Sunday, 23 December 2012

Merry Christmas from Mr & Mr Stormtrooper!

All I Want for Christmas...

Merry Christmas my lovelies! My favourite intergalactic couple and I wish you all the best. Eat, drink, sleep, and be very merry! 

(As for me, I am anything but relaxed. 'Tis not the season to be jolly if you work in retail, 'tis the season to work long hours and be betrayed by your run-down immune system. Currently sofa-ridden with the lurgy, again, and weighing up feeling guilty about not going in on Christmas Eve when there is so much to do vs. being disgusting and ill and being a useless, sneezing mess if I do go in tomorrow. Argh! Combined with the fact it's my first Christmas away from my family, I'm feeling a little bit on the side of forlorn. I hope things will pick up as January gets underway and the dreaded Clearance is over, and you'll be hearing a little more from me again.)


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Toy Thursday: Middle-earth Edition

The Hobbit is out in cinemas today! (Well, part one of three, but don't get me started on how gratuitous and ridiculous and why-am-I-even-complaining awesome that is.) As this is being posted, I will be in the cinema getting very excited and finding out exactly how they have squeezed nine hours of footage out of a not-that-long (though, of course, excellent) book. 

So, today's Toy Thursday is Tolkien themed! We have quite a few appropriate Games Workshop miniatures in Gavin's hoard of tiny plastic and metal men (of varying degrees of painted), so I took a few photos. I love them!

Bilbo & Farmer Maggot


For Gondor!

Samwise the Brave

An Uruk
(an excited) alice xox

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Toy Thursday: Domo-kun love!

If you're at all into toys or vinyl, you'll have come across Domo-kun. Domo is the official mascot of the Japanese TV station NHK - a 'strange creature' who 'hatched from an egg.' I love him because he just look constantly surprised and delighted by the world, like he's constantly bellowing "OH MY GOD EVERYTHING IS SO AWESOME." (I think that is a totally worthwhile stance on the world. I wish I could be more like Domo!) Qee make the most amazing selection of Domo collectibles of which I own nowhere near enough. Here are a few shots of the Domo I do own, in all their patterned glory.

Sparkly Domo-kun!


Cooking With Domo-Kun!

alice xox

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

WIP Wednesday: Cuddly Things for the Christmas Tree

I've been whipping up some festive amigurumi in some spare moments for the Christmas tree. This cute little snowman was made using a spontaneous 'making-it-up-on-the-spot' pattern. (Confession: about 80% of everything I craft is made like this. I know, I'm terrible.) 

alice xox

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hello December!

I've been a little absent of late, and I whole-heartedly blame the miserable weather and absolute chaos that is the end of the year whilst working in retail. (I'm in my second week of extra Christmas hours, and feeling a little bit pooped.) Still, it is not spoiling the fun of the first Christmas in our flat, and the exciting business of kitting ourselves out with a Christmas tree and decorations!

More to follow on our (very much 'budget') tree and decorations. Until then, enjoy some sparkly Christmas bokeh! Hope you're all having fun getting tinsel-tastic and Christmas-ing your houses! 

alice xox

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

WIP Wednesday!: Nyan Cat Cross-Stitch

I've been meaning to try my hand at a bit of cross-stitch for a while now, and I finally got round to buying the kit and giving it a go this past week! I haven't cross-stitched anything since I was a kid, so I thought I'd start with something cute and easy...

... and so nyan cat seemed like an excellent choice! I am envisaging so many epic cross-stitch projects in my future. My naked living room walls and I are very excited!

alice xox

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Granite City Roller Girls & Alice's first bout

As I think I've mentioned, since moving to Aberdeen I got involved with the local roller derby league. Things that are terrifying: moving to a new city and starting a new job. Things that are double terrifying: moving to a new city, showing up to a sports club where you don't know anyone, full of pre-established friendships and intimidatingly kick-ass ladies, and attempting to learn a sport (on wheels, no less) that has a bit of reputation for being violent.

I needn't have worried. Showing up to the first GCRG practice was the best thing I've done since moving here, hands down. Everyone is lovely and friendly, derby is the best fun ever, and I've gone up a size in trousers because my thighs have genuinely become entities of their own. It's awesome. (I mean, I'm still reasonably puny, but give me time!)

This weekend, I got to see the GCRG team - the Northern Fights - in actual bouting action. It was prettiest much the coolest thing ever.

Fights vs NRG
I can but aspire to kick as much ass as these ladies. One day, I hope to have thighs you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. Toe stops will quiver with fear at the sight of me, and not the other way around. (Although, I like to think my toe stops might just suck, and I'm not just totally inept. They're square and I can't seem to keep them tight enough to not spin round, hence the frequency of Alice landing butt-first. Ouchies.)

A girl can dream! In the meantime, I can workworkwork and enjoy being surrounded by awesome ladies. :)

alice xox

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Toy Thursday: Blythe and Me at Icing & Write

It's official - I've got the lurgy. As such, I've spent the past three of my precious few days off work coughing and sneezing and feeling sorry for myself. Anyway, I've been too pathetic and snot-tastic to get my planned TT organised, so this week, I will be directing you elsewhere for your plastic fix!

Icing & Write is the blog of the wonderful Aizzing, fellow Blythe enthusiastic and all-round awesome lady. She is currently running a really cool feature called Blythe and Me, in which she interviews bloggers who love Blythe. I leapt at the chance to get more involved in the Blythe blogging community, and you can read my Blythe and Me here!

I highly recommend taking a look at the bloggers featured so far, and it's definitely one to watch. It's always great getting to know some of the wonderful people in the community a little bit better. Blythe aside, Aizzing's blog is also worth bookmarking for general inspiring prettiness! :)

alice the snotmonster

Monday, 5 November 2012

Guy Fawkes and Getting Older

Hello, lovelies! Today's post is brought to you by the new and improved 23 year old Alice - a wiser and more thrifty model than the outdated v22.9. (Well, a girl can dream.) I had a really lovely birthday filled with food and fireworks.

Tonight is Guy Fawkes Night in the UK, which means lots of fireworks, bonfires, jacket potatoes and sparklers. Oh, and some casual burning of effigies, but we tend to skip over that bit. Guy Fawkes Night is actually a very macabre tradition, when you think about it. Which, admittedly, most people don't. I love that it's a bit unsettling, and that the history behind it is kind of gruesome and dubious. Also, thanks - I suspect - largely to Alan Moore's V for Vendetta, it's not so much just an obscure, British thing anymore. The Guy Fawkes mask has quite some symbolic impact, these days! (My personal sense of awe at the potential significance of the Gunpowder Plot is entirely Diana Wynne Jones's fault, which you'll understand if you've read Witch Week.)

Anyway, last weekend on my birthday, and Gavin and I went to see some early-Guy Fawkes Night fireworks after stuffing ourselves silly with Turkish food.

Taking photos of fireworks can probably be a precision art, but, urr, not the way I do it. I don't have a tripod and I generally just mess about with longer exposures and seeing how still I can hold. Which is, by the way, not very still at all. (Especially after a cheeky birthday wine.) All things considered, some of these came out prettier than I expected!

This firework show wasn't put on the the council - unlike the one I am missing tonight - and was organised by an independent bunch of people to raise money for charity. It was a much smaller event, and very cute. The firework playlist included the Dr Who theme, which was unexpectedly awesome and weirdly appropriate. 

My favourite thing was actually this bizarre and awesome contraption - a washing line full of roman candles. It might not have made loud noises or been that high up in the sky, but it looked really awesome.

More to come with regards to my birthday and some plastic ladies that may or may not have joined the household. (Hint: they totally did.) As of this evening, I am now off work for six days and looking forward to getting some quality me-time, as long as my immune system cooperates. I am currently curled up with a lemsip chugging orange juice and hoping for the best. Argh, such typical timing!

alice xox

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Toy Thursday!: Halloween Edition

Halloween: a holiday where you're encouraged to wear fancy dress, eat your weight in sweets, demand free stuff from your neighbours, and carve vegetables into menacing shapes. What's not to like?! Here are a few photos of the plastic kids celebrating Halloween over the years.

Candy Broomsticks

Happy Halloween!


Dr. Pepper

In human news, this is now the third Halloween I have used my starfleet uniform as my costume. Before I'm accused of total laziness - this year, I was on skates... 

... as Roller Derby practice this week coincided with Halloween! It was, admittedly, a bit sweaty. Well, a lot sweaty. But you know, totally worth it, because now I have these photos. (Many thanks to Amanda S. who got some awesome shots of us all!)

Hope you all had an awesome Halloween with lots of cake, chocolate, and the beautiful smell of candle roasted pumpkin 

alice xox

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Silver City with the Golden Sands

Having now lived in Aberdeen for almost two months, there are two main things I have learned: 1.) it's very grey, and 2.) the oil industry controls everything.

...That makes it sound somewhat more grim than it actually is! I have actually grown rather attached to Aberdeen, and its strange little economic bubble.

Firstly, the greyness. Aberdeen - 'The Granite City' - has a lot of buildings made with granite - which gets a lot of stick as a building material, because it's grey. Actually, it can be a very beautiful colour, and kind of sparkly and awesome (not to mention super durable.)

Marischal College

Secondly, the oil industry controls Aberdeen completely. Pre-1970s, Aberdeen was not a big deal. It's very far North, and the UK is frustratingly full of Southern Privilege. You leave behind the more user friendly Glaswegian and Edinburgh accents, and things start to get a bit more unintelligible. (Sorry, Aberdonians. I like your accents!) Then, they found a Metric Buttload of oil, and now it's the oil capital of Europe. Aberdeen is kind of a weird anomaly, due to this. Unemployment in Aberdeen is super low compared to the rest of the UK. Aberdeen isn't really in a recession. There are jobs. Which is, of course, why I moved here. Even though I work in the retail sector, it's the oil industry that allows my company to do so well. Oil has brought lots of (rich!) people here and they are spending their money.

Aberdeen remains very functional, and a lot of it still looks very industrial. Which is why the beach is such an unexpected pleasure, and definitely at least 60% of the reason I decided I would move here. I love the sea.

Gavin and I had our first proper stroll along the beach since we moved here, complete with cameras and dollies.

I am warming up to my new home, and enjoying finding little pockets of pretty for photos and leisurely strolls with Gav. Not least since I got involved with the local Roller Derby ladies, which is really amazingly awesome. I've yet to blog about my wheeled adventures, so watch this space! I am (predictably) a little bit besotted. Totally clueless and a liability on wheels, but besotted nonetheless.

alice xox

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Toy Thursday!: Dollie Winter Blues

Maybe it's just me, but I always seem to get the dollie blues as winter sets in. It gets light later, dark earlier, the weather is increasingly soggy, and I feel like an ice cube. I swap doll-related crafting for sitting wrapped in blankets, shivering and not feeling my fingers, and taking photos for... well, sitting wrapped in blankets, shivering and not feeling my fingers. Which is a shame, because winter and autumn are kind of perfect for both of these things. 

Aside from the increasingly soggy weather and all the daylight hours happening while I'm stuck in work, autumn/winter light is actually really amazingly beautiful. The sun spends a lot of time low in the sky casting awesome shadows, and being all soft and lovely. 

Amelia at Lade Braes

Autumn is full of wonderful oranges, and winter brings the possibility of snow (!), which is kind of a pain to human-sized people, but an excellent prop for the plastic ladies.

266/366'Right, I'm all ready for Hoth!'

Not only are there actually plenty of photo opportunities, but the colder months are the perfect time for heavy use of dollie knitwear. Although I dabble in all doll-related crafts (which is one of the reasons Blythe is such a wonderful hobby, for me) - I'm a yarn-nut at heart, and this should be the perfect time for me to make a decent dent in my stash by being a doll knitwear factory. But I don't. I sit at home shivering and whinging. This must change!

Abracadabra! One red hat, please!

So, it's about time I stopped being a Miserable Git in the winter and started enjoying it. I am going to start making the most of my weekends - getting out and taking photos when the weather isn't being horrendous, and using the dark evenings to knit and crochet. Enough of sitting and shivering! I will need some new gloves and a little bit of willpower. (Ok, maybe a lot. My slanket is so very, very toasty.)

Do you guys get the dollie winter blues? How do you shake them?

alice xox

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Toy Thursday!: Plo Koon (& My Feelings)

As you might have noticed, I kind of love Star Wars. Like, a lot. I'm pretty indiscriminate. It's a bit embarrassing. I love the original trilogy best, of course, but... I will also quite happily sit my way through II and III (I not so much) and quietly weep with actual emotion, rather than disappointment and/or disgust. I know, I know. Please don't be judge me too harshly - I just have a lot of feelings, and I really appreciate Hayden Christensen's face, ok? It's a really good face. Also I love Natalie Portman like, a lot. I genuinely believe they could have babies as beautiful as Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher. ANYWAY.

May the fourth be with you

Probably the coolest thing (in my humble opinion) to come out of the newer films is Plo Koon. If you missed him - well, that's not exactly surprising. He doesn't get much screen time in the movies. It's in the Clone Wars show and the extended universe that he gets properly fleshed out into everyone's favourite Kel Dor. (He is at least 86.8% of the reason I experience emotions during III. I think the Order 66 scenes are actually kind of rather well done. At least, they make me sad.)

So -  naturally - I had to own him in the plastic. :)


I love the Kel Dor because they're actually, properly alien - they need face masks when they're off-world because their native atmosphere is so different, and they're kinda... ugly. They have, to quote wookiepedia, a 'toothless chasm' for a mouth, with 'drooping fleshy strands.' That's... that's a bit gross, and I love that it's a bit gross, because whilst attractive aliens are awesome and all, I love that they're different. I think Plo is super cute, drooping fleshy strands and all.

alice xox

ps. bonus photo: a totally ridiculous princess leia gingerbreadwoman I made a few years ago, complete with gold bikini.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Blythecon UK & a small case of The Sads

Yesterday was Blythecon UK 2012, in Manchester. As you might know if you follow me on Flickr or Twitter, this was supposed to be my third Blythecon - but I couldn't make it. Time, money and distance conspired in a big ball of Suckiness and I had to sell my tickets. Luckily, both went to some lovely ladies I am delighted I could help out, but I was still nursing a bad case of The Sads yesterday.

Hobbies like Blythe, which happen mostly online, can be a bit isolating - and it's something that I personally find a bit lonely sometimes, so missing Blythecon really sucks. It's not for everyone, but I love actually meeting all my favourite online ladies and talking dolls. I haven't done this since last year's Blythecon, and I can't help feeling a bit sad. (Not to mention being in a new house, in a new city, in a new job... I'm a bit pathetic with change, really.) The daft thing is, the main reason I couldn't go was because I found employment quicker than I expected. It's a silver lining to the whole situation, but I found it pretty hard to appreciate that yesterday when all my friends were having fun without me.

But enough of my pity party! The good news is that next year's BCUK is up in my neck of the woods - Glasgow! I'll be helping Pip & Fiona out with some of the organising, and I'm super excited for it already!

I spent a lot of the past two years in Glasgow, and it's one of my favourite cities. It has a really lovely city centre and there's more than enough stuff to see and do to make a weekend of it. So please, come! I would love to see you there! :)

I'll leave you with a link to my embarrassingly goofy BCUK 2011 video, and a photo I took at BCUK 2010 of two very awesome ladies. To everyone I missed this year: you'd better get your butts up to Glasgow, or else. I'll pelt you with rotten haggis.

alice xox

ps. we were featured in an article in The Guardian! That's a big deal! Ignorant commenters aside, it's even a pretty awesome article - not at all condescending with some wonderful quotations from some wonderful ladies. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Toy Thursday!: Venus McFlytrap

There is now officially another lady who is vying with Lagoona for the title of my favourite Monster High girl. Venus flytraps are one of my favourite things ever, walking plants of the Wyndham variety are the best, I have a soft spot for a certain Ms Isley, and I'm not impartial to Back To The Future references, either.*

Isn't she amazing? Her hair! Her lips! Her clothes! Her hands! Her shoes! Ahhh I love her! 

Her pet, Chewlian, is a rather sinister looking venus flytrap. He's one of my favourite Monster High pets, as well - although I think Operatta's Memphis "Daddy-O" Longlegs is my favourite. (If only all spiders were so suave, maybe I'd be charmed by their smooth ways and less likely to run away shrieking.)

The best bit is I managed to snag her reduced in Argos. They also had Rochelle and Robecca, but they don't call to me the same way Venus does. (Also, tight budget. Wargh!) Looking to perhaps acquire Robecca in the future, having seen the awesome job Heather did on her plating, which you can see here. I'd be intrigued to try a wash (like I'd use for Warhammer and other miniatures) and then seal it, and see how that looked. I think the panelling is awesome, but not quite super awesome, and it could be a future project!

alice xox

*At least, I hope it is. Gavin thinks it might be just a reference to the band. But they're a reference to BttF apparently, so, either way...? I can has Marty?