Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Day out in Durham


Boyfriend and I ventured out to Durham last week with my Mum on a visit from down South. We could only grab a couple of hours with her squashing in time to see friends and the rest of the family, but it was still an awesome afternoon! The Boyfriend and I try and get days out together when we can as it's rare we both have a proper day off together and/or go mad together on the evening with both of our shifts and my Job-outside-of-the-normal-one, so it's always a big deal and we always make the effort if we can.

I love Durham to bits as it was one of my favourite haunts as a teenager - alongside Middlesborough & Newcastle. The Family and I used to hit In Shanghai on the rare occassions we had a day out together, and I even had a Modelling Shoot at the Cathedral at the beginning of the year. I usually make a day of Durham, rummaging hamster-style in the many Charity Shops and popping in to The Angel for a few post-bargain pints.

We popped into Fizzylicious (Not too hard to sniff out!) where Mum bought a Heart-shaped red Dream catcher. Matt treated me to a Chocolate Orange candle (Not a patch on Lush's Whipstick lipgloss mind, but still scrummy!) and a Pentagram Incense burner. I also got the Raspberry Rave candle, which is far too pretty to light, and I'm keeping it in theme with the Cupcake wall in the Living Room ^.^ I can get excited about Fizzylicious in a way without cheating on Lush because all of the Bath Bombs look like Cupcakes ;) Howay Lush, I'm not getting it at home!

I got a beautiful Cat Eye necklace from Scarlet Ribbons - a small shop jam-packed with all sorts of unusual clothes & accessories and I've happily welcomed it since Concept Skate Shop closed down a few years ago (Back when Punkyfish was *good*!).
We went to Head of Steam (One of Matt's favourite Pubs!) for dinner:


HOS is Stabby-Approved!

I had a BBQ Bacon Burger - the sort you wear up to your elbows and eat with a pitchfork and snow shovel. It was bloody gorgeous and came on a Slate plate with homemade chips and a little pot of red cabbage coleslaw. It was also lovely to discover I knew one of the Bar Staff from one of my circles of friends whom I haven't seen for a very long time ^.^ 
Will definitely be treating Boyfriend/Stabby there again at some point! The Staff were really lovely and went above and beyond to make you feel welcome. They were also quite reassuring to an IPA amateur and recommended various beers based on what I already liked, and pulled 'Sippy glasses' before I bought anything. I hope they get lots of tips because they're great at what they do ^.^

Thursday, 16 October 2014


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Stabby is a proper bad influence:
"You look tired Kimbles, let me run you a bubble bath and crack a bottle of wine open!"
"Cheers Stabby"
"Nee bosh! Come on, I'll do your back..."
Boyfriend has slowly but surely converted me over to the dark side of Indian Pale Ale's & Craft Beers. I've been saving bottles from different varieties and wanted to make a bit of a display for them without being sticky‐bottled scruffy cluttered College chic, so I cleared a shelf on my bookcase in the Living Room, added pearly fairy lights, a decorative perfume bottle, my pine cone collection and my new Halloween candles.
On another note, he's been an absolute Star when I've had to sneak into the Craft Room to do a bit of last minute printing - contentedly playing my Guitar and coming up with new songs whilst I'm stressing about Crutch measurements Haha! He's The Grind Gentleman on Soundcloud if you'd like a mooch!
I bought this daft Solar System kit from Wilkinson's for £3 last week to put in the Craft Room. Now, I want to paint the walls and ceiling black and daub galaxies in purple, pink and silver everywhere <3 Might be the next decorating project when I get a bit of time and spare cash :)
I made these rainbow walnut muffins with rum & vanilla frosting, mini lovehearts sweets and grated chocolate. The rainbow inside didn't *quite* turn out like the tutorial showed, but they are still super-yummy <3
Matt showed me how to make Burgers last week and I was quite determined to give them a go and put my own spin on them and made Spicy smoky bacon, cheese and peanut butter burgers. It was super-easy - just four slices of bacon cut into little strips, two handfuls of grated cheese, three shakes of allspice and two heaped tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter handsquished into the mix before shaping and grilling :) Quite like this savory stuff!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Craft/Charity Shop Haul


Sue and I had a mooch in Boyes yesterday to stock up on some threads, elastic and a few other bits and bobs and I came away with a whole stash - Haha! Can't wait to try out those Glow-in-the-dark fabric pens and have a play with them ;)

I picked up The Vampire Book and The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman in Scope as part of their wonderful 2 Hardback's for £1 offer. I finished The Vampire Book last night - wonderful illustrations! - and I'm a few chapters into The Dove Keepers - it's wonderfully raw so far.
 I very much liked the look of Abigail Gibbs' The Dark Heroine and it's next on the list! Boyfriend found a copy Stranger in a Strange Land and I bought it on his recommendation - it being his favourite book and he thinks I'll enjoy it!
 I'd actually seen the Scarab Beetle a few times in BHF but didn't really fancy it. However, after having a dream that it came alive and scurried off to find me good things, I snapped it up and took it home. Superstition is worth £1.29 any day!
 The Monster High friendship necklaces were a find in the Pound Shop, after I killed my other MH necklace with Mosquito repellent whilst in Cuba :( We have Draculaura on one and Frankie on the other - I might pop one of them on Stabby!



I found this sweet little Hamster ornament in Billingham's BHF ^.^



  Halloween Confetti featuring orange Pumpkins, purple Bats, white Ghosts, green Witches, black Spiders and silver Cobwebs: Wilkinson's - £1
  Trick or Treat Orange Bag: Poundstretcher - £1. I'm gonna keep my sewing crafty bits in here <3

Friday, 10 October 2014

Lush Haul

One of the perks of having an awesome boyfriend who adores both great beer and Newcastle, is that I'm now spending a lot more time there with him on mooching tripstrecks to BrewDog Bar ;) and I'm finally in the regular vicinity of a Lush Store <3

 Boyfriend also adores Lush and will quite happily spend ages in there with me looking at all of the delicious goodies. I've loved Lush for years - ever since I first stepped into the York branch over 10 years ago as an enchanted teenager with a love of all things witchy & alternative, a strong desire for these magic little packages that promised something wonderful, womanly & unknown and a Newspaper Round wage that would cover neither.

 My very very first purchase was a bar of Soft Couer a few years later :)


  Rock Star has to be my absolute favourite soap in the world. I use it as both a hand wash and a bath soap and adore the way it lathers and stays on your skin for hours. When accompanied with a bottle of Chardonnay, tea light candles and a copy of Harry Potter, it's probably the only thing in the world that cures a rough day at work and getting caught in the rain on the way home.

 I could eat Cupcake out of the tub with a spoon and it's great for putting the zing back into tired skin, although it can get a tad messy when taking it off.

 I'm a recent convert to Karma Soap, always picking it up in the Store and having an obligatory sniff and eventually bought my own bar to take home after using the Karma Solid Perfume a few months ago.  It makes me think of a pretty young Witch living in a Forest cottage enveloped in green ivy and beautiful read roses.

 Vanillary Solid Perfume is also jam-packed with long-lasting fragrance but I find it leaves residue on black clothes so I apply it under my chin out of reach of my predominantly black wardrobe.

 Ultrabland is a new discovery which I got under recommendation of the Girl's in Store. As someone who's never used toners, moisturisers or cleansers, I work in a food factory which kicks out a lot of grease and I'm always near the Fryer end which was playing havoc with my skin. Foundation only made it worse so I was getting a bit desperate. I've been using it for a week now and it's absolutely brilliant. I haven't had a single spot since I started using it and it leaves my skin so supple and soft. I can go out in minimal make-up now without feeling like a Monster that's been brayed with a tired stick - haha!

Lastly, I stocked up on a bar of Soft Couer to commemorate the three month anniversary of being with the Boyfriend <3 One of the Girl's helpfully told us that the bar is completely edible as she wrapped our purchases up  - much to our giggles and bum-nips on the way out ;) I'm saving it for a tea light night on a rainy evening <3 I sometimes rub a tiny bit on the inside of my wrists as I adore the toffee scent.

I also got a trial tub of New Charity Pot, which goes on lovely after a hot bath and has a floral buttery quality to it.

 What are your Lush stories?

Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Bunny Ragdoll

After my [ Test Print // Muffin ] Post the other week, I tried out my Bunny Ragdoll on a black unisex tee. I'd been working on Wrestling Gear ] orders for two afternoons & evenings in a row so it was quite nice to wrap those up ready to take back to Sue for construction and blow the dust off my sketchbook.
I did toy with the idea for each Ragdoll to be released in two versions - one on a black tee with complimentary printed borders and one on tie-dye in complimentary colours with black embellishments, but eventually decided to attach each Ragdoll with his/her own two-tie-dye colours or an elaborate printed embellishment to make that type of Shirt unique to the Ragdoll.

This design is made in stencil format as per usual Vinyl Printing Methods, each layer being heat-sealed at 160°, printed on top each other and done entirely by creating a centre-fold and constructed by eye. The various stencils are sized, cut and weeded from 8 different shaded rolls of vinyl in 35 parts including black, white, purple, red, tartan, metallic green, spectrum chrome & mirrored chrome.

Bunny on her own:

Metallic green/Red Rose detail added and mirrored chrome Needle, Scissors, Button, Safetypin & Broken Heart complete the circle:


Side view to show reflection of Chrome:

I'm super happy with how this has turned out. The sewing accessories were added as a later "Hmm-this-still-needs-a-bit-extra" feature after a bit o thought and the metallic green & mirrored vinyl don't take too much attention away from the Bunny Ragdoll. She's my first 'Gothic' design and I'm well proud of her.
Can't wait to get the rest of my Ragdolls in print :D

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Adventures of Stabby the Hamster


Stabby is a stuffed toy Hamster I bought for my youngest sister during a school trip to Bellingham in my last year of Primary School and joined the arm of stuffed toys in her Toy boxes for a number of years. About 5 years ago, my parents cleaned out their attic and went through binbags of our old stuff to sort out and poor Stabby was rescued and reunited with me after 15 years.


Keen to make a fresh start on our relationship, I started taking him out... 

Enjoying a Pint at The Bridge Tavern in Newcastle:


Stabby rootled through the drawers in the Outside area and found a Willy - YOU'RE IT!


Cuddling THIS IS LAGER at Brewdog Bar Newcastle:


And an aptly-sized bottle of wine:


Meeting the Boyfriend - who picked his name:


Assisting me in Customer Services :D


Long story short, a Customer had had a bit of a bad experience with another Gear maker so was understandably quite thorough and detailed about the specifications. I sent mock-ups - something we don't usually do as I'd never be off the laptop, but made an exception to reassure he was gonna be looked after - and confirmed everything and he placed an order. He asked yesterday if he could have updates about the stages as and when the Gear was being worked on, I said sure but warned it might run along the lines of "Cut", "Printed" "Sewn" etc and get a bit tedious and that I'd try to make it a bit exciting for him and Stabby stepped up to the plate :D He was a bit over the moon with it, said it'd made his week - Haha! 
Stabby's going on my CV as an example of "Please describe an occasion where you've gone above and beyond in Customer Services" :)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Berries, Bunnies & the Blues



I made a new batch of Muffins after the Dark Chocolate & Summer Fruits batch, replacing the Dark with White & the Summer Fruits with Forest Fruits, omitting the cinnamon  (and chucking a handful of walnuts in there for good measure ^.^ ) All feedback so far has been great and they've earned me a few new best friends on the Boyfriends side - Haha! This has been my first attempt with something squishy in baking and I'm well chuffed with how they've turned out. Proper soft, moist & awesome!



I made an example vinyl print of a sketch that's been lurking in my Scrapbook for years a few days ago and again, quite pleased with it! Wanted to see just how fiddly it would be to produce as an actual design on Clothing and the answer is LOTS OF COMPONENTS (23 separate parts to be exact, which had to be printed in layers)! I built a Rabbit today - Haha, and she's only 20cm tall! The stitches were quite fiddly and didn't look right to print so I want to test out my fabric markers on vinyl vs Fabric first to see how well they hold with wear before I start scribbling on my poor Bunny. Really happy with the weeny safetypins (despite being bastards to weed!) and the patch of actual Tartan vinyl I was finally able to use :)  The only thing I'd change for next time is popping a tiny black outline on the holographic eyes as this'll emphasize the contrast between those and the white face. Really looking forward to bringing the rest of my other Dolls to print! <3 It was just lovely seeing her go from a mad idea in my head to becoming an actual presence, something I've been lacking the confidence in for years :/

The Original:




This Angel came home with me after she fell off a Shelf in front of me in Newcastle. I think she knew I needed a hand.
Matt says Don't worry & Stay Positive.
So I will :)