Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mori Holidays: Spring Mill State Park

I recently went on a camping trip with my family to Spring Mill State Park. The scenery was beautiful so I took lots of pictures. Beware! This post is image heavy!

This first set of pictures is from our first hike. It was a rather simple loop, but all the fall colors were gorgeous! 

My brother decided he wanted to strike a yoga pose. Future yogi right there.

Our second hike was to "Donaldson's Cave". Part of the cave is closed off to prevent the spread of White Nose Syndrome, but we were able to enter a small part of the cavern. The hike down to the cave had lots of stairs, with a stream at the bottom.

 All the little black blobs in the shot are little snails! There were so many of them, and they were covering the whole creek bed.

The cave goes all the way through the hill, and you can poke your head out the other side.

One of the main draws to Spring Mill is it's re-enactment village portraying life in the 1800's. They even have a hand full of original buildings.

One of the re-enacter's was making candles. I got a candid shot ^^

Spring Mill is aptly named. It has a working water mill, where you can see demonstrations of how corn was ground in the 1800's. It was fun to stand upstairs and watch the water pour over the mill's wheel.

 It was rather dark on the last trail we hiked, so I couldn't get any pictures. Which was a pity, because I thought that it was the best trail there. However, I did find a poem written by one of the men who helped found the park. I thought it was quite lovely.

This is a special piece of your earth.
Here is a remnant preserved
Of trees and flowers and ferns,
Of valleys and hills and caves,
Of  waterfalls and streams,
Of clean, open sky
In this place
We find a part of ourselves,
And rediscover our roots
In the soil and the water and the sky.
-Invocation, Father Damian 1985

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mori Girl vs. Cult Party Kei: How To Spot the Differences

In previous post I have talked about the differences between Mori Girl and two of it's close cousins, Natural Kei and Dolly Kei. In this post I'll talk about the final cousin, Cult Party Kei. I'm not as versed in the world of Cult Party Kei, although I have done research, so I won't dive as deeply into this one.

Cult Party Kei's silhouette consists of pastel colors, lots of layers (similar to Mori Girl), lacey and flowey vintage sheer covers, vintage pajamas, red accents, platform shoes, handmade accessories, tattoo tight or other wild types of tights, and often teddy bears or other kid like accessories. The name, as far as I can tell, stems from a shop in Harajuku called Cult Party (now the Virgin Mary). There is nothing "cult-like" about the style, other than the more traditional outfits sometimes featuring crosses as accessories. 

Unlike Mori Girl, Cult Party Kei can often give a very synthetic or pop feel. And often features shorter skirts, or more mainstream popular items in Harajuku (Platform shoes, tattoo tights, other j-fashion styles color palettes, etc.). Cult Party Kei often combines elements of other styles to make its own unique look.

Here are a few traditional examples:

And a few examples of designer Etsuna Otsuka whose recent interpretation of the style seems to be becoming more widely recognized as the new Cult Party Kei, according to recent street snaps:

A few examples of a hybrid between Mori and Cult Party:

Notice the use of unnatural colors, printed tights, and synthetic material, while still retaining a Mori silhouette.

(If your picture is featured in this post and you would like it removed or credited, please let me know.)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mori Kitchen Adventures: Pumpkin Bread

The other day I was in the need of some good, homemade pumpkin bread. So I put on my vintage apron, and got to work making some!

Here is the recipe (from Better Homes and Gardens):
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (I substituted regular sugar since I was out of brown sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or cloves (I used ginger)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening (I substituted butter)
Optional ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and in a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, the brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger or cloves. Add pumpkin, milk, eggs, and shortening.
Beat with an electric mixer on low speed till blended, then on high speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour; beat well. Stir in nuts and raisins.
Pour batter into greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60 to 65 minutes or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pan; cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. Makes 1 loaf (18 servings).

I accidentally missed the last cup of flour, so my bread was a little bit dense. However, I think that 2 cups of flour might actually be a little too much, so I would recommend a cup and a half. It was delicious, and satisfied my pumpkin craving (for now). It also was a good snack to go with tea, and also made a delicious breakfast too!