Monday, 29 October 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

This'll be my last  ♥ This Week's Loves ♥ for a few weeks as I venture off to Tokyo so it's full of good stuff! I'm not sure if I'll do one on the Monday I return because I imagine I'll have to much to report back about my trip, but I'll see how it goes!

1. Confession: I am a sucker for Made In Chelsea. I'm not a fan of reality shows, scripted or otherwise, in general, but I got hooked on the last series and the new one just started a couple of weeks ago. My favourite has to be Francis Boulle, he's pretty much my ideal man, cos he's cute and makes me laugh!

2. I'm going through a real jeans, hoodies and Converse phase at the moment and my new kitty hoody fits right in.

3. My new Blythe doll has arrived!  She's a factory doll, meaning she's made up of different parts from different dolls and I've got a great idea for customising her. Can't wait to get started!

4. I had a day off on Friday to put my car in for it's MOT and service (which luckily it passed!) so I took the opportunity to go and see Skyfall. I won't spoil it for you, but it's great!

5. After coming out of the cinema it was a surprise to see a pile of snow! I do love it, although I didn't much like driving home in it.

6. I went to visit my friends Janet and Mitchell of I ♥ Art in their new premises. Where they were before was ace but not as central and costly to run, and their new place is great! They've made it really nice and bright and filled it with lovely things, and they've got lots of classes coming up and new ideas for the shop, so it's a really exciting time for them!

7. What with the snow and looking around the shops it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! I love the Disney Store at any time of year, but especially Christmas and when I saw they had Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws I had to get him! I saw him last year but they were out of stock so I took my chance and I got Sparky from Frankenweenie for less than half price too!

8. More festive joy overcame me after seeing the John Lewis Christmas display. It's always full of great stuff and usually has a real crafty vibe to it, so even if you don't buy anything, you can get some great craft ideas.

9.  And to bring us right back to October, I caught a Halloween flashdance in a local shopping centre. A group of dancers dressed as the undead and did Thriller and a couple of other songs to raise awareness and funds for Unicef. I think it's the first real-life one I've seen!

What have you loved this week?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Shop Updates!

I've got some exciting shop updates for you this week!

First up, I've started adding my Christmas stock to my shop!

It still feels a bit early to be saying that because I haven't even been on my holidays yet, but it's also nice to be prepared and spread the cost a little!

So I've started off with two cute decorations, little felt stockings with fluffy bobbles and little felt puddings with beads (shown on a miniature tree, just in case you're worried that they're massive!).

I've also listed four Christmas cards which can be bought individually, in a pack of 4 (with one of each design) or in any combination you want! Just let me know how many of which ones you would like!

They are my own designs, hand-drawn, then add in a woolly wonderland background and send them to the printers and voila!

To steer off of the Christmas vibe for a moment (unless you're thinking that these will make some excellent gifts, which they totally will!) I've also added a couple of vintage jigsaws to my Whimsy shop!

"Noddy Stops At The Zebra Crossing" is a wooden jigsaw from 1979, and The Muppet Show one is from 1981. Aren't they fantastic?!

Monday, 22 October 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

 1. It's starting to get cold here, so my lunches at work will consist mostly of soup, probably until March! My office at work is a bit on the cold side so eating cold food is not an option!

2. I finally got round to watching all of Parade's End and it was really good. I rather like a period drama with some all-consuming, what would the neighbours say, impulsive and romantic love *swoon*

3. I made my first purchase from BuyaPowa this week when I saw this Skyfall nail polish set. It was delivered quickly and the colours are great, all with a bit (or a lot in the case of Goldfinger) of glitter. I'm wearing The World Is Not Enough, but it's really hard to get the full effect in a photo. It's a darkish grey with a totally understated, really fine reddy pink and turquoise-green shimmer which doesn't sound anywhere near as great as it is! Only bad thing is it took lots of coats but I've read that the others are better.

4. I've been shopping! Lots of lovely new clothes were delivered this week including this ace geek t-shirt that I've wanted for ages.

5. I know it's not for another 60+ days, but my Christmas Shop is now open! I spent the weekend decorating the tree and photographing my seasonal items, and to share my festive joy, my lovely blog readers can get 10% of all items by using code BLOGREADER at the checkout!

6. No cinema trip for me this week, so I had a chilled out weekend watching a couple of films, including The Hangover Part II. I love these films, despite what they get up to part of me wishes I was there too! What an epic night out that would be... :D Can't wait for Part III next May!

7. On a more sensible note I watched The Adjustment Bureau for the first time and really liked it too. I'm a bit of a believer that what's meant to be will be, but I'll keep my eye out for those men in hats just in case!

8. I haven't been thrifting for weeks so I was excited about getting back into it this weekend. I've got some ace new things for my Whimsy shop, which I'll add to the shop and write a post about shortly, but I always have to treat myself and this week I got seven Indiana Jones books and the three original films on DVD. My reading pile is becoming immense!

9. I also bought this sew your own panda kit for £1 and made it whilst watching What's Your Number. It was pretty hard to keep my eyes on both the panda and Chris Evans at the same time!

What have you loved this week?

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Winter Berry Blues

I haven't done a fashion post for aaaagggess, so here's a nice big one about two shades floating my boat right now - winter berries and navy.

All the items are from New Look, and this is because I went in there looking for something exciting to wear on a night out and found lots of lovely slouchy autumn daywear instead!

I know it's not quite winter too, but I love all the purples, plums and red tones and navy is a great accompaniment, so I've been buying up lots of mix and match pieces!

Dark Red 3/4 Sleeve Sheer Shirt £16.99

30in Navy Supersoft Skinny Jeans £19.99

Purple Dove Print Tea Dress £16.99

Purple Platform Court Shoes £19.99

Navy Twill Military Shirt £22.99

30in Deep Red Skinny Jeans £16.99

Blue Check Roll Sleeve Shirt £14.99

Navy Buttoned Dip Hem T-Shirt £19.99

Navy Check Cuff Lace Up Trainers £10.99

What do you think? What are your favourite colours right now?

Monday, 15 October 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. It's not often I get hugely excited about a beauty or hair product, but I got this L'Oreal Mythic Oil Rich Oil in my last Glossybox and it's really great! I've got fine hair, so I always worry that hair oil stuff will make it greasy looking but a couple of pumps of this before blow-drying and my hair is so soft and smooth with no tugs and I usually don't need to straighten it!

2. I've started putting on my winter weight, which I always do when it starts to get cold and I have no problem with it at all! I love to eat nice things and I moderate myself to an extent, but my colleague brought in these huge biscuits and they were delicious!

3. On Tuesday I went to see a preview of Ruby Sparks. I knew I'd like it because it's something original and the advert looked great, but the darker moments and laughs made it even better than I thought it'd be!

4. I got a lovely tiny envelope in the post, a save the date for my friend's wedding in Portugal next year! I can't wait!

5. I finished reading Casino Royale and made a plan to watch the three different versions I'd Sky+'d on Saturday afternoon. First up was Climax!: Casino Royale from 1954, followed by Casino Royale 1967 and the 2006 version. Each version is totally different and it was good to compare them all but I think the newest one is definitely the best, it sticks to the original story the most and Bond is more like I'd expect him to be.

6. This is my new Blythe doll! She's a factory Blythe that I plan to customise after getting some great ideas at BlytheCon last week.

7. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower was released this weekend so we went to see it and Taken 2. Just like Ruby Sparks is was something different and uplifting yet a bit dark.

8. I've been a bit lazy on the crafting front for a wee while, but I bought a few latch hook kits at Hobbycraft while they were half price.  They're pretty easy to do, although there's a faint image on the canvas which should be totally disregarded because it's not centred or to scale! Once it's finished you can leave it as a rug or make a cushion, which I think I might do.

9. I've tried to avoid annoying people with my excitement, but it's now only 3 weeks til I got to Japan! It seemed like ages ago when we booked in July but now it's becoming real!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

BlytheCon UK 2012

I can't believe it's almost been a week since I made my way down to Manchester for BlytheCon UK!

Despite my apprehension about being on my own and not knowing anyone (as well as my usual social awkwardness!) I had such an amazing time and everyone was so lovely!

This was my first Con with my first Blythe (who's actually named Blythe) so I didn't know what to expect.

I left home at 8am for the train and had a great journey down reading my new "vintage" 007 book and doing my stick-on nails! The views were great and the time flew until I arrived at Manchester Piccadilly 7.5 hours later!

I'd never been on a tram before but it was easy to find from the station and very exciting (for me anyway)!

My tram stop was directly across from my hotel, Ramada Salford Quays. I set about making myself at home (read as: spreading the contents of my suitcase about and watching Pointless) then getting us both ready for the pre-BlytheCon meet-up.

We met at the Double Tree by Hilton and instantly got speaking to people! We made our way to Kro Bar for something to eat and more chatting.  It was a great ice-breaker for the event and I got some really helpful info from people who had been before and Blythe collectors and customisers from lots of different countries! I went home so excited about the next day!

The next morning it was so lovely and sunny that I knew it'd be a great day! When I arrived I got a goody bag with business cards, a magnet, voting forms for the competitions, a name sticker and other event info.

All throughout the day people were coming up to say hi and look at Blythe and show me their dolls and they were really happy to chat and answer my questions. I felt like a bit of a muppet asking so much, but if I don't ask I don't find out eh?!

There were so many wonderful stalls with such a wide range of things including dolls, scalps and hair, clothes, accessories, eye chips and carry bags, so I got Blythe lots of nice new things. She only had her stock outfit and a dress that I'd made, but now she has a full wardrobe! (All the outfit details are available from my Flickr account).

There were also tutorials and I'm gutted that I missed the customisation one but I was still in a "first day at school" trance! I'd seen customised dolls before but hadn't seen such an amazing range of them up close! I thought my Simply Chocolate Blythe would be more common but I never saw another one. I decided I might quite like a custom girl and I got lots of ideas for how I'd like her to look.

I did go to a workshop on making a dress in an hour, but at the speed I was going it would've taken more than that! I was allowed to take the pieces and pattern away to try and finish at home.

The day passed in a flash and after delicious cupcakes and the raffle (I didn't win anything) I went back to my hotel to relax before going to the after-party.

Blythe put on her party dress and we headed back to the Double Tree for a few drinks.  It was a nice relaxed atmosphere but I was shattered so after more chats I called it a night.

The next morning I had two hours to spare before my train so I grabbed a comfy seat and a pot of tea and watched the world go by, blissfully unaware that my train was away to be cancelled! So the journey home wasn't great and I finally got to Aberdeen after the last train home had left, but the nice Station Superviser put me in a taxi at their expense!

I was so glad to get home but I'm still totally buzzing about the event. I'll definitely be going next year to the one in Glasgow and I'd like to go to BlytheCon in New York too. I'm keeping an eye out for my next doll and adding all my new friends on Flickr! If you're a Blythe fan, get in touch! :)

Monday, 8 October 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

With me being at BlytheCon this weekend, most of this week's loves are related to my trip, but I've kinda skirted around the event so I can do a whole big separate blogpost about it in a day or two!

1. I went to see Now Is Good last week just before it stopped showing at my local cinema and it was lovely. It's based on the kind of book that my teenage self would have cried over and my adult self almost cried at the film. There were plenty of tears in the room though!

2. I'm going through a Bond stage at the moment in my pre-Skyfall excitement, so when I saw these "vintage" 007 books in WHSmith for buy one get one half price, I grabbed the first two of the series, Casino Royale and Live And Let Die, to read on the train.

3. I love going on train journeys, especially when it's lovely and sunny, which is exactly what it was on my way to Manchester! The view from the train was amazing and I took this photo at one of my favourite parts, Stonehaven. Apologies for the reflection!

4. In between reading my new books and staring out the window I put on my new nails. These are Broadway Impress press-on nails in TGIF and I got lots of compliments on them over the weekend!  I've tried them before and they only lasted a week, but they're really quick and easy to apply and they come in really funky patterns as well as plain nails.

5. Is it sad that I was really excited about being on the tram?  Well I was! I'd never been on one before and it made my trip so much easier!

6. The highlight of my week was obviously BlytheCon 2012. It was my first convention, with my first Blythe and everyone was so lovely!

7. Both Blythe and I made lots of new friends this weekend! (She's at the very right in the middle row).

8.  Unfortunately on Sunday I had to come home, but I arrived at the train station early and enjoyed leisurely cups of tea while watching the world go by. At this point I was blissfully unaware that my train would be cancelled and I'd have a day of hassle ahead!

9. This is another great view from the train from the Forth Rail Bridge when I was on the home stretch and a few hours later I finally arrived home, which always feel great!

Monday, 1 October 2012

♥ This Week's Loves ♥

1. On Monday I went to a preview of Looper and it loved it. It's a great concept for a film and I won't spoil it for you, but you should go and see it!

2. I'm trying to start drawing again, so during my lunchtime I drew a quick panda. I'm pretty happy with it and I loved doing it, so I need to dig out my sketchbook and do some more.

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Need I say more?  He's just really cool and nice and talented. I also saw Premium Rush this week which was really good, and unfortunately I haven't seen the full NBC Magic Mike thing (I'll keep trying though!). I've signed up to his open-collaborative production company HitRECORD in an attempt to get myself motivated to draw and write more, which is a great idea, but I'm also a bit scared of it all! (photo via Belfast Telegraph).

4. I saw a robin in the garden. It stood there for ages and I wondered if I'd manage to get my camera in time but I did and it posed for a while!

5. Saturday was a totally lazy day for me and I LOVE days like that! I sat in my comfy trackies watching The Swarm and eating chocolate.

6. It's only a few days til BlytheCon 2012! I'm really excited about meeting everyone and seeing their dolls and buying some nice things for my doll!  I had to take a picture of us for registration to help people recognise us, so here we are!

7. I went in search of some more fantastic vintage items for my shop and came out with bag-loads of wonderful things! I have books galore including some Disney, Harry Potter and Star Trek ones and found these three in great condition! I remember playing Car Capers when I was little!

8. Our Sunday cinema trip this week was a double bill of Hope Springs and The Campaign. Hope Springs was good but The Campaign was more my cup of tea cos I find Will Ferrell hilarious! This has been a total film-fest, not sure if I've seen five movies at the cinema in one week before! (I also saw Killing Them Softly which was much funnier than I thought it'd be).

9. Last night I started properly learning Japanese. It's only 34 days til we go so I really need to knuckle down! So far it seems like a really nice language to learn!

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Maira Gall