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?