Friday, 31 January 2014

Silent Witness

Happy Chinese new year, people! How have you been? I've cried about five times in the past twenty-four hours over interviews and getting into uni so I hope you're doing better than me.

I started watching the current series of Silent Witness, series 17, to fill the telly void which was feeling particularly empty after Sherlock left my Sunday evenings devoid of meaning. I like crime drama - Luther, Ripper Street, Sherlock, Silk to some extent - so I initially found Silent Witness perfectly watchable. I enjoyed being seduced by the glamour of forensics and Science and corrupt cops and planted evidence.

A few weeks in and it's become what I live for - I pretty much want to marry Jack Hodgson, and I feel like I'm really going to miss watching dead people on slabs getting cut open. The guest characters are stereotypical and used over and over again. The main characters are perpetually moody and never learn from mistakes. It's crap telly and I love it, even though I feel like the only person in the world who does.

Nikki and Jack: the only people on TV who can wear a shell suit and scrubs, and still look damn hot
From Herts and Essex Observer
Series 17 ends tonight and I'm chomping my way through series 16 at quite a pace. (The past two series are the only ones with Jack in them, eheh...) Have you any telly to suggest to me once I run out?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

SomethingKawaii.co.uk Totoro pencil case review



Having used the same pencil case every day for over five years, I decided it was high time I got a new one. I saw some really cool pencil cases that I liked from CoolPencilCase.com but they were expensive and the site is US-based so shipping would have been a bomb. So I was super happy when I came across the UK site Something Kawaii selling cute stationery and accessories at what I think are very reasonable prices. If you don't recognise him, the pencil case is Totoro from Miyazaki's My Neighbour Totoro.

Something Kawaii doesn't have a lot of products but they're rigorously categorised, which is useful if you're looking for something in particular. Most of the stuff they sell are small and cheap, so it's probably a good place to get lots of cool little gifts for people... or yourself.

Price
The pencil case is £4.95, and if you live in UK the shipping is £1.95 by ordinary 2nd class post. The money you spend is all for the design, so don't expect high quality too. But £7 is acceptable for an impulse buy like this one!


Shipping
I ordered the pencil case on Friday evening. On Monday morning I got an email that the order had been processed and dispatched, and on Tuesday morning it came through the letterbox. It was in a clear plastic bag inside a brown envelope lined with bubble wrap. (In case the fabric pencil case got smashed, of course.) The stamp was 2nd class large. Just two working days had elapsed between the order and the package coming through the door, so I was very happy with the shipping speed.

Product
The pencil case is so soft, I want to rub it against my face all the time. The embroidery is nice and neat (scroll down for a detail photo). As the product description says, it's lined with a thin white fabric.


The zip is cheap but works. There's a little ball chain on the zip to which I've attached my own charm. There's some kind of padding between the outer and inner material of the pencil case which gives it shape. There's a permanent indentation on the right side (see the first image of the post) and a big crease along the back.



Like I said I wasn't expecting quality, and for £7 with a really cute design, I think the quality's passable. For an impulse buy I'm quite satisfied with my purchase and the website was easy to use and caused me no problems. Maybe I'll make a felt leaf badge to put on his forehead...

Overview
Shop's website design: ★★★★☆
Shop's product choice: ★★★☆☆
Shipping speed: ★★★★★
Product quality: ★★★☆☆
Product value for money: ★★★☆☆

Sunday, 26 January 2014

"There's nothing to grasp so I let go"

Hat: Collection 18, TK Maxx
Coat: Quiksilver, TK Maxx 
Choker: DIY
Necklace: Clothes Show Live
Top: Primark
Cardigan: H&M
Tights: Tesco
Socks: Topshop
Boots: Safiya

Though you've never seen it, I actually wear this red tartan coat every day in winter. It was from TK Maxx for something ridiculous like £25 -  crazy cheap for a thick winter coat like this. Not only do I love the tartan, but it also has a hood, which is incredibly useful for when it's raining a bit, or when it's so cold that my ears feel like they're burning. It's not often I come across a hood that's big enough for my enormous head, you know.

What do you think of wearing this hat with the coat? They are both red, but I feel like wearing a hat with a hooded coat is somehow not allowed. Like I've said before, I am not a natural-born hat person so I know nothing of hats. Hmm.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Amy Pond


Pond is pretty much my favourite Doctor's companion - before she got stroppy, anyway. One of my favourite outfits she wears is the one in Let's Kill Hitler. The episode itself wasn't all that great but I am such a sucker for mustard yellow tights with double denim.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for a Chinese companion.

from Etsy

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Lab coats

Makise Kurisu and Ema Skye on deviantART
I wanted to draw people who wear labcoats. Christiiina is from Steins;Gate and Ema is from the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games. This is undoubtedly the neatest thing I have ever drawn in my life. Also I think I deserve an award for the most unconvincing lab coat creases ever drawn. Looking back I should have included Molly Hooper from Sherlock, because who doesn't love Molly Hooper?

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Metallic purple and glitter nails

Revlon Chroma Chameleon nail polish in Amethyst
Barry M Jewel Glitter nail polish in Diamond


I was never very much of a nail polish person before. I like to have neat, short nails for maximum dexterity, which is important for my violining. But my friend S is a nail polish fanatic, has every single colour imaginable in a dedicated nail polish drawer, and over the past year, she's rather rubbed off on me.

For my birthday, she gave me three nail polishes, one of which is the Barry M Jewel Glitter nail polish in Diamond. Though the glitter is low density, I really like the varying sizes of the glitter specks, which makes it look pleasantly random and spacey. But because of the low density, this nail polish is only really suitable as a top coat.

The Revlon Chroma Chameleon nail polish in Amethyst was from Poundland. Going by the name and how it looks in the bottle, I reckon it's supposed to be duochrome, but as you can see it only barely flashes green in the light. But that's okay because it was £1 and I bought it for its lovely metallic violet purple colour. Because it's not a very saturated shade of purple it's not too loud. The other major con is that it's very runny and thin, so I needed three coats to get an undoubtably opaque colour.

On my glittered nails, there are two layers of the purple polish, with one layer of glitter polish on top. On the other three nails are three layers of the purple polish. I could probably have gotten away with glittering all five nails because the glitter is not that dense so I don't think it would be overkill. Besides, who doesn't love glitter?

Friday, 17 January 2014

Papercraft Baphomet Jr.



Years ago I was pretty into an MMORPG (that's massive multiplayer online role-playing game) called Ragnarok Online. My pet Baphomet Jr. has saved my life at least once, and I love being trailed by such a tiny hyper goat with a purple scythe bobbing up and down behind me all the time.

This papercraft was my first time using PVA glue instead of a gluestick. I'm using cut up bits of train trickets as glue applicators which works absolutely fine. I found making this one really hard but I don't know whether that's because the template itself was hard, because it's not open at the bottom. Hopefully I'll get better with the PVA.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Monsoon

Monsoon Billie bird print dress
My mum and I are occasionally tempted into Monsoon in half price sales, but the stuff in there is so expensive, we've never bought anything. Except this dress. I saw it on Saturday and tried it, and while it was really lovely it was £35 and I couldn't really justify getting yet another dress I could live without. But both of us regretted it and I popped in on the way back from school and it was still there.

I have seven days to decide whether I want to keep it. What do you people think?

Sunday, 12 January 2014

"If I'm wrong, I am right"


Jacket: Primark
Blouse: Primark
Necklace: C.M.D
Skirt: Primark
Tights: China
Heels: Hush Puppies

It's boring because it's my interview outfit. And for an interview outfit, it's as exciting as it gets when you're applying for dentistry, fighting it out with over ten other applicants for each place. I completely failed at following my own advice, and wore this great big blingy bird flock necklace to my first interview. It looked good and I felt good in it, which is what's important.

I spent many hours looking for the perfect interview outfit and I found it all in Primark. I had high hopes for Next, but the quality is really not what you'd expect for such an expensive shop. They can barely sew their skirts straight! My mum said that they didn't used to be like that. Matalan was not bad, and was cheap, but their smallest size is 8 and their sizes run large, and I have a narrow waist so the skirts and dresses were too big for me. H&M was too poor quality. New Look has good smart clothes but only in the biggest shops (like, Birmingham). The Primark I went to is one of the neatest ones around and it had all the sizes, but I would imagine it would be impossible to find a suit in a messy Primark.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Longline bikinis

|| one || two || three || four || five ||

It's January. It's probably raining. So holidays should be the last thing on your mind. Just thinking about it is threatening to sabotage my exam and interview performance, but I can't help it. If everything goes well - getting a uni offer, getting the grades, making it through the anguish of waiting for the next (mercifully confirmed) new Sherlock - this summer should be one of my most blissful.

It's hard to find modest swimwear amongst the masses of tiny stringy triangle thingies, but I am really liking these longline bikinis. They look more like a bustier (I like bustiers) and they can be worn on their own like a crop top.

Will you be doing anything cool this summer?

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Mustard yellow tights


For someone obsessed with yellow, I really have exceptionally little of it in my wardrobe. But I am trying to fix this! I now have some lovely mustard yellow tights, inspired by Amy Pond's outfit in Let's Kill Hitler. Years ago when I bought my orange tights I remember there being yellow ones (reduced price, and everything) but I didn't buy them because I thought I'd never wear them, and I was afraid that they would be hard to get now, but H&M came to my rescue.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Gru logo Minion badge tutorial


I made a thing. It's crude and childish-looking but I am ridiculously proud of myself. I don't have photos of it yet but I absolutely adore my Minion cosplay. I couldn't bring myself to spray paint the Gru logo onto the front of the cheap-ass pinafore I got from Primark, so I made a removable pin badge instead, out of felt. Here's how to make it.


You will need:
  • circle-drawing compass
  • circle of yellow felt, radius 2.8cm
  • circle of black felt, radius 2.5cm
  • Gru logo paper template, radius 2.5cm
  • circle of thin cardboard for reinforcement, radius 2.0cm
  • circle of felt (I've used blue) for the back, radius 2.6cm
  • brooch back pin
  • scissors
  • berry pins
  • needle and black thread
You can print the Gru logo or just draw it like I did, with a compass and a ruler. I've shaded in the bit I'm going to cut out to make it clearer for myself. I got the brooch back pin from an indoor market haberdashery, and the felt from a discount stationery shop (I think it was The Works).


Hold or pin together the paper template and black felt and cut along your lines. Constantly check your paper hasn't moved and adjust accordingly. Be especially careful with the thin, narrow bits. Then hold or pin together the black and yellow pieces of felt and sew around the edges. You don't need the stitches of the outer circle too dense because you'll be sewing round there again later.


Cut two diamond-shaped holes in your last felt circle where the brooch back pin's two ends stick up, shove the brooch back pin through the holes. Use the compass point to make holes in your cardboard to get your needle through, then sew the brooch back pin, felt and cardboard all together.


Finally, sew together the front and back of the badge together round the circumference. As you can see, my badge is extremely ugly from the back, but no one sees it and I'm no neat freak so it's All Good. Now you can pin it to the front of your dungarees/pinafore/whatever you want!
Minions love bananas

Friday, 3 January 2014

"Say hello to hesitance"

Necklace: Clothes Show Live
Top: Primark
Cardigan: H&M
Tights: Tesco
Socks: Topshop
Boots: Safiya

This is what I love about winter: layering, chunky knits, wearing a million pairs of tights and socks at the same time. I swear I'm actually warmer in my flouncy petticoat, skirt, wooly tights and over-the-knee socks than everyone else, in their thin skinny jeans.

My long-sleeved grey top from Primark is the same shade as my wooly cotton tights from Tesco, and together, they make a really great base for any outfit. I get bored of base colours of black and brown, and grey seems to go with everything too.


Wasn't Sherlock fabulously fangirl-friendly? It is definitely a bad thing but I am definitely not unhappy about it. You know you're too far gone when you genuinely enjoy fanservice but I feel terrible about it. And I certainly did not watch this clip fifteen times over afterwards on the internet. We've spent a whole episode reintroducing and reuniting and not finding out answers, and I know a lot people are annoyed about the lack of answers but I am fine with it. Nevertheless I am very much expecting proper plot and proper stuff happening and puzzles being solved in the next two episodes because Moffat is out of filler time.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Nutcracker

On New Year's Eve my mum and I went down to London to see The Nutcracker at the Coliseum. As I've played it before, I'm intimately familiar with the music, so it was so wonderful getting to see the ballet that goes with it. The ballet was in the afternoon so before, we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum.







After the ballet we somehow found ourselves wandering into Covent Garden. I always enjoy watching the buskers - they're always very good, because they have to audition to even get to busk there. The weather forecast said it would rain all day but we only got rained on for a couple of minutes, so I'm counting myself very lucky.

Happy new year, and enjoy Sherlock tonight!
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