Sunday, 30 August 2015

Comping: August Wins

Last month was a little disappointing when it came to wins - I only needed five bullet points. This month has been much better!

Logo Billionaire board game by Drummond Park, from the ET Speaks From Home blog.
Emily Sparkes and the Competition Calamity book from the Primary Times.
Blue elephant travel bag from Fikay Eco Fashion in collaboration with the Big Issue.
Zelf, Shopkins, Lalaloopsy, etc from the Never Grow Up blog.
 Shopkins Swapkins Party Kit from EvolutionComps.
Mr & Mrs Murder DVD from TNT Magazine.
Bolts and Blip DVD from The Brick Castle blog.
Nuby Flower Child Feeding Set from the Mummy Vs Work blog.
Mini Marlenka Cake from
The Jolley-Rogers and the Cave of Doom book by Jonny Duddle from ?

          - Auberon (Jessica Keller Chronicles #1) by Blaze Ward.
          - Beyond The Sea - Melissa Bailey.
          - Echoes Resounding from the Past by Cheryl Freier.
          - Generations of Betrayal: Lies, Lies and More Lies by Nsleumas.
          - If Pigs Could Fly by Jonny Nexus.
          - Seasons of Conciousness by Martina W Mullins.
          - Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye.
          - The Killing Kind by Chris Holm. (x17!)
          - The Other Son by Alexander Soderberg.
          - Whispers From The East by Amie Ali.

Anthony's caught the comping bug this month - so far he's won two books from Goodreads. Even more exciting (I know, I know, what could be more exciting than Anthony's wins?) is the fact I've been offered the chance to host a couple of giveaways myself in September. Stay tuned for more details! :)

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Mini Mart:, sunsetsammi, theweecrafthoose

Reviews of a few UK ebay miniatures suppliers:

Website: eBay store.
Products: Handmade 1/12 scale books, food packaging, etc. Really nicely done, and some of the best quality out there for modern packaging.
Post and Packing: Pay once then get free postage on all other items paid for on the same invoice.

Supplier: sunsetsammi
Website: eBay store.
Products: 1/12 scale miniatures, including a range of handmade paper items - like the tarot cards I bought. They were great quality and true to scale.
Post and Packing: Combined postage on multiple purchases and very quick dispatch time.

Supplier: theweecrafthoose
Website: eBay store.
Products: 1/12 scale miniatures, including hand made food packaging.
Post and Packing: Combined postage for items on the same invoice.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Mini Mart: Milklegs - Suffragette Doll

This review first needs a little bit of back story. When Marianna was very young shuffle happened to chance upon the Mary Poppins song 'Sister Suffragette'. It instantly became her new favourite thing, and she still kicks wildly with excitement every time she hears it. This led to the idea, Marianna being the first grandchild on both sides and spoilt rotten in every way, that I could make a suffragette Barbie as a keepsake Christmas present for her. She certainly won't need anything practical, that's for sure.

The doll would have to be a redhead, of course, so I was thinking maybe Sindy's friend Marie, or perhaps Barbie's friend Midge... Then toyboxphilosopher, the doll review blog, happened to have a guest post by Charlotte of Milklegs. Holly O'Hair, the doll above, was the subject of a repaint tutorial. And when I checked out Milklegs' Etsy, Holly was still available for sale. :)

Milklegs on Etsy

Next, to turn an EAH princess into a suffragette. I brushed her hair and pulled some of it back with a blue ribbon - the flappers of the 1920s were the floppy bow wearing girls of the 1910s, after all. Her plastic gold earrings were swapped out for plastic pearl studs, and she was redressed in Barbie's Promenade in the Park dress. I also made a placard and a rosette in suffragette colours - green, white and violet ('give women the vote'). I just cut out some circles of various sizes, coloured them in, glued them together, snipped the ends to make 'ruffles', then glued a white circle to the back to hold the ribbon and a micro magnet. Then I attached it with another micro magnet on the inside of the blouse.

Finally, I printed out some suffragette handbills, etc, and stuck them to the back plate of an empty doll box (Takara Kimono Barbie) I had lying around. Ta da!

Supplier: Milklegs
Website: Etsy Store.
You can also find them on Tumblr and Instagram.

Products: Doll repaints - primarily Monster High and Ever After High. As anyone who collects dolls will know, good repaints can cost an absolute fortune. Milklegs dolls are generally around £30 and include the doll's original shoes and clothing. Awesome!

Post and Packing: Domestic postage is £3.15. My doll was sent next day recorded about a week after ordering.

For more like this, please click the image below:
Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Baby Book

I've been updating Marianna's baby book a bit. Well, I say a bit... It needs loads of updating. I was very good with it for the first couple of months and then it all went downhill. Still, at least it's not completely empty!

When I was at ante-natal class we were told to start a baby book to chart the pregnancy journey, or some equally soft sounding term, but I couldn't do it. It felt like I would be tempting fate somehow. I did buy one though (it's actually an A4 notebook, because I couldn't find one I liked), and  I filled in a couple of pages when Marianna was about 8 days overdue, but I couldn't even finish those.

I caught up once Marianna was home, and got everyone to write her a postcard or a letter for her to read when she's older. Hopefully I'll be better at updating it over the winter - now I've just got to look for a good photo printing deal to cover the summer. :)

This post has been submitted to the Papery Peep linky, check it out:

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

My Top Ten Prints

Favourite Paintings

This week I've been watching lots of art history documentaries. Why? Who knows, but the best has been The Artful Codgers, a BBC documentary about the Greenhalgh family. Shaun Greenhalgh created some of the most successful forgeries - across a variety of mediums - in the world, in his garden shed. Very impressive!

Lacking the skill to recreate the masters, I'll settle for prints. In no particular order, these are the ten pictures I'd most like to get prints of:

#10. Aviva Brueckner

The most modern artist on this list, Brueckner did a really cool series of works exploring what some of the greats would have looked like if bones were all that mattered. This take on Matisse's 1909 'Dance' speaks to my love of the quirky and random.

#9. Caravaggio
Detail from Caravaggio's Madonna of Loreto (1605). There are many, many Madonna and child paintings out there. Just check out the Ugly Renaissance Babies Tumblr. Caravaggio, unlike so many of his contemporaries, succeeded in not giving his viewers nightmares. Well, at least until they looked at almost any of his other paintings...

#8. Rune Naito

This is my favourite illustration by Rune, King of Kawaii. When he wasn't busy shaping girls' culture, he was illustrating Japan's first magazine for gay men. It's always good to diversify. If you like the style check out Miracle Lovely! All of Rune's World printed in 2002.

#7. Rossetti

Veronica Veronese by Rossetti (1872); she's meant to look dreamlike but I think she looks wonderfully bored, forever stuck in the gilded cage of the Victorian private sphere. Rossetti, of course, was your typical crazy artist - he had his wife's body exhumed so he could publish the poems he had had buried with her - but he was very good with a paintbrush, so everyone overlooked it.

#6. Charles Burton Barber

A Special Pleader (1893) by Charles Burton Barber. Burton Barber specialised in depicting children with their pets, ensuring his position as one of the Victorians' favourite painters. My nan had a print of this when I was a kid and I always loved it, especially the sulky little girl. I could relate.

#5. Monet

Water Lilies by Monet. Who doesn't love Monet?
(For more on Monet, check out Artsy's Monet page.)

#4. Vladimir Tretchikoff

Tretchikoff's Chinese Lady painting (better known as 'The Green Lady') is probably the kitschiest painting ever to have kitsched. In spite of that I prefer Lady from the Orient (1950s).

#3. Waterhouse

John William Waterhouse's 1888 masterpiece, 'The Lady of Shalott'. Another Pre-Raphelite work, another beautiful, beautiful image.

#2. Margaret Tarrant

'The Fairy Way'. Tarrant was a children's illustrator, and her work is well worthy of being on my walls. I'm very picky when it comes to children's fairytale and nursery rhyme books, they have to have pretty illustrations. After much fruitless searching in physical shops I bought Marianna three Margaret Tarrant illustrated books online. 

#1. Mucha

Mucha is my favourite artist and it was really difficult to pick just one image. So I went for the set of four which makes up the 1898 Flowers series. Mucha's work is just so gorgeous, I'd put it everywhere if I could.

As you can tell, I'm not very cultured at all. I don't like Picasso, but I love kitsch and sentimental Victorian schlock. It's just the way I roll! :) How about you, what is your favourite painting?

A Cornish Mum You Baby Me Mummy

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

School Uniform

It's almost the beginning of the new school year, and school uniform is everywhere. Debenhams are running a competition that got me thinking back to my own school days. They're asking bloggers to post a photo of themselves in uniform, then choose items from the Debenhams Kidswear range to recreate the look as closely as possible. For more info check out the Rock 'n' Roll Mum blog.

I started school at Hollybush Primary (now Nant Celyn), but I think this photo is from when I was at Croesyceiliog Primary. I was at Maendy Primary - which I'm now a governor of :) - before Rhys started school, so I'm probably about 5 in the picture. Marianna will doubtless think it hilarious once she's old enough, though I take solace in the fact that Rhys looks equally as ridiculous in his little blue zipper suit there.

These are the items I'd recreate it with:

My cardigans were generally hand knitted, and my school skirts used to be elasticated and pleated the whole way round, but this is a fairly good approximation. Missing, of course, is the school tie and the snotty tissue shoved up the sleeve of the cardigan. The blouses pictured are actually boys' shirts - the fitted girls' shirts were just too trendy to reflect that school photo!

Just for fun, here are a couple of later school uniform photos:

Maendy Primary.

Croesyceiliog Comprehensive - also a school I'm now on the board of - with me in the middle.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Fun4All Checklist

A couple of weeks ago I did a checklist of the miniature board games and other toys produced by Basic Fun (you can find it HERE). This week I'm following it up with similar offerings produced by Fun-4-All, before they went bust in 2004. One day I will catch them all! ;)

* All pictures found via Goolge Images, I claim no ownership *

Big Wheel

Talking keyrings - there are tons of different designs of these.


Jigsaw Puzzle
There is also a Simpsons version.


Lincoln Logs

Lite Brite



Pet Rock

Play-Doh Fun Factory

See it in action HERE.

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots
You could get keychains of the individual robots too.



Tip It

You could also get a fire engine.

There were eight different versions; read more HERE.


Boo Roo and Tigger Too
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