While this is my very first domain, I began coding and making sites in 2003-2004, learning HTML/CSS through Neopets. Back then, my sites were under Freewebs, and then later a subdomain, which was hosted by myriad people over the years. Since 2019, Leprd, by the lovely Lysianthus, is the place this domain calls home.
LayoutThe third version features artwork by Yumeka Sumomo, also known as Sahara Mizu. This piece of Sumomo's has always been a favorite of mine, and I'm happy I could use it in a layout at last! Inspiration struck while I was browsing an online art gallery and stumbled upon Vincent van Gogh's Roses. Though I love van Gogh and his work, too, and even contemplated using Roses in the layout alongside Sumomo's art, I decided to forgo that idea in the end. The greens of both complement each other well, though, don't they? (It's my favorite color, too! )
Similarly, the creative process of this version was just as chaotic as version two's. I also intended this version to be a one-page layout, but it seems that I'm cursed whenever it comes to actually making one for my domain. Thus, the layout had to be scrapped at one point and redone completely. The text walls were just too great to be contained in one area, I guess, and, frankly, accomplishing my original vision would've been a pain in the ass. The most painstaking part about this layout was creating the image overlays, piecing together various graphic petals/florals and vintage ornaments (because I can't draw at all). But at least it was just for a few borders and not... you know, multiple huge frames for content areas... wheezes So in reality, both options were painful—but one was far less so!!
As a rookie domain owner (for four years now, apparently?—but still!), I'm finding it hard to replace my domain layouts?! (Please tell me I'm not the only one!) It's not that I think they're the best layouts in the world or anything—definitely far from it! But... I suppose it's very hard for me to let go of a layout I recall working tirelessly on, even if it's not the most perfect thing in the world. see morning come has quite a special place in my heart, though, since the layout was inspired by the sweetest gift from the loveliest person. As such, there's a small hidden link floating about if you'd like to travel back to that version and explore the domain in that way. (Hint: it sparkles! )
This layout is best viewed on desktop with Mozilla Firefox. It functions decently in other browsers and on different devices, but it may look a bit wonky and certain elements may not render properly. One day I will make something mobile compatible. One day!!
CreditsImages are from Minitokyo and Zerochan, while textures and resources are by actofmadness, addictedsp8, Angie Makes, Lisa Glanz, lovelamp, masterjinn, sanami276, Subtle Patterns and Swimchick. The clover pixel is from Cherish. Also utilized are Honeybee's icons and Fancybox. Fonts used via Google Fonts include Bentham, Georgia, Josefin Sans, Karla, Oswald and Playfair Display. Others are Motor Oil 1937 M54, Pea Gretchie and Ruritania, along with a stupid amount of vintage & ornamental symbol fonts: FLORVA Ornaments, Neoclassic Fleurons, Vintage Decorative Signs 3 & flourishes hacked from Dearest Friend.
The photograph used in the fireflies fanlisting image is by Mr.k_Taiwan; it was used under the Creative Commons license that allows for alterations and changes. The various text in the headers are, of course, taken from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan.
The unoffical theme song of this layout is this lovely summer tune; thank you, Lethe. Endless thanks to master code guru Masao for helping me work out all of the wonky kinks, and for providing even more beautiful melodies which accompanied me on many late nights of coding. You're the best!
To die will be an awfully big adventureWhen I first read J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan as a child, I was enchanted. The vast world, the boundless adventures it held—it captivated my imagination completely. Although I have a rather complicated relationship with the book now, given how many elements in it haven't aged well, I still reread it from time to time for the journey and that one special moment in the end. It remains an important part of my childhood, and I carry the story with me always.
As I grew up, I found myself becoming more drawn to the Lost Boys, the group of children who follow Peter Pan around enthusiastically during the story, yet, in the end, choose to return to London and grow up. The original novel doesn't delve deeply into the circumstances of their decision; frankly, it paints a rather depressing picture of their fate. But I think a lot about them, their choice. Why they chose to do what they did, how deeply they might have regretted it if they were still able to remember. I'd like to think that it was far more complex than just leaving and forgetting; I'd like to think that the magic still lingered in them, even if they soon forgot the name of it.
I'd like to believe that because I'm finding that to be the case for myself personally. As I continue to age, I find myself still waiting for that moment when I become an adult. During my earlier years in college, it used to frustrate me—all that waiting: to be wise, for my life to come together seamlessly. But it's become clearer to me that the child never really goes away and grows up. There will always be something that I will never have the answers to, something that will both confuse me and bewonder me—something that will make me feel less wise than I should probably be by now. Maybe it's because I'm not "old enough yet," but I can't see myself ever feeling any different once I'm 50 or 60 or 100. And somehow that's all right. When I think of who a "lost boy" is, I think of someone who is in that obscure realm between childhood and adulthood. Maybe they're not always there—maybe they have something figured out, maybe they just don't care. In any case, it's a place I find myself coming back to a lot, and while it used to make me feel anxious, today I find that I am incredibly humbled by the fact.
Finally, one of the first video games I ever played was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Before that, my older sister and I would watch as my dad played it, and I consider it to be The Game that got me into gaming. When I first came across it as a child, the Kokiri and the Lost Woods reminded me a lot of Peter Pan. Furthermore, I found the game's protagonist, and one of my favorite video game characters, Link, to be reminiscent of a lost boy. While the rest of the Kokiri never grow up, Link eventually does—and finds that he must in order to defeat Ganondorf and restore peace to the land. One of my favorite scenes from the game is when Link returns to the Lost Woods as an adult. I love how the elements and atmosphere of the Forest Temple are similar to that of a fairytale, but with a more sinister touch. The dungeon design is fantastic in its storytelling, illustrating the rude awakening that comes with growing up.
Thus, before finally settling on lost-boy.org, I also considered naming my domain kokiri.nu. However, while I do like The Legend of Zelda series, I felt that the name was too fandom-specific, and I didn't know how I would feel about it years later from now (also .nu domains are pricey!). Similarly, I thought about naming it lost-girl.org, but it felt a bit too vague, and I wanted the association with Peter Pan to be clearer. And so here we are! I love the name a ton, and I'm so glad it wasn't taken. Nearly ten years of pining over a domain name is a long time. There were a lot of extension options other than .org, but I went with it because I like the way it sounds.
Network titles are still cool, right? Right. Rust and Stardust, comes from this little text I happened across on Tumblr. The words complement one another well, and I thought it was a fitting phrase to describe the road to adulthood, beginning with the wonders and awe of childhood ("stardust") and ending with the maturity and experience that comes with age ("rust").
Oh, the cleverness of me!
Summer, poetry and spicy food are some of my favorite things! I also enjoy reading & writing, being outdoors and exploring other places—real and fictional. I suppose this web design hobby is a way for all of those things to come together. Maintaining a creative outlet for myself, whatever it may be, has always been important to me, and this domain is one such outlet.
- Lately I've been into journaling and stationery! I use a traveler's notebook (swapping between both standard and passport size) and hand-make my own volumes. It turns out that I enjoy collaging and watercoloring traditionally, too, not just digitally! I also love writing with fountain pens and admiring the variety of different ink colors. Although I'm still very much a beginner, shading inks are my absolute favorite so far.
- I started building websites around 2003-2004 and learned HTML/CSS through Neopets! My first site was a graphics site. Eventually I got swept up into the whole fansites & fanlistings business, and, as they say, the rest is history.
- I've had short hair since I was 5 or 6 years-old. When I was little, my mom convinced me to let her cut it by telling me I'd look like Mulan from Disney's Mulan, which had just been released in theaters. I haven't grown it out since!
- My Chinese name is "Phonyu" (鳳瑜), which is the username I use on most social media accounts. My siblings and I are named after our Chinese zodiac animals. Since I was born in the year of the rooster, my name means "phoenix."