October 15, 2019

2019-08 Picnic by Neptune's fountain in Prague

Yuki organized a picnic again at summer, this time in Havlíčkovy sady park in our capital, instead. I promised my son to take him along, and so we both went to meet Tairesia at the train station at morning. When we arrived to Prague, we left the train to find out we are on some small station at the city outskirt instead! Luckily, the ticket collector noticed us (thanks, frilly fashion!) and stalled the train for us to get back in :D





The picnic happened by Neptune's fountain with a grotto (artificial cave) behind it. I got up as far as I could for the best view!





We ate, chatted, and also played a game where you are said weird ending of a story and you have to guess what happened. One person brought a harp so we could listen to her playing, too! I loved the sound of the harp.



I went with minimal accessories. It was really hot and humid august day, so I swapped printed tights for frilly socks and removed the blouses' removable sleeves as soon as we arrived to the picnic.


Dress, Headbow: Angelic Pretty's Fancy Paper Dolls
Blouse, Wristcuffs: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Secret Shop


Some of the other wonderful outfits of the meetup!



                      Ruki                                          Amai                                       Tairesia


The afternoon flied by and before we realized, it was time to go home again... Goodbye!

July 7, 2019

2019-06 Meetup at Hluboka Castle

I've always wanted to do a meetup at the beautiful Hluboka castle nearby our city! Its just so sweet and wonderful, with rose gardens and a park around :3 I invited friends to a tiny picnic there and finally got to fullfill this dream ^.^

 

We had a perfect weather and the roses were just in full bloom. We set up the picnic in the park facing the castle, which was the perfect spot to take pictures with the castle in the background!



I took a reflex camera to take photos of the meetup, so I kept my coord simple, with Angelic Pretty's Dolce OP, and Angelic Pretty's headbow and wristcuffs. A lot of the photos turned out very high contract due to direct sunlight, but I was able to save them by removing shadows by this method!



We spent the afternoon walking the gardens, picnicking and talking, and I was fooling around with the camera a lot :D It was fun! My friends are so photogenic, I have to share at least a few of my favorites! Click to enlarge them, as always ^.^




July 3, 2019

Removing shadows in Photoshop

Its a common setup - an outside meetup on a sunny day. People dress wonderfully, you even bring a nice camera to have wonderful photos, and.. oops! The photos turn terrible because of the high constrast. I nearly cried when I saw how my photos had ended. After fooling around for a long while, though, I've found a decent way to lighten the shadows and save the photos! 


Before..


After...



How did I do it with Photoshop?


  • On the right panel, find and click CHANNELS.
    Ctrl+click RGB layer


  • It made a selection of the lighter areas.
    We want shadows, so we invert the selection:
    Pick Magic Wand tool, right-click image, pick Select Inverse.

  • Let us paste our selection as a new Layer:
    Go back to LAYERS, press Ctrl+J

  • Now we lighten the shadows:
    Right-click the new layer, pick Blending Options, and set the Blend Mode to Screen.

Thats it, we are done with the core of the problem!
Now theres a few tweaks to do.


We may want to apply the lightening only on part of the image or not so strong. Layer Mask will take care of that. At the bottom of the LAYERS panel, click  to Add Layer Mask. A white layer will appear locked to your shadows-lightening layer.


You can draw on the mask or erase from it as you like. White means the effect is applied in full, black means it is not applied at all. So erase where you do not want lightening, draw where you want it, and you can even draw with lower Flow where you want partial lightening. I omitted much of the greenery as it looked weird without shadows.



Another thing I noticed is, when you lighten the shadows a lot, they become more color saturated than the rest. This can be fixed with Adjustement layer. in LAYERS window, right beside Add Layer Mask, right-click    to add Adjustment Layer. Pick Hue/Saturation, and in the ADJUSTMENTS panel lower the Saturation. Of course, it gets applied to all layers. To apply it only to the last layer, click this icon at the bottom of ADJUSTMENTS panel.

 

We are all set now! You can also lighten the shadows repeatedly, but removing the shadows completely will feel unnatural! Here is a closeup of an original image, two passes of shadows lightening, and the difference when Saturation adjustment layer was used. It looks much more natural after!


I was so glad I could save the meetup photos!
I hope it will come handly to more people ^.^

June 28, 2019

Angelic Pretty's Fancy Paper Dolls


Fancy Paper Dolls print was released in 2013. Originally, I wasn't bold enough for such a print, but in last years I've drifted from plainer pieces to dresses I really love. I managed to get my preferred colorway and cut, and it was a set with headbow and tights! I'm soo in love with the print


 


It is printed on burberry cotton, and the color is a bit blue shade of lavender. The dress is highwaisted and the tiered skirt with built-in petticoat offers a decent poof by itself! Bonus points for pockets ^.^ 



The print has cute figures and motives and ribbons!



I love the pink tag with button on the headbow :3


The same cute pictures are also on the tights!



I tried to combine the print with pink, and with white!
Which do you think looks better?


Dress, Headbow: Angelic Pretty's Fancy Paper Dolls
Blouse: Bodyline
Wristcuffs: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Secret Shop


Dress, HB, OTKs: Angelic Pretty's Fancy Paper Dolls
Blouse: Angelic Pretty
Wristcuffs: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: Secret Shop

June 6, 2019

2019-03 Chocolate meetup

Another year went by and Yuki with Mitsu made another chocolate meetup in Prague's Choco Cafe! We went together with Tairesia and saw some nice scenery in Prague on the way there.


On the left is neo-gothic Kranner's Fountain, and on the right rotunda of the Finding of the Holy Cross, a romanesque rotunda built in 12th century.




The theme of the meetup was chocolate, so a lot of people went with chocolate prints or brown pieces. Since I don't own anything like that, I opted for general sweets outfit with cakes and macarons and cupcakes in print!

Dress:Angelic Pretty's Decoration Dream apron-style JSK
Blouse: Bodyline
Headbow, OTKs: Angelic Pretty
Pink bow: made by Yuki 💖



There was also this french lolita with gorgerous Triple Fortune outfit complete with one of those Triple Fortune bonnets!



We each got a cute welcoming package. At the time, we did not yet know how useful the macaron pens will be during the meetup.


We had banquet available with cakes and other baked goods, all in neat, small pieces, and drinks. The chocolate ones were delicious and not overly sweet, but between chocolate degustation, drinking hot chocolate, and these cakes, I bet people's desire for chocolate was satiated for upcomming month and beyond!



For me, the highlight of the meetup was a chocolate workshop we could sign in to in advance. We had the unique opportunity for a tour in a small chocolate factory in the back of the cafe, where they make their own chocolate products, and to create our own custom chocolate.

We got to hear some talk about history and processing of the chocolate beans. During the processing, the beans are divided into chocolate powder and chocolate butter. Which means, white chocolate containing chocolate butter is real chocolate too! Yay!


We got to taste the raw beans, and also the roasted beans. They tasted like a bitter, crunchy version of the cooking chocolate powder from stores. The guide said she likes to chew on the roasted chocolate beans instead of nuts when watching tv!


Then we tasted different kinds of chocolates and also got the ingredients to make our own. We got raw chocolate chips, chopped pecan nuts, chopped dried cherries, coconut, ginger, chilli, salt, and some sprinkles. We poured the chocolate into a mold, decorated with the ingredients, and handed it to the guide. Note! An important thing about making chocolate at home is correctly tempering the molten chocolate, which results in a smooth, nice surface when you remove it from the mold.


I put over my outfit a transparent one-use rain coat to protect it! Friends thought its fun, but it served the purpose. I put a lot of cherries into my chocolate, and also some chopped nuts, and a little bit of salt into one corner. When the chocolates were finished, we could pack them up. Of course I couldn't resist and bought also one of their own chocolates, with cinnamon and coffee.


And there were games and events! Aside the chocolate workshop, there was a raffle, a group knowledge contest, a chocolate themed word puzzle to fill, and activities point card!

The points were given for
  • chocolate themed outfit
  • finishing the word puzzle
  • answering question in the word puzzle
  • group knowledge contest
  • attending chocolate workshop
  • naming at least three chocolate prints
  • selfie with anything chocolate posted to the fb event


I really tackled it down and managed to finish everything including taking this chocolate selfie and won the contest! I hope I wasnt too enhtusiastic to be on everyones nerves, I was really happy to see everyone and it was wonderfully put together meetup! I'm looking forward to next years'!

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