Thursday, 9 January 2014

Toy Thursday: Jessica

I have been studying in York since the end of September, and this is the first time I have ever taken in my actual camera or a doll. That is a pretty tragic situation, and it needed fixed ASAP. So, voilĂ ! 

So much nostalgia! I know that sounds weird, because this is the first time I've taken photos there... but it's been a while since I took pictures of a doll in some medieval ruins after class. It just felt weirdly familiar. 

This is the lovely Jessica, who has been with me three years this month! I bought her for myself as a post-exam present in my third year of undergrad. She arrived a full eight days before my exams were over and I exercised extreme restraint in not opening her until I had finished. Still my greatest achievement to date, let's be honest. Such willpower!  (The ruins are St Mary's Abbey.)

Bonus! Behind the scenes shot of my ugly mug and Ms J taken by Gavin. Just because?

alice xox

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Accidentally Stalking My Grandparents

Over Christmas, I got to see some family photos I'd never seen before from my mum's side. I scanned as many of my favourites as I could - and this won't be the last blog post with them in, you have been warned - but my absolute favourite thing was this beautiful album my grandad had put together. It's mostly from the summer of 1950, just after he and my nana got married, on their mini tour of the UK in a (very beautiful) car. 

The best thing about it, though, is how Gavin & I seem to be ending up in all the same places, 60 years later...

Durham Cathedral

I never knew my grandad liked taking photos so much, there are some really, really gorgeous shots in there. One of my favourite photos (which my mum hates) is when my grandad was in his 70s on holiday somewhere. He's sitting on his hotel bed in his pants intently reading a Minolta AF-E manual next to newly opened camera packaging, and clearly was not expecting to have his photo taken! Knowing how my nana and grandad were, I would bet anything my nana got bored of the manual and just grabbed the camera and took a somewhat unplanned shot! It's not a very dignified photo, but I love it, and it makes me laugh.

alice xox

Friday, 3 January 2014

Adventures in Homelifying #2

I am feeling super proud of our efforts with the flat recently, so I thought I'd share. We've been living here since September and have been slowly organising and optimising. Our newest storage solution - an Expedit! I have pined after these for years and years after seeing so many amazing photos on Flickr of cubey goodness. Finally! We only got a small-ish one - two by four - but it looks ace. I love Ikea.

So, our new and improved living room:

We also bought a savagely reduced (a term my mum uses a lot when she is trying to justify buying things she didn't need - but seriously, it was really reduced quite a bit) telly, so we have something to actually watch stuff on and use our consoles.

The space above the telly looks a bit bare now, but I have a few ideas...

Aaand a closer look! If you'll humour me in talking you through our Expedit/Besta arrangement...

Cube 1: the extra special Blythes, Cube 2: the Pullips & co plus some small guests, Cube 3: mostly craft books/magazines, Cube 4: currently containing Rosie the Riveter (plus a few books) before she finds a wall space and my new project can go there, Cube 5: comics trades, Cube 6: mostly Warhammer/D&D/general gaming and hardback Pratchett, Cube 7: a box of yarn, Cube 8: a box of doll clothes. (The huge DC Modern Mythmaking book doesn't fit anywhere, so it's been exiled to the floor where it can think about what its done.)

On top of the Expedit are the remainder of the Blythes, some Monster High, plus some MLPs, a Treeson, and my Domos. The rest of the Monster High are perched happily on top of our Besta bookcase. Other plastic cuties are scattered throughout!

Besta is mostly full of our books, with some of our favourite/most played board games on the bottom shelves. (Please note our Anne McCaffrey shelf, third up. We're very proud of that.) We have a lot more books (and games) but they're either in the spare room, or still up in Scotland. (There's also a minor Warhammer explosion in the spare room, but it's pretty much under control.)

Here's a closer look at the doll section of the Expedit - the left box is all the extra special Blythes. (Doronjo, Goldie & Kenner at the back, CMA Middie in the middle, Alexis Emerald and Rei sitting down, plus my two favourite LPS petites. Plus some tokidoki friends!) The right box are the Groove family (the ones all in one piece, anyway) plus some Lalaloopsy and various toys.

My LPS shame is on the top shelf for all to see. In my defence, I bought most of them 2011/12 when they were all half-price or less in TK Maxx. I miss seeing those guys in the shops.

I did try to curb the doll Expedit take-over a little, so we could actually solve the problem of piles of books lying everywhere...

The rest of the MH live on top of Besta. I was going to put them on their stands, but they look more like they're having a mass gossip session this way, I like it.

This is the Gavin corner, containing one Gavin having his morning tea and his gaming set-up. Here are the rest of our DVDs in a lovely Ikea Benno (the others are under the telly) - please note the tiny shelves featuring my Takochu and Doppelgangers, and the desk squidlets! We found the awesome print and frame above his desk in a charity shop for under a fiver!

Here is the table, which is where I mostly work/procrastinate on the internet, and my windowsill Socker.

Finally, a bonus close-up of our sea monkeys! We only have five at the moment, not a lot actually hatched from this batch of eggs. I think they might flourish more in warmer climates, alas.

That's probably enough organisational back-patting for one post! 

alice xox

ps. in other "Alice is super efficient" news I also finally actually put some stuff on my 'about' page.  Because apparently that's what they're for?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hello, 2014!

If I'm honest, I'm pretty happy to see the back of 2013. It wasn't all bad, but the overwhelming theme was definitely "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON" and so even the good stuff felt chaotic. I started the year in a job I wasn't really enjoying in a city I wasn't really sure I wanted to be in, and I just felt like I'd made all the wrong decisions post-graduation and I couldn't undo them. The year did pick up pretty quickly - I got a new job, Gavin got a new job, I made a snap decision to apply for my course, I got into my course, Gavin got a transfer and - well, here we are? I'm halfway through my masters and we're both happily relocated in Yorkshire.

I still have no idea what happened. In retrospect, it seems like a pretty awesome year with lots of awesome things happening, but at the time I felt like - if you'll excuse my terrible analogy - I was falling down some stairs pretending I'd done it on purpose and somehow landed on my feet at the bottom? (People tell me my entire twenties is going to feel like this. I hope not!)

Everyone has been really lovely to me over the past 18 months as I flailed my way through my post-graduation life and I know I have been a massive pain in the arse on many, many occasions. Gavin deserves an honourable mention for being awesome in so many ways, as does my mum for calmly talking me through all the stupid stuff I have done (such leaving the car lights on and getting stranded with no battery) in my quest to reach functional adulthood. I will get there! Maybe.

I don't really do new year resolutions, but...

A few practical things to take care of, and then the cheesy stuff. Because if I'm going to have this stressful social construction of a new start forced upon me then I insist on it being full of cheesy optimism. So, here's to the theme of 2014 being "I TOTALLY KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON."

alice xox