Liebster Blog Award

liebsteraward

I was recently nominated for this little blogging award by Faye of Oh! Darling. The idea is quite sweet, though sort of like a chain letter. You don’t have to “accept” it or participate if you are nominated, but it’s simple enough if you do. 🙂 I noticed a lot of others blogs making their own graphic representation of their award, so I’ve done the same to keep in theme with Aletheia Nocturne! I’m going to go into a bit of detail with all my answers but there is no obligation for nominees to do the same.

Instructions:

  • Answer the 11 questions posed to them by their nominators
  • Post 11 interesting things about themselves
  • Create a new list of 11 questions for future award receivers to answer
  • Nominate 11 more bloggers with less than 200 followers for the award (I’m not going to stick to this step because there is no accurate way of telling how many people follow a blog! Also, I have added a description of each blog but that was a personal choice.)

My Answers:

1. What is your most favourite movie of all time, and why?

My answer is always Fellowship of the Ring, particularly the extended edition for The Passing of the Elves, which I guess was a good enough tribute to Gildor Inglorion! There was a subtle magic, newness and beauty to this one out of the three films. Though I had already read the book and considered myself a fan, the first film really spurred on my obsession, and I think it’s a masterpiece.

2. If you could have any dream come true, what would that be?

Putting aside purely altruistic dreams of world peace, or cynical ones of wishing the world didn’t exist, 😛 I had a project established about 10 years ago, which I still hope to achieve in some form or another, called Lorlondë Eldanor. It was supposed to be a real-life incarnation of Rivendell, built in another country with a community of like-minded people living harmoniously and as self-sufficiently as possible. There was an emphasis on creativity, technological stuff was going to be kept separate from the “main areas”, and I really wanted it to be a refuge, a place of rejuvenation, and somewhere that represented how I imagined Elves might build (i.e. creating dwellings within existing landscapes with surplus materials rather than destroying whole swathes of nature and carrying on with unsustainable farming practises). I had all the motivation, but I didn’t have millions of dollars to implement it in the way I envisioned, and don’t imagine I ever will. I still hope to have the means to live with some of the principles in mind, but I think my priorities have changed over the years and I enjoy a balance between solitude and city trips. I also think that while it represents a very idealistic view of how humans perhaps “should” live, in practise it probably only works for small groups who share similar values, and I believe societies on the whole aren’t very good at maintaining that sort of thing. My main internet nickname is an Elvish name I was “gifted” and is directly related to this project – it means “keeper of the dream”. 🙂

3. What song never fails to cheer you up?

Probably the toccata from Paradies’ harpsichord sonata no. 6 in A. For a while I was playing it at the start of each day because I found it so ridiculously energetic and it sort of “imbued” me with happiness, though it can be played in a more subdued way which allows a bit more room for ornamentation. Also Bamboléo – Gipsy Kings… cannot NOT jump around madly. I’d like to thank one of my sisters for chucking that on the playlist a few years ago and making me an instant fan.

4. What’s the furthest you have ever travelled?

Unfortunately no further north than Sydney, and no further South than the bottom of Tasmania! Distance-wise I think Sydney is a little further from me but it felt more isolated and far-away down at Port Arthur, Tasmania. We took a small ferry over from the penitentiary to a little island cemetery called the Isle of the Dead. Unfortunately Port Arthur is most infamous for one of the worst mass-shootings ever, which occurred a few years before we visited.

5. What inspired you to begin blogging?

I have kept real-life journals for almost as long as I can remember, but I started writing them online when I began web designing around 13 years ago. Back then the chances of anyone you knew in real life coming across these was pretty slim so I did write plenty of personal and embarrassing stuff! Until Aletheia Nocturne, most of these blogs were just incorporated into my websites, rather than standalone. I also had the domain for this site (I knew I wanted to do something interesting with the name) before it was a blog – it was a message board to begin with. I would usually be full of inspiration for a concept but always lacked the actual content, but now I feel like I’m able to collate life experiences and hobbies well enough to be somewhat satisfied with this blog. It was personal and wordy at the start but evolved into more of a visual diary. I would still like to get back to writing entries or articles every now and then, but feel like knowledge and opinions can be so fluid that I’m reluctant to immortalise stuff like that forever online. 😛

6. What is your most played song on your MP3 player/iTunes?

This is hard because my music player of choice doesn’t show me “times played”. In the car though, when I throw mix CDs on I always skip back over and over to repeat The King’s Singers’ recording of Sing Joyfully (William Byrd), which is simply magical.

7. If money were no object and your hearts desire available, what 5 material objects would you buy today?

A double French harpsichord, a harp, a fortepiano, a first edition first issue (signed) copy of The Lord of the Rings, and the most comfortable bed in the world.

8. What are your pet peeves?

Arguing for the sake of arguing • People breathing on me, especially through their noses • Sick people who don’t avoid other people or cover their mouths (e.g. going to a crowded cinema with the flu and making no effort to contain violent coughing fits, thereby infecting everyone around you) • Incessant tardiness – it makes me feel like I’m not a priority • Telemarketers: it goes beyond frustration when most of the calls you receive are about nothing, or even terminated straight after you answer • Arguments in defense of illogical (particularly conservative) viewpoints • People watching me work on anything • Server maintenance on the night you really wanna play something online • Being loomed over • People who honk their car horns for like, two minutes in the dead of night  • Listening to the belligerence of cocky males, MMO gamers, politicians, and so forth • When taller people lean on my head or shoulder (because I’m short) like I’m some sort of post.
I’d better stop now!

9. Which female historical figure do you most admire and why?

Ironically I find this question difficult, but for a while now I’ve had a special place in my heart for George Sand (Aurore/Amantine Lucile Dupin, 1804-1876). She is probably most well-known for her 10-year relationship with Chopin. Sand, a pseudonym she published novels and political essays under, had interesting (but in my opinion less effective) views on how women’s rights, particularly in love, were best advanced. Most articles or discussions tend to focus on her clothing choice (she often dressed as a man in order to gain access to things typically denied or inappropriate for women at the time) and her smoking habits, which were also viewed as very unladylike.

The mid 19th-century was a time when feminism was as ridiculed by men (and many women) as it often still is today, and critics and “trolls” no less harsh on outspoken women like Sand. Her idealistic views on love were recurring themes in her novels, and also seem to have made it very difficult for her to experience happiness in relationships, resulting in a string of unfulfilling love affairs. I admire her for sheer backbone, and for maintaining a voice for women. However, I wouldn’t call her views on many things aligned with my own, particularly her involvement against the Communards, an early revolutionist socialist movement, which seemed out of character with her otherwise apparently progressive attitude.

10. What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

I just LOVE organising and sorting junk, whether it’s my own stuff or other people’s, computer files, paperwork, even the satisfying untangling of chains or power cords gives me pleasure. Alas, I am also a total hoarder and have to go through most of my possessions seasonally to see if anything can be “better organised” or got rid of.

11. What would be your ideal career?

Unfortunately I don’t know, and never have. 🙁 Even were there no obstacles, I have no idea what I love enough to want to spend most of my life doing! At this point though, I would just be content to become a piano tutor and work from home, but I’ve had quite a few setbacks and still need to finish some studies before I feel like I can offer that service with confidence.

11 Things About Me

  • 1. I have an irrational fear of moths. I don’t want to hate them (it’s really inconvenient) but large ones give me a bit of a nervous breakdown and hearing them buzzing about, seeing them (or even photos of them) makes me feel dreadful. However, most butterflies don’t have this effect on me (probably because of the biological differences), and I don’t feel particularly uncomfortable about most other common phobias (spiders, snakes, heights etc.).
  • 2. I’ve kept almost every card or letter I’ve ever received, even ones from my first birthday. The same goes for photos, even dreadful old digital ones. I feel like those moments in time can never be replaced (moreso than a physical gift) which makes the well-wishes or hours of handwriting seem quite precious in the scale of a lifetime.
  • 3. I love rabbits and have owned quite a lot over the years. I used to get called “The Rabbit Whisperer”, and my favourite breed is the New Zealand White. I like female rabbits best (boys are placid and adorable but doofus-y) and one day will get a Flemish Giant!
  • 4. I had quite a conservative religious upbringing and while I am happy to be free of what I now feel are some extremely backward notions and (in most cases unintentionally) harmful attitudes/beliefs, the sense of everything falling into place and discovering things others may have taken for granted for years is really quite rewarding. I feel far less ignorant of how the world around me works, appreciate a new depth of understanding on humanitarian issues, am not oppressed by any great sense of shame, and feel quite fearless now in the face of a worldview that is less “us-and-them” (or saved versus unsaved).
  • 5. My middle name is Jasmine, and my older sister liked the name so much she named her first daughter Jasmine.
  • 6. I have three sisters, one brother, two nieces and and three nephews – I don’t plan to have any children myself but loved growing up alongside my nieces, particularly.
  • 7. Any time I need grounding, or am just unsure about what to practise, I pull out any number of preludes & fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier and run through them. Bach is just very, very good for the (metaphorical) soul.
  • 8. I would rather have nothing to do with most people and am not interested in small talk – I like being silly or dancing at parties (not chatting), or having quality time with small groups and individuals. That probably sounds selfish or unsocial, but it’s just that I take ages to warm up to people unless I personally seek them out for a friendship.
  • 9. If you think I’m pretty verbose now,  it used to be much worse… Reading most of the things I wrote years ago makes me cringe completely.
  • 10. I’m a utopian and idolise idealistic concepts and images (or people), but get “bouts” of existential nihilism and depression/apathy that sap my ability to care or be proactive… until whatever catalyst fires me into gear again!
  • 11. I think my biggest personal achievement is my longtime relationship (hopefully forever). I think having to work hard to maintain them brings out the best in people.

My New Questions:

  • 1. How did you discover the main subject (or theme) of your blog?
  • 2. Have you ever played an instrument (voice counts)? What kind of music did you feel (or would you feel) allowed you to best express yourself?
  • 3. If you could design and grow a large garden, how might you describe the experience of exploring it?
  • 4. What’s one recipe you usually have great success with?
  • 5. For fun, what is your Myers-Briggs personality type, and do you think it adequately sums up the way you think and work?
  • 6. What was your week like?
  • 7. Based on the subject of your blog (if appropriate), what would your dream outfit be (style, materials, details)?
  • 8. Think about a favourite pet: what particular thing about them did/do you fondly love about them?
  • 9. Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?
  • 10. What’s one of your favourite places to visit?
  • 11. What is one of your biggest sources of inspiration?

My Nominations:

  • Before the Automobile by Merja – Stepping back in time was never so delightful – I think I first discovered this Finnish costumer’s gorgeous polonaise gown a couple of years ago and was instantly charmed by her detail and graceful authenticity. Even her much earlier pieces are well-constructed, and she doesn’t cut corners on quality.
  • BorysSNORC by Borys – This one was a random find (we have a mutual FB friend), but between travel pics, amusing musings, and the all-too-familiar, relateable criticisms of less sophisticated Australians (bogans), this is one of those rare blogs where I actually read the content… I love the commentary and find her writing quite engaging.
  • Branna Laurelin by Branna – The music and Elven quality of this Norwegian girl had me instantly in love! A dose of sublime harp music, the beauty of  nature in Norway, and her costume projects, and I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Branna is really kind and is a huge inspiration.
  • Diary of a Mantua Maker – What a wonderful resource! Gorgeous personal projects and fascinating insight into 18th-century fashion plates and extant pieces.
  • Flounced Lucia by Lucia – Between her fashion and craft projects, extant historical finds, and beautiful photo shoots, this blog really inspires me!
  • Lace Butterfly(pitsiperhonen) by Ilona – I first found Ilona on tumblr (from one longer-haired lolita to another) and just swooned over this ethereal Finnish beauty (wow that sounds ridiculous). I absolutely adore her lolita and mori girl coordinates.
  • Parasol Obsession by Mademoiselle Parapluie – Not to discredit any blogger out there as “not unique”, but I felt motivated by this blog award to choose people who seem to splendidly and consistently express themselves, whether through fashion or any another means – Parasol Obsession meets that criteria wonderfully. I particularly like how she details such wearable historically-inspired lolita looks.
  • Rapunzel’s Resource by Elizabeth – When I search for “long hair tutorials” that don’t use a lot of product or heat, almost nothing relevant to very long hair turns up, but Rapunzel’s Resource does provide. Happily, I was able to implement some of Elizabeth’s styles and often refer back to it when trying to come up with something new for historical and lolita outfits. Even though there are a lot of YouTube tutorials out there, I like the creative presentation on this site, and how she incorporates the hairstyles into her life (and historical) events.
  • A Season in the Sky by Marie – Marie’s signature imagery does the rounds on tumblr a lot, and can also be seen on her blog, but getting a glimpse into her lolita community and events and the way she sets out posts is also really enjoyable! I think she retains a quality of mystery and would love to know more about her.
  • Through the Looking Glass by Mothmouth – I love the way Moth documents her surroundings, outfits and hobbies. It feels stylistically authentic and inspiring, like a creative project that mirrors the parts of her life she wants to share? So I can relate to that, but also think she’s completely gorgeous!
  • Vanyanis by Lowana – This blog accompanies Lowana’s main website and her bespoke fashion brand, offering behind-the-scenes progress details and all sorts of interesting content – I also figured that it’s nice to find out a little about the people behind a business.

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