Friday, September 9, 2011

Osaka: Orientation Day 1

I will be the first to admit, that studying abroad is VERY intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you have not done it before.  Not that this is a bad thing, but it can easily cause a lot of stress, necessary and unnecessary.  Most of this probably has a lot to do with culture shock, language barriers, little number of friends in the beginning, unsure where to get started or how to ask, etc.  Even if you do know the language, it can still be difficult, especially when put in a region with a completely different dialect.  Kansai-ben(関西べん) is much different than what we deem as "standard" Japanese, and it shows when speaking and listening to others speak.  Some examples:

*Thank you:  arigatou ありがとう -> ookini おおきに
*I likesuki desu すきです -> sukkyana すっきゃな

It can be very different. Although, this also makes for an interesting, upcoming school year. :)


Some tips for everyone if you decide to study abroad one day.

*find yourself a good support system IN and OUT of the country you are going to. A good support system will help you when you are feeling culture shock, depression, jet lag, or emotional.

*Budget and plan accordingly.  How much will it cost? What is the rate of exchange? How much for transportation and how often will you be traveling or using a transit system? Food? Rent? Extra? All of this should be taken into consideration. Rate of exchange fluctuates everyday, and will effect your budget. Find out if you also are able to get a part time job. This can not only help you budget your money, but will also enhance your study abroad experience and will look super on your resume. :)

*Bring extra shoes in case you need them. You won't always have time or money to just go out and buy new shoes. Bring an extra pair, especially if you plan on doing a lot of walking (such as in Japan).

*Make sure to have a list of emergency contacts in and out of the country. Be sure to have a list of doctors, hospitals, etc and find out what your insurance covers overseas. This is very helpful in case anything happens.

*Obey the rules/laws of both countries. Don't be stupid. You can't fix it.

*Get out and meet people! Socialize! Especially in Japan! This is a very important part of your study abroad experience. Meet people, make friends or even SOs. No use spending all that money to recluse yourself. ^_~  This is also a very good way to learn the language and culture, as well as help ease culture shock.

Those are just some basic tips. I will leave more from time to time. ^^  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at:   OR


We had orientation today beginning at 1, with a lunch at noon.  I am not much of an udon fan, since I prefer my noodles to be a bit crunchy and udon is as far from crunchy as you can get, but today's niku udon was delicious. :)  It was 280 yen for a large bowl. Can't beat that with a wooden stick. ^_~  

Orientation was kinda half boring and half interesting.  I mean, we were just reviewing a large packet of papers that we already read through a dozen times, along with some new info on cell phones and alien registration and national health insurance.  It is about as basic and important that you can get, but at the same felt like it would never end. lol

I am thinking about getting a basic plan with an "au phone". It will be more affordable than others, and I can get unlimited calling to 3 other people. :)  But at the moment, I need to make sure I can afford my year here.  I am behind about $7000 and I have to come up with it somehow before I leave back to the States.  This includes rent and remaining tuition amount.  


I am having some difficulties with coming up with the proper amounts. I can't ask my family for any more money since they don't have any, and I can't get student loans since I don't have a job (at the moment) and I don't have anyone who can co-sign.  I am really worried about finances.  I am not sure I will be able to come up with $7000 from working part time.  My work visa will not go through for another three months, so I have to somehow come up with the money for rent from that time outward until I can save up enough worth in rent.  Plus electric and linens utilities.  *sigh*  I wish I could get more scholarships.  I have been applying, but it is really competitive, and it is difficult for people who need the scholarships to actually GET them.  I'm a bit worried I may be screwed before I have to come back to the US.


Well, all of that aside... I have to study a little while for the Japanese language placement exams tomorrow.  I have a feeling this is going to be another long day. @.@  It starts at 9am.  I really hope I don't have to start from square A. >.<  I will be greatly upset if I have to pay AGAIN for something I already know and already taken.  It is really frustrating.  I am worried about the exam, because I do NOT test well, and I get really nervous when it comes to taking a written or oral exam, ESPECIALLY an oral exam.  I am scared that my inability to test properly will flunk me into a language class I am already familiar with, proficient in and comfortable with.  I don't want to pay $40,000 to learn what I already know. >.<  I want to learn what I DON'T already know. :)  This is how I improve my knowledge and cultural experience. ^.^


Originally, we were planning to go to Umeda today, but we didn't get out of orientation until after 5pm. :(   So instead we picked up some needed things at the hyakuin 百いん (hyaku ya 百夜, hyaku en ya 百円夜, etc).

I'm a little hungry, but I am so sleepy and jet lagged. @.@  I am probably going to wait to eat until tomorrow after the exam. I think tomorrow, if the exams are not an ALL day thing, we will head out to Umeda to either the SukiYa or for some shabu shabu and treat ourselves before we no longer can. lol

Today was a pretty good day, I'll say. Long though, since I woke up around 6am. It is hard to believe it is only 8:30pm.  It feels SO much later. Once more, I blame the jet lag. :D

oyasumi nasai minna san!

<3 From:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Arrived: Osaka

Finally, after a looong process of applications, moving, and traveling, I have at last arrived safely in Osaka.

The plane ride was very long.  Overall it was a 17 hour trip. By the time we arrived at Kansai International, all 11 of us were ready to drop.  We went from St. Louis to Dallas, Dallas to Tokyo, and then Tokyo/Narita International Airport to Kansai International Airport. The first two flights were on American Airlines, and then we switched to Japan Airlines for the domestic flight.

We took a taxi from Kansai International to the dorms, however the total was nearly 200000 yen. I wanted to cry. That is a lot of money for the first day here. When we arrived at the dorms, they quickly got us settled into our rooms (the dorm manager was kind enough to help carry luggage).  Unfortunately, immediately after everyone got settled in, we had to have a meeting for paperwork.  I will tell you, no matter how much Japanese we knew (some of us are very fluent), being exhausted makes it very difficult to process what anyone is saying. 

There are plenty of others here in the dorm that are from the US, some from France and others from other places. There are a lot of Japanese students here as well. ^^

Something that I didn't expect, was the culture shock when it came to the dorms. The rules are quite strict.

*Not allowed outside after 11pm. The dorms become locked. If we are locked out more than once, then our parents are notified and we have to write a log in a book.

*No guys allowed in the building.

*No eating in the dorm rooms, but for a fee, you can smoke. (I don't quite understand this part...)

And so many others, but those are the ones that are most important.  I do understand the difference in culture, thus the "parents being notified" part, but since we are from overseas, this may be a little difficult as well as pricy.

The room is very cozy, and we have our own air conditioning (thank goodness!!!). Japanese air conditioning in main areas really sucks. It is really hot and humid, and the air in the building may only be one or two degrees cooler than outside. @.@  When walking into our own rooms, it is like walking into an ice box. lol

I am still trying to figure out and budget my finances.  I have a few months' rent set aside, but I don't have too much more to spare.  I am kind of worried about the later months.  I do look forward to obtaining a few jobs, doing the Volks service, and tutoring. 

I am still trying to figure out what clubs I want to join. I am leaning towards Kendo and Archery club. ^.^ 

Since I came back, I am very happy.  It is very comforting to see places I have  been before, eat foods I love, get the exercise that is harder to get back in the States, and even enjoy a culture that I really love and appreciate. This trip, though stressful, is entirely rewarding, and I would never have done it differently, nor will I ever regret it.

I have orientation in a few. Then off to the Hyakuin (what the kids at Kansai U call the 100 yen stores) and then heading out to Umeda and Nihonbashi.  I want to check out Volks, at least briefly before the weekend. Maybe shabu shabu tomorrow or something as an arrival treat.  Plus, I also want to eat at the Sukiya.  I miss eating at the Sukiya.  The gyudon is amazing here.  I had gyudon at the Japanese festival, but I really wanted to gag.  It was not very appetizing. >.<  I love real Japanese food. 


Monday, August 15, 2011

Japan, May 2011: Kyoto

In my third day in Kyoto now. Everyone else went to Osaka for a lunch and to hang out, but I really didn't want to take the train all the way back to Osaka. I had some things that I needed to get done here in Kyoto before I missed my chance.

So...To Gion I was off. I had some places marked to search for the following items:

*Shiro Nuri (maiko/kabuki oshiori for Nihon buyou)
*Katsura wig cap (still have yet to find. :()
*Kimono/Yukata and accessories

The places I had marked to get to were:
*Gionya (shop in Gion which sells maiko makeup)
*Nishiki Food Market
*Pontocho, Hanamikoji-dori, Gion kobu
*Chicago (a kimono shop nearby the Nishiki Food Market)
*Takashimiya Department Store (to hunt for Kimono items)
*Teramachi-dori (the electrical street that features a bunch of stuff for anime/manga/games)
*Shijo-dori (shopping district)
*Aeon Mall (for yukata)
*Higashiyama (traditional markets are here)

I left at about 12:30 this afternoon, and I first headed towards the first kimono shop that was advised to me. However, I couldn't find it. >.< It was only about a 15-20minute walk, but I couldn't exactly find the actual shop. It was supposed to be on the 2nd floor, but of which shop?

As I was looking, these thee Australian men stopped me, and asked for directions. It was a bit nerve wracking, since they kept taking pictures of me while I was trying to help them. O.o one of them complimented on my braids. I was a bit uncomfortable, but I was happy to be able to help. They didn't know any Japanese, but I told them that there were quite a few in Kyoto who knew a bit of English, so they could always drop in and ask.

O.o I stopped into this omiyage shop and was confronted by this nice old man.

This nice old man had me sit with him and make origami. lol He taught me how to make origami cranes, and we did it a few times.  He told me that the kimono shop is now a hat shop, and that the kimono shop closed down. This made me sad, but I still had several others listed on my list. ^_^ He gave me a handful of origami paper as a gift, as well as the cranes we both made. He was so kind! I ended up buying a little okobo phone strap from him in the end. ^_^

Since the shop was closed down, I decided to head towards the Aeon Mall, but decided to turn back the other way at Kyoto Station and get over to Gion instead.

The train fare was only 150 yen, and about a 5 minute ride from Shichijo Station to Gion-shijo Station. Only two stops.

After arriving, i went straight to find the Gionya, where I could get my makeup.

I only really wanted to purchase the shiro nuri, and not the rest of the makeup, but somehow I ended up getting half of a full set. O.O I got the base wax, the shiro nuri, red paint for lips and eyes, sponge, brush, and brush for the red. OMG I spent about $80 there. MUCH more than I intended, and it put me back further in funds than I planned. This was no good, but the makeup was needed. It is nice to have my own set, instead of having to rely on sensei's makeup.

Now. Off to find kimono.

I learned that it is best to NOT try and purchase a kimono from a department store or mall. O.O Tabi alone were $30 or $50. I looked around, but didn't actually buy anything.

I was starting to feel a bit sick, so I stopped and ate at McDonald's. 2 Shaka Shaka Chicken, a vanilla shake (which I didn't drink) and a large coke. The soda here is not nearly as carbonated as the soda in the States, which is wonderful! <3

Then I headed back towards Gion, skipping Shijo, Higashiyama, Teramachi and the Nishiki Food Market. I can go there tomorrow with Kris.

When I went back to Gion, I decided to go and visit the Hanamachi areas. I skipped Pontocho today. I am extremely tired and exhausted. I feel a little sick right now, so I decided to go when I felt better. But, I did get to see two maiko. I didn't take pictures, because A, my camera was in my purse. And B: she went straight from the door of the ochaya to the taxi. There wasn't time to take a picture and I thought it would be best to just see her with my own eyes.

She was wearing a lovely pink hikizuri. <3

I didn't wander much, so I didn't get to experience all of the hanamachi or gion. I am desperately wanting to visit some of the temples in Gion. <3 I think I will go either tomorrow, or when we get back for Kansai Daigaku.

On my way back to Gion-shijo Station, I stopped into this little shop that sold Kanzashi and other accessories for maiko/geiko, kabuki actors and kimono wearers. I wanted so bad to purchase kanzashi, but I instead bought tabi I so desperately needed. I prefer the stretch tabi over the standard tabi. They look nicer, and they are much better for dancing than the stiff, cotton ones.

This pretty much marks the end of my Gion trip for today. I am back at the hotel, and had some chocolate ice cream and a soda. So thirsty. I can't get enough to drink.

Yesterday, us four girls on the team went to an onsen in the old Geisha district. It was a wonderful experience. I was VERY nervous at first...Im not really good at being naked in front of people I don't know.  But it was a great bonding experience with my team mates. ^__^ I am glad I decided to go! (I almost didn't....)

At the onsen, I decided to step onto the scale for the first time in a while. The doctor's office weighed me at a horrid 190lbs. I have been struggling so hard with my hypothyroidism, and losing even FIVE pounds is a nightmare. I had struggled to lose just 5 pounds for the past year. And yesterday, I discovered that in the course of three weeks, I have dropped down to 184lbs! That's almost TEN lbs! It really helps me keep going and motivated to get back down to what I was at the beginning of last year. I miss being 130lbs, and I miss being 115lbs. My thyroid problems have caused me to gain so much in such a short time, that it is so hard to want to do the things I love. I can't wear kimono in the shape that I was (hopefully I can a little better now!). None of my kimono fit me correctly, especially around the hip. This makes it hard for me to dance.

All of the exercise and portion eating is forced on me here. And sometimes I hate it, and sometimes it is really painful (especially when you are on traveling half of Japan on foot). But all of this is really good and healthy for me, and it is getting easier to watch what I eat. Here in Japan, even their fast food is not as greasy as American fast food, or as large in portion size, or as pumped with chemicals and hormones as our food is. The food is so much healthier, and much more tasty! I am NEVER eating Japanese food in the States again! haha

I am so much more motivated now than I was before!

I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of me these past couple years! Through my health problems, my relationships, my dancing, my life and especially, my cosplay. Without all of you, I could not still be here today doing what I love! Every one of you keeps me motivated and happy, and I hope that we can continue with the motivation and happiness!

I love you all so much!

Thank you everyone!

I need to figure out how to get my stuff home. O.O Our advisor said NO LUGGAGE, so we had to somehow fit all of our stuff in a carryon. Bad thing is, this doesn't make room for newly bought items. O.O What to do!? D:

I love you all!!


Japan, May 2011: Yokohama to Tokyo

 (I wrote this as I went along :)  Please note that these were written when I was still in Japan, but I was slow posting them here on blogger. XD  They have been up on Deviant Art since I wrote them though. I wish I could post pictures, but I only have them uploaded to facebook at the moment.  When I get them up to photobucket or flickr then I will get these blogs updated!)

Sooo! It is soooo cool here! :D And it is very easy to get around! Most people know English, so we can stop and ask for directions. ^^ Also, most every important sign is translated to English. :D The airport is the easiest place to navigate, and the security is sooo nice! There are police boxes (kaban) here that we go to if we get lost, and they direct us where we should go. Security and police are everywhere! The police are wonderful. They are very helpful when you need them!

Most people are very nice. But every now and then you get someone who does not like foreigners. We have had several people make comments in Yokohama...But Tokyo is so different.

Sooo...we took the trains on the 20th to get to Yokohama....

But the older gentlemen seem to get a kick out of us. lol On the night of the 20th we were standing on the sidewalk, and this old guy came up smiling. lol He looked at me and bowed, and I bowed back (cause its polite) and he nodded and smiled again. The others were blocking the way, and so he pointed to let me know he wanted through (still smiling lol) and so I let everyone know. Then he bowed again smiling. lol He figured that none of us could understand Japanese, so he used hand gestures. A lot of the citizens who don't know English are like that. They use gestures politely to try and communicate, and it works. We haven't had a problem at all yet.

We were next to China town too. Its right down the street from us as well as a convenient store. The store is soo neat! All the Japanese foods we buy in the states are like, $5 cheaper! As well as drinks. Got some water and tea and a cup noodle to eat and drink yesterday. I will have to bring you home some snacks! :D They are like, only .50 here. ^^

There was this bottle of water that was 2 liters, and only cost 105 yen!!  SO CHEAP! :D

I forgot my flat iron. :( My hair is going to FRIIIIIIIZZZZ!!! T.T

We had a cat follow us from the train station in Yokohama to the hostel. LOL Miranda was telling us about the animals in Japan. Apparently the animals are "sketch". lol Like they are more than just animals. XD Like the cat that followed us about a mile, ravens that follow and caw like they are trying to be sexy, and dogs that understand more than we think. XD She says it can be creepy sometimes.

Saw some women wearing kimono too! It is so nice to see people so involved in traditional culture. It keeps it alive and living. ^_^

I am not too worried about navigating the airport alone. Staff is super nice and speak excellent English, and EVERYTHING is translated, including terminal directions. If I can't get hold of Masako, I am thinking I may take a taxi to the airport, so I don't have to worry about getting lost or changing trains or being by myself getting there. I was talking to the hotel manager here about it, and he said that taxis are cheaper than the bus, but a little more than the train, but not by much. So I may just do that. It solves the getting lost or being late part easily. Plus, I can call them a day ahead of time and schedule a taxi to arrive at a certain time. So this way I won't be late either. ^_^

Since I have been here (only 3 days), we have already had several tiny tremors from earthquakes. They are so normal in Japan though. It was pretty neat. My first ones that I didn't sleep through ever. lol

Been talking to some of the Japanese about the disaster too, since it IS the research project. The radiation in Tokyo is not as much as an x-ray. Everyday, we are all exposed to radiation. Whether we realize it or not. This situation is really no different, it is just KNOWN that the radiation is there. Western media tends to take Japanese and translate it wrong sometimes, or interpret it wrong, so it does not come out the way it actually is. Recently, there was an article about the standards for children and schools when it comes to radiation. The English article covers that the standards have been raised to where children must go to school under extreme radiation. But the original Japanese article is not like that. Originally, there was NO standards regarding children and radiation and when they should go to school. So finally, the government needed to create standards because there was none. These standards can only be based off of the standards for people who work in radioactive areas, because these are the only standards to base on. School properties and playgrounds are measured, as well as measured for radiation. If they are at a certain level, then they are not fit for people or children.

In an interview I had earlier, she told me that Japan should focus on making English an official language, because most of the world speaks it. This way, when media is done on certain things, there are no misunderstandings or misinterpretations. She feels that it is highly important for this to be done.

(anyway...back to my blogging. xD)

We didn't go to Kamakura.D: But we did get to see a little bit of Yokohama! :D It was fun! Went to China Town, and there was sooo many cute little shops. I bought a hand towel at one of the shops! ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY CUTE! It has Sakura on it! And it is pink! <3 Most public restrooms don't have hand dryers or paper towels because it can be unsanitary, so people bring their own means of drying their hands and even tissue for using the toilet. Japan is very clean and very focused on sanitation.

On the sidewalks, there are huge, yellow lines with bumps and other things. These are to help the blind and those who can't see very well navigate. It is so wonderful! And definitely helpful to those who can't see! :D

There are a lot of Male/Female restrooms! They are very common, and I have seen them everywhere so far. There are Male and Female restrooms too, but also just as many Male/Female. NEAT! :D

What else...hmmm...

OH! AND THERE WAS ALSO A LOLITA!! Been seeing a lot of gyaru. This is just in Yokohama! I couldn't wait until we get to Tokyo where the fashions boom! :D OMG I am very excited!
I have a pic of the lolita. (Im pretty sure it was a guy). It's wesome!

I had this one guy come up to me to practice his english. lol He was so nice. ^_^

We are going to go find a hyaku en ya (hyakuin). Its the Japanese equivalent of the dollar tree. We need some stuff for the research that we have to go get.

Converted some of the money. Conversion rate sucks. Lost about $200 due to the conversion rate. But I have at least $100000 yen on me. Also, their machine couldn't take some of the money cause of the bills (because they had ink on them). So I have an extra $60 in US cash. I can exchange some of the other bills if I need it for the hotel or cab. But I am going to hang on to it for now and use what I have.

I had my first REAL Japanese dish! I had gyoza. It was delicious! I even ate the sauteed onions and the rice! I actually ate a huge bowl of rice! Instead of water, they give us Mugicha to drink. I love mugicha! The bowl of gyoza was pretty big, and only cost 280 yen for a big bowl. It was really filling. I think I am going to do just fine. ^_^

Been practicing some of my Japanese. I have to when we go to the store or at a restaurant. Most of them speak English, but its nice to practice Japanese anyway. ^_^

One of the cafes in Tokyo was where we went to relax. Here is how the conversation went with the cashier.

M: aisu tei-- ga arimasu ka?
H: Hai arimasu.
M: aisu tei--onegai shimasu.
H: saizu?
M: mijiem.
H: Hai. san hyaku ju (310) en.
M: *hands money*
H: *gives change* arigatou gozaimasu!
M: arigatou gozaimasu!

So basic...but it is amazing that I can really get around and talk to people better now. ^_^ Makes me super happy to be able to use Japanese IN Japan, rather than back home. Here, we are FORCED to use Japanese, because it is only right. ^_^ In the US, we have all these expectations of foreigners. Here, they don't EXPECT us to know Japanese though, so when we DO speak it, many tend to be impressed and a little happy. It is a good feeling to know that you can communicate cross-culturally. ^_^

We went to the Imperial Palace gardens today!!! So SO beautiful!! I think we are going to do a tour of the palace sometime next week. We had a nice dinner tonight at a restaurant.

A lot of things are actually pretty cheap. I got a full course meal (salad, big pork chop, miso soup, drink, sauce and big bowl of rice) for 810 yen. About $8 if you want to think of it as US money. Also, there is no additional tax added to the prices. The price is what you see. So if something is 100 yen, its 100 yen, not 107 yen. It seems like the tax is already included, so you get prices such as 810 and 105 yen. Its awesome. There was a HUGE 2 liter bottle of water for only 105 yen! THATS SO CHEAP COMPARED TO US 2 LITER BOTTLES! O.O Its crazy! lol I'm loving it. ^^

I have noticed a HUGE difference in culture and fashion from Yokohama to Tokyo. In Yokohama, we had some Anti-foreigner comments from people, and not as many people spoke English. Here, we see MANY foreigners and more people are more kind to us. There is a huge cultural difference. But Tokyo is very international too, so they are more used to dealing with foreigners on a regular basis.

As for fashion..As soon as we got to Tokyo, we saw young people everywhere! Couples booming and fashion! :D We immediately saw a girl with BRIGHT orange hair and wearing punk lolita clothing! :D There is so much to see here! At night, there is a lot of lights! :D Its lovely!
I also got to see Tokyo tower from a distance! :D

I am getting used to some of the food. Earlier, we went to a Chinese restaurant in China Town in Yokohama, but I didn't eat there. The food didn't even look good. >.< And it was SUPER expensive. Like 1200-10000 yen. Crazy. And the waitress sucked. She made a rude comment about foreigners (even though she was Chinese), and treated us a bit with the cold shoulder. Miranda got so mad. >.< The girl was Chinese, and had no right to talk about foreigners. But it happens.

You know, being here made me realize...that in the US, we have so much privilege being White. We don't realize the things we do or how we treat those who are not white, until WE become the minority. This is the reality in every country though. But I am not unhappy here. I am really loving it, and I am starting to feel more comfortable with the culture and speaking in Japanese.

I hope to hang out with my friends soon! I haven't seen Junko or Manami or Masako in a long time! Manami, Junko and I are already planning! ^__^ I miss them all so much!

This is all I have for now. ^_^ I will probably blog more in a day or two!!! :D



Hello everyone! It has been an awfully long time since I have take care of my blog here, but I have been super busy with sooo many things!

I have MANY updates, including some blog entries from my time in Japan in May!  :D


Silver Aura of Dawn Cosplay has raised the $1500 goal for the Japan Relief Fund!  I want to thank EVERYONE who has donated to this cause!  You have helped many people begin the right path back to their lives!  Thank you so much for helping to this cause!


Since my last update, I have been able to complete a couple cosplays. : )   Nevermore Summer Court version, Nevermore, and Anise Yamamoto from Barajou no Kiss!  Here are some images!

Barajou no Kiss
Yamamoto Anise
Generation III: War

Summer Court
Generation III: War

Winter Court
Generation II: Salvation

I actually have some updates for Ciel Phantomhive, but those are going to have to wait a little longer until I am done photoshopping them. :-)

My cosplays are going to temporarily be put on the backburner until I am ready to cosplay again. I will be going to Japan beginning on September 7, 2011, and will not be back in the States until sometime in July 2012.  This is a very exciting trip opportunity, and I can not wait to make full use of it!


Many of you know that I will be heading off to Japan for my study abroad experience!  I will be leaving on September 7, 2011 and I will not be returning until sometime in July 2012.  Plus please do not worry! I still intend on blogging and keeping everyone up to date! :D   I will keep my deviant art updated as well as my facebook! 

Deviant Art
Facebook  (feel free to friend me!!)


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Silver Aura of Dawn Cosplay Taking Donations for Japan Relief!

Silver Aura of Dawn Cosplay is now taking donations for the Japan Relief Fund. All donations are given directly to the Japan Red Cross to help Japan with its rebuild from the recent earthquake, tsunami and its radioactive devastation. 

SADC is wanting to raise at least $1500 for this cause.

Many of us have friends and family in Japan who were affected in one way or another by these horrible events. 

It is my goal as SADC leader to help promote this cause and help Japan stand mighty once again.

 You can donate on the SADC website at:

Or direct paypal to:

All funds and donations go straight to Japan Red Cross.

Sincerely with  Love,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To The People of Japan


I want to throw out thousands of prayers to Japan and the people of Japan right now, for their safety, rebuilding of life, and to pull through this most difficult time.  Hearing about this on the news is one thing, but knowing that there are so many people there who are suffering, is very difficult to actually stomach. Right now is not a time for people to point fingers, to blame or to laugh in others' faces.

Right now is the time for everyone to come together and put forth help to these wonderful people.  I give a deep bow of respect to the Japanese for how well they are working together to try and make the most of this horrible tragedy, and I know that their teamwork and dedication will help them. I know it is not the end of the world, but it seems like it. So many deaths, so many women, children, husbands, grandparents, wives all missing...people who are important to someone somewhere, not safe where they should be.

It is so sad, and so tear jerking to wonder what happened to everyone, but that is not the right way to think.  The Japanese need our support, our love and our help, and  I think we should all give a helping hand in some way.  It seems that the worst is starting to hit, but I know that with our help, Japan can pull themselves together and get back on their feet.

Hopefully the situation will not continue to decline to get worse, but there is an extremely long road ahead of everyone.  We all need to put forth a greater effort for our  Japanese brothers and sisters, more so than we have ever done before. We are all part of this same earth, and we all breathe the same air. Japan has done so much for us, and have been our friends for nearly 40 years. Now is the time to stand beside them and fight, and offer our swords in arms and give them more help 110%, and not the %30 or %50 that we have put forth towards Haiti or even our own disasters.  I still noticed a half-attempt on those accounts, and I think we, especially as Americans, can do better than we have been, despite our own economic downfall.

There is so much more to gain than money in times like this. To help our fellow humanity, and to take our reputation and make it much more respectable as friends, not as enemies. America is notorious for its war history, fallen economy and violence, but I think we can do better. We should be known for our compassion and sympathy.

So everyone, I beg of you to help in some way. Pray, donate, do what you feel you can to help these people stand again. The long road is a difficult one, but not one that will be forever. 

Everyone, thank you so much for reading this, and I pray, and hope for the best in these dark times.


Everyone, I know that it is a difficult time for you, but please know it won't be forever.  You have the rest of the world on your side, ready to help you, and you are already doing what you can to make the best of this horrible tragedy.  It is time for Japan to unite, and help one another out to the best of your ability. You are a respectable and powerful people, and together, you can make this work.

I know you will probably have family and friends who have been lost, or who you can not contact, but please don't fall apart. Hold yourself strong, for both yourself and your loved ones. Cry if you need to cry. Smile if you need to smile. Laugh if you want to laugh. Your cries, smiles and laughs will bring a sense of unity and peace that is needed among one another. Your compassion for each other far succeeds nearly anyone else in the world, and this will be your best trait. You work together and work things through.

I believe that there is no way that this tragedy will hold you down. You have faced too much in the past to let this get to you, and you have grown through all of your experiences.

Please know that you have all of our prayers, our hearts and our love and support going out to you right now from all over the world. You are not alone, no matter how lonely it may seem. Please keep pulling through and remain strong through these difficult times. We are all here for you.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Updates for February!


My birthday is in 6 days!! :D Im super excited!!!! =^.^=

I FINISHED PAYING OFF NEPHELIN!! :D  So now I just have to wait 2 weeks to 100 days to get her home. XD lol  But its going to be worth the wait.  In the mean time...
WE GOT THE GRANT TO GO TO JAPAN!! :D Im off to Japan in May!!! :D  Its so exciting!!! :3  We will be in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto for the most part doing the actual research, and then we will have time to visit other areas. The team seems like we want to go to Hiroshima, and Im totally up for that. :3

I am really hoping to do the Study Abroad this year. I think I may not go to London, but come back or stay in Japan instead. It will all depend if I like it or not, really, though I probably will love it to death. ^^


Some costume updates!~ 

Nevermore is getting his own costume made! :D  I can't wait to get it finished. ^_^  The fabric I used was a crushed upholstery velvet in black, and lined with gold formal satin. I may or may not make pants for him. I may wear tights with boots, or I might wear some pants. I dont know yet. It will entirely depend on what I feel like doing. ^^   His tunic (being made by Chammy cause she knows the pattern better than I do) will be made out of a gorgeous yukata fabric bolt in greens and gold leaves. Its absolutely stunning. I thought it was too girly at first, but it looks like it will work splendidly! :D

I am making progress on Ciel too. His head dress, eyepatch, and shoulder gaurd is finished, and his wig came in along with his boots. All of that is taken care of, and it is now up to my seamstress to get everything else done for me. I hate commissioning people because I have to trust and rely on them. If I had more time, I would be doing it, and not someone else. V.V  But I don't trust myself to get Sooooooo much done in a month. @.@  I would die. 

Fabrics for Ciel include: brocades, velvets, satins, tulle, and cottons. If it turns out the way I expect it to according to my design, he will look stunning.

I also have some costumes that I am working on that are due in a month, which include vests and an outfit for Kristen's faerie. I hope to sit down with her soon so we can start working on the design. ^.^  I was thinking reds and purples, but I want to know what she wants. ^^  I can't wait to get started! :D

I am also going to start working on some lolita dresses and shirts. I think my lolita wardrobe is lacking, though its understandable since I no longer loyally follow lolita fashion. I follow gyaru, but I think I want to make some lolita stuff just for the hell of it. ^_^  I have some characters who would wear lolita, so it works completely in my favor. ^^


I am currently writing two books, the cosplay guide and a yaoi. ^.^"  But I get to publish the yaoi and not pay anything except GET paid, so its a win-win situation. Problem is, I am only at 16,000 words out of 50,000.  O.O"

Hey yall! Gonna leave it at that for the moment!! :D TTYL!!!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


*cough**cough*  I don't squee often...buuuut...


This is my Nephelin. Soon she will be mine!!! :D
Her name will be Danu, and represent the Celtic goddess Danu.  Her cosplay though, will be my original character, Shiori.  I am paying for the doll, the extra parts, and the outfit. This is my most expensive doll yet...and I hope I never go over her price again. @.@  I told myself when I first got into this hobby, that I would NEVER spend more than $800 on a doll...... *FACEPALM*  That was an epic FAIL!  

I can not wait to get her in. I just have to figure out how to make that last payment...if I could just sell one more of my dolls...and my Carlisle head will go up for sale...I only have to come up with $250.... My Carlisle MNM head is for $200 (never used, perfect condition, one of two ever made).  I hope I sell him.........

Cosplay Updates for 2011!

Hey everyone! Im sorry I have been gone for so long!!  But I have been really busy!

First, let me start with.... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! 明けましておめでとうございます!!!!!!

And now let me start with what's been going!

I have been looking at part time jobs, and found that dog-walking will be beneficial to me health-wise (good exercise) and for the pets of owners! It also pays decently (some money is better than none in college) and I get to have fun with other animals!  I also have applied to my expensive haunt, Shogun's steakhouse.  My only drawback is, is that I may be going to Japan in the fall, so I will probably have to quit my jobs after Summer is over.....


Yes! New cosplay updates! I have recently uploaded several new cosplays to my photo albums on facebook!  Nevermore, Shikiko, and my cute Moogle!  Check them out at:  

I have finally decided to make Nevermore into a cosplay, and I think I want to actually go somewhere with him, like I have my others. He is a great pet-project...

Speaking of pet-project....I found this absolutely beautiful green dress at Goodwill, along with a shrug and a necklace. I plan on altering it into some sort of Neo-hanfu, and wearing it for Rogue. Looks like Rogue will have another outfit soon! Its actually quite elven, despite the chinese-esque overall design of the dress. I will be playing with this thing for a while, and hopefully I can show it off at KawaKon! 

I have also finally started working on Crystal Ciel. Fabric cost so far (not including trim and other stuff) has been:  $45.00 + $81.00 = $126.00 (and some change)

I still need to get:  hat, stuff to make the accessories for the hat, gloves, Victorian shoes, cane, lining fabric, trim, buttons, socks, garters, new contact lens, eyepatch, stuff to decorate eyepatch, new wig, pretty jewels, stuff to make the shoulder armor, and much more. @.@  This is going to be one of my best Ciel cosplays ever, and I am also working with another seamstress to get this finished due to limitations in time, so it will be super epic! 

I will say though, I am NOT enjoying the idea of turning ANY of my project over to someone else. It is really painful. I love making all of my own costumes, and I love the costume being part of ME....But I know that not everyone can put forth all the time in the world to make such an epic project, especially when I have little under 3 months to complete it between school full-time and work-part time and tae kwon do.....I am going to be working on the best parts of it though, so the costume will be ME still.  That I am taking comfort in.

Crystal Ciel is a dream image of Ciel that I have had, and wanted to put it into an actual work. So I may upset some die-hard Kuroshitsuji fans with my image. Ciel's hair and main color scheme has been changed, and even though he is still CIEL, he is Ciel as I see him in my own artwork image. Something tells me though, that when I am done, the fans will still like him and the concept that I have for the overall design. 

Speaking of design...Crystal Ciel is pretty much an inverted, altered version of the Volume 6 coverart for the Kuroshitsuji manga. Though I add, take, and change some, it still is the double-breasted pattern with shorts. So I guess you can say that the inspiration actually came from the Vol. 6 cover artwork.  


Yes, by book is still in the making. I am currently arranging how I will be gathering data and conducting the research for my project. This includes interviews, studying, and other intensive research.  I have a photographer lined up, who is interested in helping me out with the project.  I am greatly thankful for this.

My trip to Japan will give me the extra research that I need to actually complete the book, so I am looking at a late 2012-2013 release date. It will take time for me to organize all of the data and chapters and images, and also to find myself a good publisher. I am wanting to go through VIZ Media to release my project, but I am also looking at how difficult that may be considering how large of a company VIZ is, and I had heard something about how closed they can be to people who do not have an agent.


I have been SOOMED, ladies and gentlemen...and I am proud of it...though coming up with January's payment is difficult...I am not working very  much at the moment, and I have been finding difficulties in getting stuff sold. I am all over the place trying to figure out how to get the last $250 paid on her. If I don't pay this off, then I lose over $1000....That's a lot of money lost.....I have to pay her off somehow...

That's really it for now. I will be back soon!