bows, tulle — all in the marshmallow rainbow of fairy-kei — think of making yarn into large pompons for hair and keychains, smaller ones for other accessories.
Found some cute 80s fabric but the item is shot? Patch it onto a tee, add some glitter. Don’t wait for your favorite new t-shirt, make it!
A big pastel sweater with an alternating color of hair bow. Think big and ridiculously cute! Keep it simple if you like with a black tutu and flats, you can be Fairy-kei inspired without going over the top.

Kiki Kinoko Juice Dolls Customized as SPANK! Gals

I was just strolling through Petsugar’s blog and found the sweetest doll customizations I have yet to see. Have you heard of Kiki Kinoko Juice dolls? If you haven’t and are a geek for toys that make you squeel, you’ll probably faint. This doll customizer customizes the dolls to look like the girls of SPANK! (absolute fairy-kei eyecandy!).

The amount of detail she puts into her work is absolutely amazing! I can’t get enough of this in both doll customizations and doll outfits, especially when myself and the dolls have the same style. So much eye candy! I just. can’t. get. enough.

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Photos ar all thanks to *Super Sweet* !!

The Coloring Book Down Nostalgia Lane

Ever lounging with friends at home and whip out coloring books? It’s a collective moment where everyone (no matter how dazed) can relax and focus on colors and (usually) cheerful illustrations. I enjoy doing this with my friends while listening to music or watching tv and also at parties. Coloring pages can be fun at any age~

Coloring Pages

Sailor Moon, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears are all copyrighted characters.

Recycle and Upcycle Happy Meal Toys

Eh, so sometimes when my husband and I are running late or feeling really nasty we’ll grab happy meals — mainly just when the toys are cute… but what the hell do you do with the little plastic toys after you eat your meal?

Make something out of them!

My plan was to attach gems and glitter all over my lovely ponies and headbands with sweet unicorn emblems. Every headband is on it’s way to a special home for fun and whimsy instead of being chewed up in Wanwan’s bed or thrown in the garbage. 😉 Perhaps soon we’ll do some more silly DIY with all the plastic junk we always come across! ha

(go ahead and keep the box too for silly gifts to friends — haha)

Show me the plastic flash

Unconditional Kisses

Eating the food is like eating the box

You want dis?

Photos by Benjamin Amick <3 Dress: Manoush; Headband: DIY; Shoes: Russe & Rilakuma

Miseducated Inspired Love


Ariel: The Forest

Graphic Makeup

Does makeup matter? It matters as much or as little as you want it to. It can be as lovely, nude and natural as you like.. or it can be as out loud exciting as an lighting bolt. I like love it when people take things to the next level when using graphics and design to decorate their faces and bodies. YES PLEASE. YESYESYES.

Be sure to check out the step-by-step makeup tutorials in the Japanese magazine scans as well as some artist photos and tutorials below~

Makeup is a magic mask of color just waiting for you to get creative and change the rules. Wear it to a rave or, if you like to march to the beat of your own drum like most of us do, wear it to get groceries whenever you feel the need!

Decadent Makeup Here & There

From all around the world, cartoon, model or artist.. we like our makeup loud and clear.

Merci to the wonderful Audrey Kitching for her own love of the Miseducated lifestyle. She makes us so proud we could burst.

80s-inspired Magic Makeup

Courtesy of the amazing Bethany.

Colorful & Creative Makeup

This last colorful and creative makeup tutorial is by the wonderful Rebecca. Living a Miseducated life to her means, “Be yourself, never stop learning & never hold back on your creativity.”

Perfect!