Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Change is Scary

I'm coming up to the last three weeks of my time as an undergraduate. I've handed in my second last essay, and I'm handing in my my last ever essay on Monday, with my last ever  exams a week and a bit after that. After four whole years being a student, I am absolutely 100% ready to finally graduate... but it's still kind of terrifying.

I swear the next person who asks me what I "want to do" with my life is getting punched in the face. It's so weird, I didn't realise so many people measured people's success by their job. I don't quite know what I'd like to do yet. My minimum requirement is that I'd just like to earn enough to keep doing the things that make me happy - namely taking photos of toys and having more dolls than is strictly necessary. ♥ If I can get a job I enjoy, that is a very welcome bonus!

I came across some old photos today, and it's kind of reassuring how little things have changed...

Photo itty-bitty-Alice took circa 1997 (?) of my teletubby toy Po chillaxin' on a beach in France

Photo taken by itty-bitty-Alice circa 1997 (?) of my Sylvanians outside my house

Itty-bitty-Alice & Father, circa 1997 (?), doll in hand (naturally)

Based on my current trajectory, I'm pretty sure nothing will be changing anytime soon. ;)

alice xox

Friday, 13 April 2012

Squidlets!

As you may have deduced from my earlier posts on Takochu and Doppelgangers, I have a bit of soft spot for tiny cute things with beady eyes and baby tentacle legs. I've been crocheting (/signed my life away to the Way of the Hook) for slightly over a year now, and tackled my first ever actual amigurumi last month (which was cute, beady eyed, and had tentacles. Check!) He now lives with Gavin, keeping an eye on him for me. (And eight legs, as often as he can spare them.)

Having some some lovely Takochu-esque amigurumi for sale on etsy and elsewhere, I decided to try my hand at coming up with my own pattern, and here are the results: Squidlets! :)


Gav & I have this disgusting, cutesy-coupley thing where we tack '-let' onto the end of random words in conversation, usually to indicate smallness or cuteness, but mostly... just because. "Gavin, I can't find my shoe-lets!" "Oh nooo! But what will you put on your feet-lets?" Yeah, I know. We're gross. :P Anyway, that's where 'squidlet' comes from. I think it's cute! 




Squidlets enjoy the company of other Squidlets, and can be stacked, although their balance after three tiers to a Squidlet pile is a bit iffy...


Squidlets like to be kept somewhere with a good vantage point, so they can observe you doing your strange, human activities. Squidlets do not like to be juggled. 


Squidlets are sedate creatures, and mostly just like to sit around and count their baby tentacles. The number never changes, of course, which is what makes it such good, reliable fun.


I'm actually quite proud of them! Thinking about putting a few on my Etsy later, just to see if there are any bites. I love making them, and it would pretty ace if anyone wanted a Squidlet. (Even just as an excuse to make more!) They would love to travel! ;)

alice xox

edit: ohmygosh Squidlets all gone in 12 hours! You guys are too kind 

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Some Wholesome Easter Adventures (WARNING: photos galore!)

Easter is my absolute favourite time of year. Not just because the shops are full of delicious things, but because spring is so flippin' beautiful. Two weeks off from university and a chance to spend some quality time with Gavin can mean only one thing - Adventure Time!

The first stop of the Gavin and Alice Easter Tour was in The Toon, my hometown.

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Remember our Anglo-Saxon Adventures of last spring? Godric is a Viking fingerpuppet with delusions of destructive grandeur I bought for myself on Lindisfarne, whose hobbies include pillaging and/or laying waste to various structures. Having sacked Lindisfarne last year, he moved onto his next target - Tynemouth Priory. Most of the plundering had been done a good thousand years ago, so there wasn't much left for him to do - but he is very small, so it worked out!


Here I am, in a photo taken by Gavin, taking the shot of Godric mid-plunder and pillage. Mmm, isn't Tynemouth pretty? Only moments before, it had looked like this:

Tynemouth Priory & Pier

... very dramatic and obliging photogenic. The sea was crazy. Godric would have struggled to attack from sea, I suspect, but luckily, he travels by pocket. Far more convenient.

The Grabby at Tynemouth
Gavin, being windswept!
North Shields

Plundering can be a tiring business (all that yelling and axe-wielding) so we popped over to North Shields Fish Quay for fish and chips. Food of the gods!




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We even strayed a little bit into the countryside, and did a 20 mile round cycle into Wylam, complete with self-congratulatory pie break in the middle. 20 miles is quite a lot of cycling for little old me, and pie was essential. Of course, Gavin's all outdoorsy and healthy and good at cycling, so he was gliding along effortlessly in the correct gear looking very elegant while I huffed and puffed and sweated and acquired a very fine pair of bum bruises.

Cycling Gavin!

Our next stop in the Easter Tour was Aberdeenshire, for a Wholesome Adventure with Gavin's family. They've quite the menagerie at the moment, including the newest addition of nine rather magnificent chickens.

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They also have two dogs, one of whom is very obligingly photogenic and will stay more or less still when I point a camera at him.

Peat

The other dog, who is also super adorable, doesn't understand your human concepts of "still" or "slow," and it is completely impossible to take a photo of him. I had to catch him mid nap...


There is also the scruffiest, most ridiculous cat I have ever met. I loved him. If I had that much hair as a cat, I couldn't be bothered keeping it neat and tidy and licking it all the time. Apparently, neither can he. He is hilariously bedraggled, but so soft! He's a ferocious mouser, and not really a house cat... and so resisted my crazy cat lady advances, le sob! Not a cuddly one. :( He did chew on my fingers for a bit, which was kind of sore, but he seemed happy and was purring, so like the sucker I am for their feline wiles, I happily sat there letting him abuse me.



They both had a quiet snooze in the sun. I copied them, and curled up on Gavin for a warm nap. The little dog, Jack, climbed up onto the sofa and had a snooze on me. Snooze on a snooze! Snooze-ception? It was kind of adorable.



Having a dog must be a lovely motivator for just going on a walk. Here I am, pretending to be a wholesome, countryside dog-owner. I've never really had a pet, aside from a hamster when I was 10, who was cute but not all that interesting. His favourite activities was flicking his poop through the bars onto the carpet and gnawing on my sister's fingers. (My mum wasn't massively keen on him.)

We took a trip to the Winter Gardens in Aberdeen, which apparently has some of the second biggest collections of certain plants aside from the Eden Project down south. It was awesome. Rose, my Kenner Blythe came along for the trip.






Winter Gardens in Aberdeen


Winter Gardens in Aberdeen


Winter Gardens in Aberdeen


Winter Gardens in Aberdeen


Winter Gardens in Aberdeen


You'll have to excuse Rose's flyaways, she's been travelling all Easter with those plaits in, and a few hairs have managed to escape in transition. She'll get some pampering soon, with a nice long soak in some fabric conditioner!

My spring break ended yesterday, and so I have arrived home in St Andrews with a whole bunch of beautiful freshly laid eggs that I am under strict instruction to eat and bake with...

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I am in for a delicious week. Hopefully, the excellence of these eggses will ease the pain of having to, like, do actual work again...

Hope you all had a lovely Easter time! xox

Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter is Delicious

I usually get frustrated when the retail industry milks a festive season like crazy. I hate seeing Christmas decorations before December (and God forbid I hear a Christmas song playing), Halloween goodies before October, and the crazy stuff that's in a lot of shops over here right now in preparation for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Somehow, this never bothered me about Easter. I guess a proliferation of chocolate is Just Fine by me.

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Creme Eggs are quite possibly the most sublime foodstuff known to man. For the record, how I eat mine: as fast as possible. I get chocolate all over my face and hands and bask in the sticky, chocolately afterglow of the genius of Cadbury's.

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It's probably just as well they're not generally stocked the entire year, or I'd be approximately 1758492357493 kg heavier. And stickier.

According to wikipedia:
American Creme Eggs now weigh 34g and contain 150 calories. Before 2006, the eggs marketed by Hershey were identical to the UK version, weighing 39g and containing 180 calories.
To my friends across the pond: you poor, poor creatures. My thoughts are with you during this difficult festive period.


I took the opportunity to make some seasonally appropriate yummies - chocolate egg nests! As with all chocolate-coated cereal noms, they were super easy to make and involved a lot of bowl licking of melted chocolate, which is always a plus. I used bran cereal to get the nest effect - which is actually super yummy covered in chocolate, and you can pretend it's healthy! Sort of! I mean, hey - fibre!

The adorable (delicious) eggs are Cadbury's mini eggs, which according to wikipedia are only sold in the U.K. and Canada. You poor things. I hope you have some kind of equivalent! They are chocolate eggs coated in a hard candy coating thing... I'm fuzzy on the details, but they're Sugary and Yummy, and that's all I need to know. 

I hope you all have a (delicious) weekend!  xox