Saturday, 3 November 2018

Batty Challenge Week 3

Hello everyone!

I'm really behind with posting my October outfits from my Bat Challenge here, but I am determined to get back on track because social media is so ephemeral and I'm worried its easy to lose the memories there!

Day 15
I wore this super fun t-shirt that was one of my leaving presents from Sarehole Mill. It was from an Etsy store but I'm not sure which one. It's a boys large size, sometimes being pint-sized is useful!

Also I got my first pair of glasses, and felt drunk everytime I wore them because distances were different. I am still not used to them, but I can at least wear them without getting a headache now!

Day 16
My outfit was a repeat but I did wear new Hallow-Queen socks from New Look (3 pairs for £5!)

Day 17
We checked into the hotel where my friends wedding was going to be held the next day. 
It was amazing, like Hogwarts! And the grounds were a deer park! This was the view from our window. 

When we get the professional photos back, I will ask her if I can share some here! We had dinner in the restaurant there which was really fancy (like dessert was bigger than some of the main courses fancy) and I meant to take my headband off but forgot... That's probably worse than elbows on the table! 

Day 18
When I started this challenge I forgot to take into account that I was being a bridesmaid during the month. This was my solution. A photo of the pj's I wore while I got my hair done. My the top and leggings are from ASOS, a couple of years ago. The print on the top glows in the dark but it's crumbling away sadly. 

Even if I don't post any other photos from the wedding, I promise to scan in the silly photo booth pictures so you can see my dress and cape!

Day 19
The day after the wedding, I was really tired even though it wasn't a particularly late night and I didn't drink a lot. I think it was an introvert hangover of sorts, either way when we got home I slept for 4 hours in the afternoon! 
Before that though I wore this black cat theme outfit. I love this dancing days skirt- it was a Christmas present from my mum. 

Day 20

The next day I was back at work and needed the comfort of my fluffy ghost jumper while tackling my email backlog from being off for 3 days (78 unread, after I deleted the definitely junk ones). Headband was a present from one of my volunteers which made me smile! The jumper is from Primark.

Day 21
For the end of week 3 I added the mini witch hat and some black and purple striped tights to another ghost jumper outfit.

I realised after I wore them that those tights have been in my wardrobe for 13 years! Crazy huh?  I guess my style hasn't changed that much! 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Batty Challenge Week 2

So I'm back again and hoping that I will stick around after the challenge, at least for a while because I will have cool things to blog about. We just brought our first place- it's going to be so much fun to decorate it! On a very small scale- it's the world's tiniest maisonette!

This week was really busy because of that so some of the photos aren't great. Sorry!

Day 8

This wasn't a particularly exciting outfit because one of the forms for the house wasn't correctly witnessed so I had to go get another copy, take it to my partner at work so him colleague could witness it, then back to the solicitor. 4 buses in 3 hours. I wanted to be comfy!
I like all the details though! The fluffy bat socks are from New Look, and my friend Sam brought me the Casket Crew pin! I'm not sure who made it because she brought it from a stall at Bloodstock festival.

Day 9

Wish the lighting was better in this so you could see that my haunted mansion socks match the green top I have under my jumper. I ate a very on theme biscuit though! I spent the day sewing with my friend Kelly. We are making her bridal cloak- it's going to be beautiful!

Outfit rundown
Poloneck jumper - New Look
Skirt- Toast. It was given to me by my friend Holly and its one of my favourite pieces at the moment.
Haunted Mansion Socks--Disney World Florida

Day 10

This photo isn't great but I didn't have time to retake it because I was on a lunch break at a training course. After work I went straight to get the keys for the new house!! Sorry I haven't taken any pictures there yet (other than the meter readings!)
I wanted to look nice for the training though, so I chose this restyle skirt and paired it with a New Look pinstripe blazer and a nice blouse (charity shop find). I even wore eyeliner!

Day 11

I was baking Halloween gingerbread after work for a bake sale at work, and absolutely covered myself in flour. Hence the selfie! Bat heart necklace is something I got at a lolita event but I can't find the brand now.

Day 12

I went to an amazing Halloween themed 40th after work! The guests of honour were definitely better dressed than me!

Outfit rundown
Witch hat- Peacocks, modified by me
Black jumper - M&S another than me down from Holly!
Skirt - another piece from

Day 13

We started cleaning the flat. It's in pretty good shape but the previous tenants didn't ventilate it very well so there is black mould on all the windows and blinds! There was also some flowery wallpaper that HAD to go, hideous! This is what I changed into when we got back. Ravenclaw nightshirt and marauders map leggings are both from Primark.

Day 14

In the morning I went to my dad's to get all my kitchen stuff out of his loft. It's been up there since I finished my undergrad degree! Then we took my nana out for lunch, and showed her the flat en route. She approved! I spend the afternoon with Kelly working on the cloak again!! My socks were a present from my friend Lex who just got back from Vegas! I love the little witch hats on them!!

I hope you have enjoyed the second week of my batty challenge as much as I have! I can't believe I've raised over £100 for bat conservation now!
Are any of you getting your wardrobes ready for Halloween? What are your plans?

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Batty October Challenge

Oh my, it's been a long time since I did any blogging! I've really missed it but life has been rather too hectic for a while now... Mostly things that would be great on their own but too much when happening all at once.

For a long time now I haven't been making any effort with my appearance. I've not had a haircut since December 2016 and I stopped wearing makeup entirely. My nice clothes languish in the wardrobe while I wear the same uniform of jumper, jeans, boots.  I haven't blogged about loads of important or fun things in life.

I wanted a way to change all that, but there was no way I would do it for myself. So instead I decided to do it for a good cause!

I'm wearing a Halloween outfit every day in October to raise money for Bat Conservation Trust! I set a target of £31 thinking that if needed I would donate £1 every day myself. My friends really surprised me though, and I'm so touched and thankful--I had raised over £50 before October even started!!

It's the end of week 1 and I've had a great time (even though I have sort of resented the extra time it's taken out of my day when I'm so tired all the time), so I'm looking forward to getting even more creative as the month goes on!

Here are my outfits so far:

Day 1
Outfit rundown
Bat wing headband: H&M
Bat jumper: Discount shop in a now demolished shopping centre, so I have had that a while now...
Black skirt: Asos
Bat leggings: New Look kids

Day 2
For a lazy day at home when I wasn't feeling too well.
Outfit rundown
Grey bat jumper: Primark
Pusheen Trousers: H&M

Day 3

Outfit rundown
Purple skirt with bats: M&S skirt from the charity shop. I added the bats myself.

Day 4

Partial repeat for a day of training at work. I prefer to wear trousers when I do drop stamping!
The bat socks are from Primark

Day 5

Outfit rundown
Red and black top: New Look
Velvet long cardigan: TK Maxx
Bay brooch: Present from mum, she brought it in Whitby
Necklace: Curiology

Day 6
Another repeat, to avoid too much washing! The skull leggings are from H&M.
I somehow left my headband at home!

Day 7
My lovely friend Sam joined me in the theme today for dinner!
I upgraded to the witch hat to make up for lack of headgear yesterday! Hogwarts jumper is from Primark. I mostly made the hat myself, starting from a cheap base and recovering it.

See you all next week with another round of outfits! It's really good to be back!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Floating like a butterfly, busy as a bee

I've had a hell of a 2016 so far, the high points have been high...Trip to Paris for research, getting more hours at work, exciting new projects, holiday with my boyfriend. And the low points have been soul crushing, included loosing 3 people I love in less than 6 months- my granddad in January, my nana in April and Marie, my dad's long-term girlfriend just last week.

I also got my bag stolen from the office at work, losing a uni library book, my passport, a notebook full of notes (mostly for freelance projects - which I had to redo unpaid), my trusty camera, and worst of all my netbook- my only computer, and a machine I hadn't backed up properly for a few months because of a fault with my external hard drive (lost on 27th April and I still wake up shaking or feel sick halfway through a conversation because I suddenly remember another file or fmily photo I've lost forever).

I'm slowly clawing my life back together, trying to finish some projects, groping around for time to pick others back up from where I dropped them, helped by 6 months off uni to redo lost thesis work. Most of the time though I feel like I'm cut adrift, floating above my own life and unable to regain control - every time I almost figure it out, life blindsides me again - the laptop I borrowed breaks and I lose more work, or someone else is gone forever.

The next week is going to be insanely busy- clearing my office at uni (taking time out means losing my desk), my cousins wedding, a big event at work and I'll be house sitting for a friend- meaning a 2 hour commute each way, every day. The next couple of days I'm trying to get everything ready, and panicking a bit. I'm really glad I found time to make cards though.

I'm not sure how well it shows but I cut the outside of the frame with scissors which created a bevelled effect, and also scored some designs in from the reverse. The butterfly stickers don't quite correspond to real species, but the ones I've written underneath are pretty close.

One of these will be for Fathers Day- my dad has had an unbelievably tough few weeks, but watching the rare butterflies in his local park has been a big solace. The other card is for my best friends birthday tomorrow, last year we celebrated with a trip to a butterfly farm.

I hope to be back soon - hopefully with a proper camera for photos too! I miss you all dear readers.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Middle Earth Weekend 2015

I've been horribly absent from Blogger again, and I'm really grateful to still have my faithful friends following me. 2015 has been another crazy busy year - and based on the number of notes scribbled in my diary for next year already... 2016 won't be any different! There's a few important images from this year I'd like to post though, I'm going to try to make at least one more post before the end of the year too because I don't have them all yet.

I have been meaning to post these since September though so without further ado, here is some of the fun I had working at Sarehole Mill during Middle Earth Weekend!

My face is super goofy here, but never mind! We were encouraged to dress-up and get into the spirit of the event... Well, I think what really happened is, me and Stephenie told out boss 'We are going to be elves' and he didn't seem to mind.... So this was my outfit for serving tea and running around like a mad thing for two days.

Posting this picture too because this is me and Jo - who is works with us sometimes when we are super busy and need a hand. Funny thing is, we are both cemetery researchers called Josephine. She used to work at my university too - and people got really confused about it when I started my PhD because she'd recently left, so we never actually met until this year. She's super lovely and has helped me so much with my research - thank you Jo!

Outfit breakdown:
It's almost the exact outfit I wore here, minus some of the jewellery and belt, I added my elf hoody too and a leaf brooch I found in a charity shop during August for £2.99.

I spent about two weeks beforehand in a panic making elf and hobbit cloaks, crowns, wizard hats and even feet for the kids dressing up. We put a donation box above the costume rack and suggested 50p towards the upkeep of the building (because it's a free event), we made about £15, so the costumes have pretty much paid for themselves, and I've already patched them up for next year (and hopefully the year after). It was a lot of fun, but very tiring. Sometimes I wish museums had some kind of budget for events... Here are some detail shots.

Gandalf and Radagast hats - of course for copyright reasons I labelled them 'brown wizard hat' and
'grey wizard hat'

A wood elf style cloak and crown of leaves.

A high elf style cloak with a wire crown. That took me so long to make. It's literally two strips of jewellery wire I made into wavy shapes, then tied together using silver thread wound all the way round and round. I then carefully glued a tiny blue star sequin over every joint. It held together really well! It did get very very bent a couple of times though - so I'll have to redesign for next year!

This is the 'brooch' I made for the hobbit cloaks. They are felt, stiffened with card and embroidered with silver thread. They attached on either side of the collar with press-studs, so there were no pins!

The Hobbit feet! I made them using adult sandals, covered in fabric and faux fur so that they would be big enough for the kids to slip their feet into with shoes on. I made the toes from felt (with embroidered toenails) and filled them with cushion stuffing. I thought they were funny but my uncle said 'hobbit feet are hairy, not furry!' and maybe he's right, however the children had fun so I don't mind =]

All the staff got into the spirit!

Stephanie made this amazing Gate to Moria design to cover one of the walls in the mill.

My boss created a full Orc camp in the woodlands next to the millpond - complete with recently abandoned fire, strewn weapons, and body parts. We were very lucky to have two real Orcs come to join in the fun and bring it to life! I kept telling small children to go see the camp, thinking it was empty. They mostly came back in tears... The Orcs stayed in character ALL WEEKEND! I offered one of them a cup of tea and he growled 'MANFLESH!' at me and left!

I'd been waiting to cut my hair for donation again, for the whole summer so that I could look more elfin! I feel this was somewhat above and beyond the call of duty! I've had long hair my whole life (with the exception of my last donation cut), but it got to a length that started to annoy even me! I should have had a trim to get rid of the split ends at least!

This is what it looked like just before Ash's sister cut it for me.

The bottom three inches were trash, so we trimmed them off. Then the next 12 inches of hair were cut off for donation, just like last time. I was really happy to be able to donate more hair this time! Last cut was only 8.5 inches =]

This is how it looked after the cut:

Sorry for the lack of makeup and sunburned face!

The last couple of months have been my own personal torture - in my enthusiasm for donating a whole foot of hair I cut my hair shorter than last time. So short in fact that I couldn't even plait it! Completely drove me up the wall until I worked out ways of getting it out of my face - especially during fieldwork. I'm rocking tiny messy 90's buns A LOT at the moment. I should really learn to do hair at some point - when it was long I could get away with just plaiting it everyday! I probably won't learn to do my hair for the foreseeable future though... I am 25 and I just finally got a 3 step skincare regime, THREE days ago. I'm just really busy all the time with my PhD and working 2 jobs, soon to be 3, possibly 4, plus teaching and more volunteering... Therefore I am not the best at looking after myself. That's also why I don't update here very often anymore - if I manage to wear one outfit that isn't jeans and a jumper in a month I'm doing well! I spent the entirety of the rest of September and October preparing for Halloween - I'll post pictures when my dad sends them to me...

How do you guys keep up self-care when you are busy?

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Channeling My Inner Susan

Susan Sto-Helit that is.

Yup, today I feel like I've somehow captured the aesthetic of Death's Granddaughter - especially of her adventures with Quoth the Raven! It's a sort of gothy governess look, because Susan discovers that 'Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on. She'd become a governess.' (The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett). I've never seen the TV version of The Hogfather, but in my head, this is pretty close to how Susan looks. Although of course I'd need white hair with a black streak in it to really match, and my hair should also form a neat bun at will- something my hair stubbornly refuses to do - hence a french plait...

This outfit was worn for lunch and shopping with friends, which was a lovely antidote to the hectic time we've been having at work preparing for Middle Earth festival this weekend. I'll post pictures from that soon though because I'll be wearing fun things and I've made all sorts of children's dressing up clothes - including two pairs of hobbit feet!!

My hair is a bit messy and my makeup is rather tired in this photo because it was taken AFTER coming home, which you could probably tell from the horrible amount of flash used!

Outfit rundown:
Jacket - Primark via charity shop while on holiday in Bournemouth £3.99
Blouse - Ebay - you've seen it before here.
Skirt - Restyle - it was a birthday present from my mum for my birthday in April but today is my first outfit with it.
Bag - Also Restyle - I got it for Enchanted a while back, and I don't think it's available anymore. Sadly the shades of grey are very slightly different and that annoys me more than it should...
Belt - I've been looking for an elastic belt with a silver buckle for ages (because I love my brass toned one so much but it doesn't go with everything) and finally got this one in a charity shop for £2.50 last week, so chuffed - searching endlessly finally paid off.
Shoes - Deichmann last year for work, I think they were about £15... Very similar to this pair, but with a simple silver buckle. They turned out to be too slippery for the floors at Aston Hall (400 years of feet achieve quite a polish), but they are really comfortable and go with a lot of things.
Hair bow - Claire's, with added brooch - I don't remember where this one came from... It may have been the Red Cross Shop? I have so many brooches now I'm loosing track...
Brooch on neck -  Another one I've lost track of... I've had it a while - I bet I could find out by checking my blog posts, but I'm lazy today.
Crow pin - RSPB stand for £1 donation - the man was really pleased that I wanted this one and the Magpie because 'they are under appreciated birds, the corvids, they don't get a lot of fans.'
Skull Earrings - Present from my colleague and friend Stephy, for no reason at all - wasn't that lovely? The pair in my second holes are tiny silver mice I got in Bournemouth, but I missed them out of the close-up photo. We'll pretend they are Rats to stick with the Susan theme though =P
Tights - One of my pairs of trusty thick black cotton ones - Primark or M&S kidswear for sure.

Do you guys ever wear something and look in the mirror and realize you look like a fictional character? Or have you ever deliberately create a look inspired by one?

I think I'll re-read The Hogfather until bedtime! Goodnight all!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Something witchy this way comes

My lovely friend Anya arranged for us to do an room escape/locked room mystery challenge for her birthday, and although I was really tired from work I wanted to dress up for seeing my friends and having fun.

The weather has been really rubbish for the time of year, cold and kind of rainy, and so I wanted something with layers so I wouldn't have to wear a coat - because that's just sucks in August. I already wear my winter coat for at least 8 months of the year. In the end I based my entire outfit around a jersey dress, which I got a couple of years back in H&M pretty cheap - it's a hi-low hem which is tricky for me because the front is a fair bit shorter than skirts I usually wear. I'm not sure if it's shrunk since I brought it, or I've just gotten even less comfortable with my legs! A few times I've put another skirt underneath, but this time I put a skirt over instead. I don't like the waistband on that skirt so I added a belt, then threw together things which seemed to match - I didn't have a lot of time to get ready. I think the overall look is kind of witchy and fun - I guess all the dark mori and strega looks I've been seeing on my tumblr dash lately have been swirling around in my brain. I'm a sucker for adding a bit of magic to the mundane world!

Sorry for the photo quality - it's taken with my phone in the mirror at Wagamama where we had dinner after failing to escape (by about 4 minutes - we were kicking ourselves sooooo badly when we worked it out)! Yuuummmmyyy! I'm kind of glad it's not better quality though because I looked so tired and washed out!

Outfit rundown:
H&M £9.99
Lace skirt: I don't know the brand because I cut the lining out after I found it in a charity shop pretty cheap.
Crop waistcoat: h&M £2.99 in the sale about 10 years ago. It's falling apart and I can't button it up over my boobs anymore, but it's too cute to give up on. I'll patch it up at some point.... I think it works open for extra detail to outfits anyway.
Belt: My primark one that I use for everything
Wristcuffs: Atelier Pierrot £20 at Enchanted. Extra lace is always good right?
Jewellery: I wore two necklaces - the lace choker was a present from my friend Felicity and I also wore a pocketwatch on a long chain from my friend Meera, who also gave me the dangly Cthulhu earrings on a different occasion. I also wore stud earrings that my lovely boyfriend Ash gave me.
Bag: Primark satchel, £10 ish. This is the second one I've brought because the clasp broke on the first one after a year or so- but I'm going to reuse the strap for a DIY project. The style of clasp on the new one seems more durable. There's a scarf covering most of the bag in this photo, which I brought in case it got EVEN colder - it's a lovely light infinity scarf with a lace panel - was a present from Natalie a few years back.
Hair: I quickly twisted some of my hair back on one side and plaited some on the other, then added some roses and a bow to keep them in place. The bow was from Claire's, the roses were from a local high street discount shop I think. These kind of hairstyles always remind me of my hippie youth, and also of elves for some reason.
Shoes: These are work shoes I got last summer and they used to be super comfy, but they have gone a bit funny as they've started to wear out. I really need a new pair, but shoes that fit are so hard to find. I wanted flats for comfort yesterday, but I forgot that the lace skirt would catch on the buckle bit which was annnoying. At least I don't have to worry too much about it ripping though because really strong it's pretty much full of holes anyway so the extra ones don't show (it had a few holes already when I brought it). I loved this outfit, it was so comfortable and striking. I'll probably wear something similar again soon, but maybe try to incorporate another colour too to vary things more.

Has anyone else done a locked room mystery/escape challenge before? We tried this one. I thought it was really fun - but the decor was very basic and it was confusingly arranged (we wasted almost half our time trying to solve the second lock, because a clue for it was given straight away but not everything we needed to solve it, whereas the clue for the first lock was much much more subtle). There's a few other similar attractions in the city which have opened recently though, so we might try one of the others soon! I'd like to try Dr Wilson's Office, my taxi driver on the way home recommended that location - but he'd done the Room 13 one which sounded waayyy too gorey for me!