Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Farewell blogspot!

There are many pros and cons to using Blogspot, however after careful debate, and much wringing of hands, I've decided to move over to the glamorous world of WordPress!

Sorry, my followers! If you would be kind enough to update your bookmarks, rss feeders, etc. to I would be much obliged!

See you in the glittery future!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Super Street Fighter IV! A Chubby Bunny appears!

The Street Fighter IV party I was so stoked about was pretty fun! I did a short writeup on the event over at my other, OTHER blog at Bubble Punch!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Street Fighter anxiety

Been a tad too busy to blog lately, lots of things going on with Chubby Bunny which I can't wait to announce! And, among other things, tonight I'm heading to the Super Street Fighter IV release party held by our friends at Capcom! Yee ha!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Dress Show, May 8th at Pehr Space, Los Angeles

I will be participating in "The Dress Show," a night celebrating clothing as art, curated by Dawn Anderson.

Dawn has embarrassingly chosen to throw me on the flyer... haha. Please enjoy my awkward gaze.


A Conceptual Group Show
Saturday May 8th

Curated By : Dawn Anderson

Alexandria See
Amy Golden
Davina Garcia
Elissa Gennello
Jana Xen Rockwell
Ron Outlaw
Arlene Siordia
Michelle Nguyen
Pauline Lay
Dawn Anderson
Josh McCool
Leah Barber

DJ Mike Bell (Lymbyc Systym)
Hot TV
Go West Young Man

You can view the Facebook invite here!

LA Weekly will also be in attendance snapping photos and doing an article, so come on out and show your support! FOR ART! AND CLOTHES! AS... ART!
Hope to see you all out there!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I was having a crappy day a bit ago, and a friend made a comment about how I am going to my "homeland" tomorrow, so I should cheer up.

She was actually very spot on. Actually, Japan and LA are the 2 places I feel I can call "home."
I lived in Japan longer than I've been in LA so far, but I'm about to pass that mark soon.

What is "home?" Is it just somewhere where you've been for a long time? Somewhere where you really felt like you belonged? I think I tried very hard to belong in both Japan and LA, and was successful in some ways in both places.

Living in Japan was a great experience for me, and while I was there, I made a lot of friends, had insane adventures I had never dreamed of, and brushed up a lot on my Sherlock Holmes skills. I was extremely happy with my social life, but after 3 years, I decided to move to Los Angeles. When I left, I did feel like it was about time to go, to search for my "career" in a way that was impossible for me to do in Japan. While there, I was only able to be an English teacher, an easy enough job, if a little frustrating, but with short hours, great pay, and flexible schedule. I didn't enjoy the job itself that much, as I felt that my real skills lay more in the creative and editorial field. So I left, with the promise of a job working for the Gothic & Lolita Bible in Los Angeles.

Photo from the Gothic & Lolita Bible blog on Tokyopop's website.

My work there was definitely more substantial, and I felt like I was building a real skill set, finally, other than prancing around a room saying "REPEAT AFTER ME! BANANA! BANANA!" to 3 year olds. However, we all know how that ended up. Tokyopop folded and laid off over 90% of its employees, including myself, though keeping me on for one more issue as freelance before they finally ended the magazine.

I went on to other jobs that didn't quite suit me, and which I eventually got laid off from anyway. I felt that I had moved away from Japan in vain. There was no "career" to pursue after all. I felt like I had no real skills, and was floundering in the job market here for quite a while. Ironically, it is not my full time jobs that gave me the most satisfaction, but my interests and hobbies which turned into paying gigs towards the summer of last year.

It's funny, but all along it turns out that it wasn't that I was failing in my job skills, it was simply that I needed to create the perfect position for myself. There isn't an "entrepreneur" nor "coordinating wizard" section on Craigslist or anything like that. Rather, by carving out these 2 businesses, I've been able to get real footing in this city for the first time since I've moved here.

Starting Chubby Bunny Accessories has been extremely rewarding, and has really shown me that I am not "talentless" after all. The concept for the bows started around spring of last year, and really came to a head during my collaboration with Sanrio for their Three Apples event in October of 2009. To my complete surprise, my red Hello Kitty bows were the best selling item of the entire 3-week event! I've continued a solid working relationship with Sanrio and have plans to come out with more collaboration products with them later this year.

Also, co-leading Bubble Punch with Yume Ninja has been hugely successful. We had been helping movers and shakers around LA add whimsy and fun to their events for over a year. Our reputation for outrageous outfits proceeded us, as we challenged ourselves to create even more glamorous and fun garments for every event we attended.

A short rundown of the outfits I've created/coordinated in the past 2 years since moving to LA:

"The Red Admiral." Photographed by William Bradley, retouching by True Mee Lee. This was the first photoshoot I'd ever styled for myself. This was for the MaruiOne photocontest, in which I placed 2nd.

Snow Queen outfit for Rococo Rendezvous, hosted by Zippercut.

For JapanLA's "Shiny Party" event at Royal/T. This also marks the 2nd time I'd assisted in retail display or their pop-up shop.

Circus Tent outfit for Zippercut's "Cirque du So Lame" party at Royal/T. This is one of my favorites. Mot photos don't show it, but the outfit has lights through the hat, "stage" area, and around the circular "tent" itself.

Battling True Mee at zippercut's Crusaders and Haters party. I took inspiration from villains from Japanese Sentai shows for this one. The little white circles are actually LED lights I installed on the costume.

After multiple appearances such as these, True Mee and I decided to buckle down and make a name for ourselves... literally. With the creation of Bubble Punch, we were able to put a name and organization affiliation to our unique projects, and give a reference point to anyone who wanted us to help at their events. Right after creating Bubble Punch, we found we had no lack of projects to keep us busy.

Bubble Punch's first "official" gig under our new company name. Helping Mandy of Zippercut at Japanology at Royal/T

Easily Bubble Punch's most successful event, Hello Kitty's Bats & Cats Masquerade boasted over 1,500 attendees. Photo of me fixing Kitty-chan's goth outfit, which I handmade.

Despite the insane amount of projects I am constantly juggling, there are 2 factors that are essential to my success:

1) My higher (if not sometimes floundering ) sense of self confidence I have gained over the years. Something found with age, I suppose, I am definitely a stronger woman now than I was 5, or even 2 years ago. I see some people who complain of their lack of success in a certain area, but there is a lot to be said for keeping a positive outlook and simply trying your best with the knowledge that it will work out. Losing that sense of positivity was something I had to cope with when I bounced from job to job after my layoff at Tokyopop.

2) The incredible support and love from my friends. This sounds like a cheesy Oscar's speech, but without the support of my friends, I would have no one to critique me on my work, no one to cheer me up when I was in despair, no one to yell at me when I began to give up, no one to help me finish projects when there was one too many tasks. The incredible friends I have found across my travels have helped me grow into who I am today, and I am forever grateful for that.

Tomorrow I leave for Japan for a 10 day visit to my old homeland, where I will be able see my old friends, visit my old haunts, and dust off my Japanese skills. I'm incredibly happy to go back and be able to tell my friends there that I didn't move away in vain, and that eventually, everything has worked out for me in the end.

I've been able to put away my shame at not being able to find a job that's a "good fit" for me. Instead, I am proud to say that my skills are better suited to being my own boss.

And I am happy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Perfume, J'adore

I have some of their songs on my mp3 player I only use at the gym (great music for running), but it turns out their videos are pretty cute, too! They have a very "typical" style of dancing (, but I really do enjoy the blocked colors and sort of throwback style of their videos.

Their new PV ("music videos" are referred to as "PVs," promotional videos, in Japan) below is their latest. Thanks Jamiroquai(had to google how to spell that)! The moving floor thing NEVER GETS OLD with me. Don't be hatin'! I love robotic/cheerleader style dancing and sequential waterfalls of movement. True Confessions: I was a cheerleader in 6th through 7th grade.

ナチュラルに恋して (Naturally/Normally Falling in Love)

"One Room Disco"
Cute concept with this one, but their choreography can get a bit weird/off. I like when they move to the upper levels. The lighting in this gets a little crazy as well. Good inspiration for solid-color design ideas, though.

"Secret Secret"
It's like a very peppy ad for Pino chocolates =0 They are cute Asian robots powered by Pino (Actually a chocolate shell with ice cream inside). I like the "cameraman's" outfit in this one the best.

Osaka, land that I love.

Recently, Will introduced me to JanneM's flicker profile. This man is a very talented photographer, as well as a neuroscientist of some kind, who now lives in Osaka, close to where Will and I used to live. his photos are making me EXTREMELY nostalgic. A lot of them are just plain beautiful. It took me 3 days to get through his entire Flickr set. It's really lovely, and I suggest putting aside some time to look at them, too, if you're ready for heart wrenching nostalgia to hit you fast. So excited to go to Japan! I'll be going there in a week to visit old friends, be nostalgic, and do a tiny bit of business..

My favorites:

Who needs sign twirlers? NOT THIS GUY. BTW Media Cafe Popeye is awesome.
Signholder by JanneM.

Happy Drunken Salaryman
Party Commuter by JanneM.

Cute asian children
Children and umbrellas by JanneM.

Ridiculously overpriced Hokkaido melons. 15750 yen is about $180USD.melon by JanneM.

Late night ramen at the corner. I think this is the one on the edge of Dotonbori.
Ramen stand by JanneM.

Cute girls selling Christmas cakes. Reminds me of Hagu.Happy salesgirls by JanneM.

Before Will and I started dating, he would come to the bar I worked at on Monday nights and drink there until it closed at midnight. Then we'd get some chu-his and pork buns from the convenience store and walk over to the river and sit right here and stare at the Don Quixote Ferris wheel at night. Good memories.
Don Quixote Ferris wheel by JanneM.

My host bros.
Gigolos by JanneM.

Sakura viewing by Osaka Castle.Hanami at Osaka-jo by JanneM.Hanami parties under the trees by JanneM.

So excited. Overly nostalgic.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Shirley Manson & Elijah Wood For Oliver Peoples Eyewear

Very cute video but... the film quality looks a little off? Oh Shirley Manson, what have you been up to? Your enormous and glorious hair makes Elijah look a little bit like a hobbit, still, I fear.

Do watch!

DIY: How to be the best girlfriend ever. Baked Eggs and Ai no Bento!

Will's birthday was last Wednesday, so I woke up bright and early to prepare him a lovely breakfast in bed, and also to make him a super fun bento :)

DIY: How to Breakfast! Baked Eggs with Bunny Toast

1) Get two ramekins, and put in about 1/2 a tblspoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of milk or cream in each/ put in the broiler and let melt. Take ramekins out of broiler. Then, place 2 eggs in each. If you're a ham lover, put in 2 pieces of lunch meat ham at the bottom of the ramekin before putting in the egg. Add a bit of salt and pepper.

2) Top the eggs with your choice of thyme, rosemary, oregano, cheese (I used mild cheddar), and lots of green onion. Place the ramekins back in the broiler for 15 to 25 minutes, until yolks are slightly firm

3) While ramekins are in the broiler, toast some bread. You can take any shape cookie cutter to make cute shapes once the toast is ready. I made some small bunny bread bites!

4) When eggs are done, take out of broiler, and let sit for 3 minutes. Place on a plate with the toast bites, and service! ta da!

Picture #15
DIY: 愛の弁当の作り方! How to Ai no Bento! (Love Bento!)

1) Steal flat-ish tupperware from roommate. Hope he doesn't notice. Line one side with lettuce or spinach. For the other side, I prepped "containers" for the onigiri using round pieces of wax paper that I taped the sides up of. You can also use cupcake papers for this, I was just too cheap to buy them hehe.

2) Prepare omelette: I made Japanese-style sweet omlettes, which is simply 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of dashi, and 2 teaspoons of sugar whipped up and put into a pan. Usually sweet omlettes are rolled, but to make shapes, I kept it flat. (Right around this time, the broiler had set off the fire alarm, so while I was running around trying to turn it off, the eggs has cooked flat anyway haha). When soft and firm, take out of pan and place on cutting board to let cool for about 3 minutes. Then, I used bunny bread press molds and pressed bunny and bear shapes into the omlette. (yours shouldn't be QUITE as burny as this one..)

3) I had grilled some beef tenderloin the night before for dinner, so I took the leftovers and sliced them up to put in the bento. You can add any protein to the bento, though. Tiny chicken wings are a popular thing to throw in, too! I also sliced up some carrots into mini carrots. I was originally planning to put green "stalks" onto the carrots using broccoli, but I had run out of time...! If you like, you can also divide the meat and vegetables using a piece of wax paper.

4) For the left side, I made some round onigiri to decorate. Onigiri rice is simply regular white rice, cooled, and mixed with a dash of salt, and some rice vinegar. I've seen onigiri rice prepared several different ways in my time in Japan, so pick the kind you like the best :) I mixed the rice up, then dipped my hands in a bowl of water so the rice wouldn't stick to them as I grabbed the rice. Next, I grabbed a fistful of rice and packed it into a small ball. I made 3 to make our "family." I decorated the onirigi using dry seaweed that I cut up using plain kitchen scissors (make sure they are dry!) I made an onigiri tha tlooked like Will, me, and our guinea pig, Niblet.

5) I had the bright idea to try to make a little EVA from Wall-E out of a hard boiled egg, haha. I saw it in this other bento, and threw it in at the last minute. I boiled an egg the night before and stuck it in the fridge over night. I took it out, and sliced off the top 3rd of the egg.Then I took little chunks out under each "arm", and added an oval onto the face. The oval is just a small piece of dry seaweed. I had to wet it a little bit to get it to stick to the egg. Sooooort of ghetto, but it's the AI in the AI NO BENTO that counts!

6) Here's a pic of the onigiri and egg together!

7) and that's it! I added another piece of waxpaper on top of the bento before I closed it up so that the stuff inside wouldn't roll around too much. I also gave Will a bottle of Kewpie Mayo for his birthday haha.

The end!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

DIY: Go, Go, Gatchaman!

My other professional venture outside of Chubby Bunny is Bubble Punch, and we were recently invited to host a cosplay contest over at LeBasse Projects for the opening of Yoshitaka Amano's "Deva Loka" collection.

Mybusiness partner, True Mee, and I needed to dress up in Amano-inspired outfits for the event, so I broke my nearly 5 year long run of cosplay-avoidance and jumped back into the spirit of things, haha... (for those who don't know, I cosplayed A LOT back in college).

I ended up going as Jun from Gatachaman (or G-Force, as it was called in States), since she is featured in one of the paintings shown at the "Deva Loka" installation at the gallery right now.

The outfit itself was easy. I used leftover white vinyl and threw together a cape and boned collar in about an hour. The dress I made from pink spandex I got from my good friend, and Chubby Bunny helper, Jenny. In a fit of laziness, I simply sewed a tube, sewed across the top, and cut out a space for my arms and head, hahaha. GHETTO! The Gatchaman logo I stuck onto my chest with spray adhesive right before we left the house.

For the belt, I got really lucky, and one of my coworkers informed me that she had 5 of them laying around she ordered from a few years ago from a Gatchaman cosplay group that never ended up happening! SCORE! I made the belt out of white vinyl, and made a pouch for my cell phone, and another one for business cards! VERY IMPORTANT! I hate having bags that don't match my costume in pictures, so I always try to sew in some sort of pouch into all of my costumes, or make a matching purse.

The helmet was the only thing I really stressed about, because I didn't know how to pull it off. In retrospect, I really should have just sewed a hood using white vinyl, like the other girl who showed up in the same costume as me, haha.

But I really liked the helmet idea, so I called around EVERYWHERE looking for one...

I ended up finding the perfect helmet at one of my favorite stores for costume stuff: Robinson Beautilities. They had a whole back room of army surplus and some old police uniform items, so I hooked myself up with an old fashioned police helmet, and even negotiated a discount with the manager! Usually they only rent out costumes they have in the back, but if you like to barter, you can get a really good price on some of their older costume items!

Short tutorial of how I changed the dirty black and white helmet into the Jun helmet:

Here's how it came:

I used painter's tape and a plastic bag to block off the inside of the helmet, and then spray painted the entire thing white. It took about 3 or 4 coats until the black wasn't visible and the color was pretty even. I just used a generic OSH brand semi-gloss spray paint, about $3.

Then I cut patterns for the "eyes" and traced them on both sides of the helmet with a pencil, flipping the pattern piece to get the exact mirror image for the other side. Then I painted in with some yellow, orange paint-- about 4 layers to get the right opaqueness, and did black circles inside.

For the visor, I bought a gel (sheet of colored plastic used for changing lighting colors) from Samy's Camera in Culver City, for about $7. It's flexible and very easy to work with. It can get wrinkled though, if you crush it, so make sure not to put anything on top of it, or accidentally step on it o.0

I laid a piece of newspaper onto the brim of the helmet and curved it around to create a pattern for the visor, making sure that it extended up at either end so I could attach it with screws directly into the helmet. (the holes were pre-drilled). To get it perfectly symmetrical, i folded the paper in half first, lined up crease with the center of the helmet, and traced where I wanted to cut directly onto the paper on the right side. Then, I took the paper off, refolded it, and cut out both halves to match the one side.

Then I taped the pattern to the gel, and cut out the brim.

I attached the brim/ visor by putting in a washer and a screw into either side. I later painted over the metal parts with the orange paint so it wasn't as visible as in the picture below.

When I got dress, I tossed on some super long eyelashes, wore very baby pink lipstick, and gave myself on-purpose helmet hair by curling my hair flipped out. I flipped my bangs up, also, so they would curl around the brim of the helmet.

And here is the end result!

More photos later :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Fall 2010 RTW lovelies..

Hemming and hawwing over these great looks!

Lacoste Fall 2010 Ready to Wear
FANTASTIC hats! Also, I'm a big fan of color blocking like this... lots of solid color on one area of the body... I dress like this a lot actually. But god, I really want this hat!

Cushnie et Ochs Fall 2010 Ready To Wear
I love me some good cowl action.... She reminds me of someone from Star Wars? I like looking like an alien sometimes in my everyday wear, so maybe that's why I'm so attracted to this... haha..

Friday, February 12, 2010

Already dreaming of Fall 2010

Taking a look at some of the Fall 2010 stuff has got me feeling very... goth! Just a few picks from what I was browsing through this afternoon...

L.A.M.B. Fall 2010 Ready to Wear
A lot of things in this collection are very similar to some Westwood blazers we've already seen before. I do like her take on the mini bolero and the BELTS-ALL-OVER-THE-PLACE method! (Anyone else here remember Lulu from FF? haha..)

Cynthia Steffe Fall 2010 Ready to Wear

Very, VERY school girly-y! I really liked this simple combo. School girl chic with a tough looking jacket and Tom Cruise-y sunglasses to roughen it up.

I am Chubby Bunny blog!

Hey everyone! I've moved over here from my old Michelle Monster blog, so please update your bookmarks!

This journal will be dedicated to my Chubby Bunny lifestyles, as well as provide insight on my designs and projects for Chubby Bunny accessories!

Please check it out!