Sunday, 20 November 2011

So, I just had a quick peek at how long it's been since I last blogged...

... but I'm not going to apologise and start making excuses, as I'm pretty sure I've started the last handful of entries like that, and it's probably getting dull!

I will say that life is super stressful right now for poor little me. I mean, in the grand scale of things, it's probably not all that stressful, but I've just got a little brain so don't make fun. It struggles with these things! I'm in the middle of writing my undergrad dissertation, which is honestly overall a cool experience and I feel like a *proper* academic writing my own article under my own steam, but also it's very much like being thrown in the deep end after 3 years of having your hand held and wearing arm-bands. Exciting, though.

I'm also busying trying to get applications together for my postgrad course which is surprisingly stressful. Going through essays I've written to send in as work samples and bellowing NO NO NO THIS WILL NOT DO HOW DID THIS EVER GET AN OK MARK and staring at my personal statement not knowing what to write other than IT SOUNDS REALLY FUN PLEASE CAN I DO IT THANKS. Urgh, it's weirdly difficult! Strangely, because I'm not lying on my personal statement I'm convinced I'm doing it wrong.

Also, I am ferrying myself to and from Glasgow at least once a week, being in St Andrews for my class and then running away to Gavin's house in Glasgow whenever I can. Half my stuff is here, half my stuff is there, and I keep forgetting my crafty projects when I travel or bringing the wrong textbooks and it's just frustrating. Last week, I ran out of room in my bag so left my darling Kenner in Glasgow, only to miss her like CRAZY and I will never, ever do that again ever. I moved all my Monster High ghouls to Glasgow this weekend, which makes me feel extra homely and settled in here, but I'm sure I'll get back to St Andrews and see the empty shelf and want to wail. Oh dear.

Like I said, these are silly problems, but they make me want to mash the keyboard a bit

dashkjdshjgfsdhgdhjsghjfdshjfdgjhfd;;''fdjlkdfskhjfdshfdgshjk;ad;kdfjlshkd

Ok, I'm done whinging. :) I will leave you with a photo of my newest Monster High lady, Spectra, and a bit of LIFE ADVICE I have learned the hard way the last month.

MAKE TIME FOR YOUR HOBBIES, because leaving them out because you 'have no time' will not result in you doing more of what you should be doing anyway (trust me) and also, you will not be a happy bunny. Which is no fun!

So, I won't do that again!

alice xox

Spectra

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Up to speed...

I came home from BlytheconUK all inspired and ready to go, only to be hit full in the face by fourth year saying hello like an overexcited puppy that doesn't quite realise how big they've grown... oof. I'm sure you've all met that puppy. Anyway, my over-elaborated point is, I got home... and did precisely nothing, and just wallowed around in my post-con blues. :( I misss you guyyss! You should all move up to Scotland. It's pretty. Come! :D

Anyways, I forced myself up off my lazy backside and now have about a million ongoing projects. Which is more like it. :)

I recently discovered this beautiful, beautiful blog: Attic24 which totally rekindled my love affair with crocheted blankets, and so I picked up the blanket I started last Easter (which I had thrown aside a while ago in one of my crafty "NOTHING I MAKE LOOKS GOOD" tantrums) which now has a lot more rows and is looking much more loved. :)

Although... before picking up this blanket again, I had already decided after mooning over Lucy's wonderful creations over at Attic24 that I NEEDED a granny square blanket of my own...

blog - grannies


So yes, I have two blankets on the go... oops! Well, Winter Is Coming, after all. ;)

Autumn


blog - scarf


I continue to wrestle with this scarf for Gavin which I've been knitting since... um, June? It was completely frogged two weeks ago and so have been started afresh on larger needles, but oh dear me, knitting and I, we are sort of friends but I am SO. SLOW. The yarn is delicious though, Gavin picked it - it's Rowan Drift driftwood, I think. NOM. My knitting is improving, and I hope to have this finished in a few weeks. (It mostly gets neglected in favour of crocheting...)

blog - WIP


Do you guys remember Elliot? Probably not, because she is the most neglected Blythe doll ever. So.... time for a make-over! :D I know this is sort of a controversial opinion, but I love the SBL lips, so I think she'll be keeping her lovely RRe lips. Her face won't get a lot of treatment (new eyelashes, lids, blush) - nope, it's her hair that's being drastically changed!

blog - hair

I haven't done a Blythe reroot in a YEAR. I adore rerooting. It's about time! This time, I am using nylon for the first time, in a sexy sexy blue. Mmmmm. Can't wait to start. I have just finished prepping her scalp, sanding the brown paint off and deciding whether or not to paint it blue first. On the one hand, the blue will give me more leeway with bald patches, on the other hand, I don't have any appropriate paint and I'm an impatient type... PATIENCE YOUNG PADAWAN. My impatience will probably win. ;_;

blog - cakey

Elliot is not the only one getting new hairs! Behold, my poor little Cakie! I bought this little one nearly 3 years ago, not reaaaally knowing what she was, with intent to reroot. As you can see, she's still bald... but now I know who she is! Apple Dumplin'! She's adorable, and still has a cute little smell to her (I think it's the original?) and needs some love. I'm thinking I'll stay red?

blog - dorreh


I also started work on a little felt companion, who is very unfinished (and limbless) but will be super cute and have his own little felt wardrobe when I'm finished. I am making my own Jon Snow to cuddle on the long winter nights he is a non-specific felt male who will definitely not get cuddled a lot.

blog - disserting

Then there's my dissertation. Which is a terrifying and awesome prospect, and is coming along nicely. I say that now, I'm sure in December I will be screaming and tearing my hair out and buttoning my shirt to my coat and generally going crazy. It is (as you can maybe tell!) on Old English poetry, and in particular, on ladies in Old English poetry. I like Anglo-Saxon ladies, they are awesome. I do not do enough slaying of heathens in my spare time, I really don't.

I am supposed to explain what exactly it is that draws me to Old English poetry in my introduction, which I can answer with gusto if not exactly academic finesse. A lot of OE poetry is basically a predecessor of modern high fantasy (thanks a lot to Tolkien, you legend) and it just speaks to me that 1000+ years ago, my ancestors were reading about swords and dragons, and here I am in 2011, reading about sword and dragons. I have written a long, happy rant about this, which ends with the sentence:

After all, what is Beowulf if not swords and sorcery?

I am not sure that sentence will make it to the final draft. I will run it past my superviser and he will definitely laugh at me.

alice xox

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Blythecon UK and busy busy busy!

As promised, I did indeed make a video of BCUK!


I think it pretty much covers everything I have to say about Blythecon! Just a wonderful, wonderful weekend, thank you to everyone, but especially the wonderful Laura Kate! I'm sure I'll have some more photos to show from the actual day at some point, so watch this space. :) The video is a bit dorky (argh my face!) but hopefully the spirit of the day comes across a little bit. :) WARNING: to non-doll people, I expect this will be hideously boring.

The Friday was mostly frantic travelling and then some quality PUB TIME with the doll ladies, and the Saturday was just awesome from start to finish.

I want to say the Sunday was a lovely day too, but, well - and this is going to sound funny - but the weather was FAR too nice! Gav and I had planned to hit a bunch of museums up (including my unsuccessful attempt to admire Beowulf, le sob!) but dragging our sweaty, sticky selves round sweaty, sticky London was too much for us. We are not people who enjoy the heat!

Gavin


We're not really city people either... The tube caused major stress, the people caused more, and at one point Gavin saw a ray of sunlight which made the air look super dirty, and pointed it out to me and thus set me off on a major freak-out of scrubbing myself raw when I got home. I'm sure London isn't that dirty, I'm just prone to overreacting. ;)

The British Library


Don't get me wrong though, London is an awesome place full of awesome things (and one day I will return! Beowulf, you cannot elude me forever!) and the weather was gorgeous, and I ought to be more grateful.

St Andrews Castle

But... I really enjoyed coming home and getting tucked up in my thermals and blankets. :)

Seabird

(I'M JUST A STARK OK
AND I MISS THE NORTH WHEN I LEAVE IT
DON'T JUDGE ME)

BCUK Outfit

I got a pretty epic haul, the first batch of which is being modelled by Rose!

This is my first Eurotrash helmet, and I don't know why they suddenly called to me, but I *had* to have one. Maybe it was becoming a yarn nerd... but wow, it's beautiful. The prices they go for second hand are INSANE, but I can kind of see why. They are so beautifully made - and this new Kenner of mine is demanding quality items of clothing. ;)

Anyway, I was super inspired by this weekend, so... watch this space. ;) I have six packs of nylon and a pack of saran currently sitting on my desk... I wonder what they could be for? :3

I am also getting into the full swing of the semester, and the future looks very busy!

alice xox

Thursday, 8 September 2011

So, I'm just really, really great at spending money.

Not to boast or anything, but I could probably spend professionally, I'm getting pretty good at it. I'm getting calmer and calmer typing the big ol' numbers in paypal!

So, last time I blogged, I announced my decision to make 2011 the Year of the Kenner. I'm absolutely delighted to report that a month in... and I kinda did it already. :) YAY!

All in all, it was a very quick hunt, but there were a few moment of First World Anguish, which I am very good at. I won't go into it too much, as I don't want to criticise anyone, just trying to give fellow doll crazies an approximation of my doll pain, hahah! Anyway, a blonde beauty popped up and I tried to acquire her only to lose her to someone with a higher offer, which made me sob a little bit, but fair enough. I was then, literally a week later, offered that same doll from the new owner, but for a higher price, and though this doll was CALLING TO ME SO BAD I turned it down as I felt the price was too high for me for this particular doll. Not to criticise the seller as it is ENTIRELY their right to ask for what they think is right, it just wasn't right for me. So yeah, First World Anguish ensued.

AND THEN... a beautiful blondie from the lovely Pooka popped up, and well, she was perfect. :D Not to mention in the UK, which is always a bonus for those of us stuck on this tiny island. I say stuck... I wouldn't want to be stuck anywhere else! It's just a bit of a pain when it comes to acquiring things from elsewhere and customs fees and all that.

But enough of me! LET US SEE THE PRETTY PRETTY KENNER :D

Rose in Corbridge


She's here!



Rose


She's here!

I have decided to rename her Rose. I was so sure she needed a lovely, pretty, Victorian name, and Rose was one of the options. I then started rewatching Eccleston's Dr Who series and the name really won me over.

AHHHH IT WAS SO EXCITING! I have met and held Kenners before, but never really examined one properly. The plastic feels so different, and she does feel old, but weirdly sturdy and just, oh, I don't know. I'm totally nuts for her. :) She's so so so gorgeous.

Her hair is beautiful, with not too much frizz at all (not that I mind the frizz anyway!) and she has original make-up, even a touch of original blush. She has some scalp goop and a body crack (which has been magic'd together by Pooka somehow!) and some little yellow patches, which I thought initially I might look into gently getting rid of, but actually, I'm too attached to them. She has a cute little yellow spot on her forehead which I've started fondly thinking of a sort of beauty spot. They will stay. :)

Although she didn't as such *need* a hairwash, I gave her one, as it's kind of a bonding process for me, and also, I'd messed up her hair in all the excited playing she got when she arrived.



I soaked the ends in Comfort fabric conditioner for 2 and a bit hours, then washed it out and used human conditioner on her to comb her hair out. Actual human hair conditioner does nothing for doll hair, by the way - it's just nice and slippery and I like to use it if there are tangles to gently tease out. You just have to make sure to wash it all out properly.

I was really surprised to feel like I'd definitely made a difference to her already beautiful hair!



Mmmm she's so pretty! :D Her legs and arms don't look that yellowed in person, actually, strange quirk of the photo...

Oh god I sound like a mother don't I, going on about my child...

ANYWAY. Guess what? I FINISHED WORK!

My Financial Advisor

Despite my whining I have earned a pretty penny this summer, which is lovely, and of course, allowed me to bring Rose home. :) Beth's projection of my future finances is perhaps a bit pessimistic. ;)

Which means... I am leaving Newcastle on Sunday and heading back up to Haggisland! It also means... BLYTHECON IN 3 WEEKS!

I am so excited. I have decided not to buy anything Blythe-related until I get there, and then totally go mad and splash out. :D So, I am planning on spending the next few days packing, and making a start on my fashion competition entry, and making my girls some new clothes...

You won't be hearing from me until I'm back in Haggisland, so see you then!

alice xox

Friday, 5 August 2011

I'M ALIVE!

I know, don't faint with shock - I'm making a blog entry!

I was honestly going to update these past two days now I'm off work (and so I have time to do things that aren't sleeping or working!) but instead I decided that a road trip to Scotland was in order...

Road-trip!
Yes. Jessica and I eloped at Gretna Green. It was a beautiful ceremony, though she seemed a little put out that I took her to Gretna Green "Welcome Break" Service Station rather than an actual church. Still, it had a big photo of a church on the front, so it nearly counted, right?

Gretna Green "Welcome Break"

But in all seriousness, I drove (drove! me!) up to Glasgow to help Gavin move in and home-ify his new flat. (I stopped at Gretna on account of my bladder.) Also, I am living vicariously through him as I am deeply jealous of his new Adult Life as I continue in studenthood for another ten months and got really excited about choosing his duvet covers and bookshelves and all sorts!

It was a successful trip, though some thoughtless tosser (probably the landlord, sheesh) has put down RED CARPET in the flat, which inconsiderately messed up my blue colour scheme for Gav's room, but I managed to recover it. Phew.

On the way back, I decided to drive in actual Gretna and get a few shots this time.



It was cute! I even saw an actual wedding happening, though not there - up the road at a posh looking hotel. Weddings are one of the only occasions where I've found that being nosy and borderline intrusive is actually kind of ok, so I had a good old look. They'd even got this awesome looking horse and cart (complete with driver with TAILS on his coat!) to ride them off into the distance.

Anyway, what I was going to blog about was the excellence that was two Blythe meets I went to in July! I'd been starved of doll people since last year's Blythecon and it was lovely.

Leeds Blythe Meet!


The Leeds Blythe meet had quiet a turnout (20 of us, I think) and there were lots of beauties for me to admire. I was so busy admiring and sniffing (no really, give a Kenner a good whiff) that this is the only photo I really took.

Glasgow Blythe Meet!


The Glasgow meet was ace - great to finally meet all the Scottish Blythe ladies and admire their customising talent up close.

I really liked how different the vibes were at each meet, if that isn't too weird. Both were lovely and full of lovely people - but very different. Though there were plenty loooovely customs at the Leeds meet I feel there was also a lot of stock and Kenner appreciation, whereas the Glasgow meet was a full-on custom fest. It made me realise how much of a Kenner/stock nut I am turning into. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE customs and really need to do some more customising of my own (it's been too long!) but I am really going crazy-doll-lady for Kenners. I asked the ladies at Glasgow how they felt about Kenners, and they all agreed they were nice and all, but too expensive for them to consider them worth it.

On the one hand, I can totally see (in theory) why you wouldn't want to spend an arm and a leg on a beaten up, dirty, falling to pieces doll with cracks in her butt and hairplugs falling out, and would rather buy a cheaper and much more intact doll who is less "sacred" and you can customise and have fun with. It makes complete sense to sane people.

But I am not sane when it comes to Kenners. I never have been. They were the beautiful faces I first fell in love with and I've been sort of nearly buying one ever since I got into Blythe... that's nearly 4 years of tentative ebay stalking and failed bids. (I'm not sure I'll ever quite get over that one-legged beauty I missed in December 2008.)

So I have decided. 2011 is THE YEAR. This is THE YEAR I will get a Kenner.

Consider me officially on the hunt.

I must be insane.

alice xox

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Spooktastic

As I mentioned in my last entry, the Monster High bug bit me and Frankie joined the family. Somehow, in that mysterious ways dolls have of multiplying (you'd think I was spending furiously or something) I now have five Monster High dollies. Funny how that happens, isn't it?

Anyway, half the appeal of the MH dolls for me is their price. I do love customising but sometimes my nerve and wallet fail me when it comes to customising their more expensive bg-headed cousins... so I started my first MH customisation adventures!

The first hurdle was taking off Lagoona's head. I was expecting this to be a lot more difficult! I warmed her head in a dignified position - upside down in a glass of warm water - before pulling it off without that much force, quite easily.


The neck peg is an awkward shape, and I found it easiest to bend each 'prong' out separately. I did bend one prong a bit out of shape, as you can see, but I might just remove them as I've seen suggested on the internet. :)

The part that drove me ABSOLUTELY INSANE was removing the stock hair. SO. MUCH. GLUE.


The force and effort I had to put in getting all this blimmin glue out pretty much put my hands out of action for a few days. I had a BRUISE on my PALM. Ow ow ow!

After that, because apparently I'm a masochist, I decided to reroot using the locked loop technique. I have done two locked loop reroots before, but on Blythe dolls using a crochet hook. I (sort of unwisely) decided this method would also work Just Fine on other, smaller-headed dolls too.

Lagoona Blue Reroot!

It sort of does. The MH heads are tough enough to withstand the crochet hook strain (though the internet suggests 1/6 dolls are generally otherwise) and so I'm not ripping the scalp or anything.

... and here's how much I've done so far!


As you can see, somewhere along the line, this method (and the whole hair removal trauma) has damaged her make-up. :( Stupid Alice. Of course, when I first noticed this I had one of those Moments I'm sure all fellow crafters/customisers/etc. have, where EVERYTHING HAD GONE WRONG EVER, EVERYTHING WAS RUINED AND BEYOND SAVING.

After a bit of a tantrum and bribing my little sister to drive me to Asda and panic buying another stock Lagoona, I have managed to calm down a bit and think I will do some repainting and mild customising after I've finished the reroot, and next time, um, just use a reroot tool and glue. It sounds soooo much easier for dolls this size!

Monster High Spa Day!

The rest of the girls had a spa day yesterday, and I am hoping to be showing off their fabulous stock hair very soon! My second Lagoona's hair was worse than the first, but it's coming along VERY nicely! And more importantly, her make-up is intact. ;)

alice xox

Sunday, 19 June 2011

I'm still alive!

So, it's been a while... so here's a super quick update! :) My life got really full all of a sudden! First there were exams, and then I had to pack and move back down to Newcastle, and then I started my summer job, and my internet life has taken a bit of a back seat (booo!) as I adjusted to my new situation. :)

I am living with my dad in his new house (mmmm, brand new carpet smell!) and have started working in a toy shop in the airport. On the one hand, it's ace, a.) to even have a job and b.) to work in a toy shop! :D On the other, airports demand rather unsociable working hours and my sleeping pattern is ALL over the place. Getting up at 3am destroys me, and I'm coping a bit better with being alternately well rested and utterly sleep deprived, but I don't think I'll get used to it as my shifts are so irregular. So, I am keeping busy and earning money, but not finding as much time for my hobbies as I would like! Hopefully I'll get the balance right soon. :)

Here's what I've been up to the past few weeks, inbetween passing out at every opportune moment and selling toys! ;)

Beth's not-so-sneaky hiding place...Feet Fishes!

I got an iPhone. It is my baby. I got my feets eaten by hungry fishes!

Viking! Raawr!

I discovered that I LOVE lego minifigures. (Another collection is born...)

Sand Heart ♥ Tango

Gav visited me in Newcastle, and we went to the beach. :)

Frankie Frankie

I got bitten by the Monster High bug...

Gotta get down on FriiiiiidayKnitting!

I acquired the new 3D Ocarina (!!!!) and - le gasp - I started knitting again!

(Don't worry knitters - I went out the next day and bought the right size needles for that yarn and started again, heheh.)

I learned to knit when I was very little and made a few very terrible scarves and never really anything beyond that - with the only thing I made recently being a knitted haggis for Gavin. Me and knitting never really got on, and I have found out why - I was knitting 'English' instead of 'continental'. Oh it is beautiful. I can use my perfected crochet yarn hold (around pinkie and fed over pointer finger) and it is MUCH easier going. I mean, I'm still painfully slow compared to crocheting and my tension is, um, well, very tense, but I hope to improve! :)

Not that crocheting isn't still my favourite, but who can help being drawn to those beautiful little 'v's of stockinette?

Hope to update a little sooner next time! :)

alice xox

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Behind the scenes...

Inspired by this blog post by the excellent Laura Kate, I have decided to do a little 'behind the scenes' post of my own! I was having a browse through Gavin's (my most excellent boy) photo stream and realised that we have quite a few photos I can pair up from our joint photo adventures, and thought it was a fun idea!

All photos click through to their flickr page. :)

First, here's one that pairs up perfectly - a fairly recent photo of Pepper featuring Gavin in the background....

There's a man in my photo!


... turns out he was taking a photo of his own!

IMG_0312



And if we go back into *the past* (almost two years ago!) to this photo of Russ...

Russberry


... looks like Gavin has been documenting my dolly photographing exploits longer than I had thought!

CNV00013

Another photo (from about a year ago) of Gavin's lovely doggies...

Doggehs


... which must have been snapped pretty much around the time he took this photo of me! :)

IMG_3122

This shot of Jessica (ooohhh her prettiness just blows me away every time!) last January...

Jessica

... must have been taken shortly after this shot of me looking (oddly!) reflective!

IMG_0201

... and shortly before these silly shots! xD

IMG_0226IMG_0223


Remember that time my brand new Cath Kidston wellies betrayed me, and I only found out they were leaking as I proudly waded out into a puddle?

WELLIE BETRAYAL


Well, this is the exact moment I realised. :P Note: I am trying to look dignified. Felt pretty daft considering there was really no need for me to have waded out into that puddle in the first place!

IMG_0307

And this:

IMG_0407


... became this! Supermooon!

Supermoon!

Finally, some general behind the scenes photos of me with no particular pair. :)

From the new... in which Gavin places thing in my hood without my noticing until they pop up on Flickr! :P

IMG_0351


Me, in Edinburgh.

IMG_0348

To the old...
CNV00027

... which is still one of my favourite photos of his ever, two years on. :) Though I do very much look a bit of a crazy dollie lady, hugging Russ, it's just also a really lovely photo.

Ok, enough self indulgence for one day! Crafty updates coming next time! :)

alice xox