Sunday, 27 September 2020

This Week - 27/09/2020

Same Shit Different Day.



My overall impression of this week is that it has sucked. I've not felt well and I suppose that has just made everything feel worse than it actually is. It looks like Torfaen will be going into local lockdown within the next week or two, confirming that the first wave might as well never have happened for all we collectively learned from it about spread and r-rates. Sigh.

We had a virtual primary school governors meeting on Tuesday which was fairly reassuring, and though I was kind of hoping otherwise I was voted back in as chair. Marianna was getting restless towards the end, and it is tough going to concentrate on anything when a five year old is prodding you in the ribs and demanding your immediate attention. I'm finding it tough to keep up with lots of things at the moment, to be honest, but at least it has convinced me I'm making the right decision by standing down as chair of council / education committee at the AGM next month.

I've asked to come off the housing association board too. I'm just... not coping well right now and it seems sensible to focus on a few things (school governors, case work, committee attendance) rather than continue to spread myself thin over a lot of obligations.

Aside from work I've been trying to do more crafts and fun activities with Marianna. I made a little more progress on the 1/12 scale doll house too; I put up a few sheets of wallpaper, and successfully separated the Pippa kitchen cabinet into two pieces with only minimal blood drawn! For the blog I've been (very) slowly working on a post on children's television of the 1940s. Expect to see lots of puppets heading your way soon...



Deal of the Week -

Get £10 discount off your first order at Photobox (minimum spend of £30) with referral link - https://photobox.mention-me.com/m/ol/mm0rv-jessica-powell



Song of the Week -

Fascination - Alphabeat



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Friday, 25 September 2020

Friday Five: Webcomics

Friday Five

There are so many awesome webcomics out there - this list will show you I'm all about the comedy though...



CAD Comic

#5. Crtl+Alt+Del

Tim Buckley's CAD began way back in October 2002 and will probably still be chugging along in one form or another way after the human race has gone...



Strange Planet

#4. Strange Planet

Nathan W. Pyle gives us the everyday life of a family of adorable aliens. <3



Tales of Absurdity

#3. Tales of Absurdity

Tales of Absurdity is a weekly comic by Alex Hoffman that is so delightfully random it can't help but startle a laugh out of you!



The Perry Bible Fellowship

#2. The Perry Bible Fellowship

PBF is a long running webcomic by Nicholas Gurewitch which specialises in 'sting in the tale' final panels. It's often kind of dark and surreal, but that only makes it better.



Chief O'Brien at Work

#1. Chief O'Brien at Work

Jon Adams' Chief O'Brien at Work is hands down my favourite webcomic. It follows Miles O'Brien during his seemingly neverending stint as transporter chief aboard the USS Enterprise-D. No matter how dull and meaningless your job, you can't help but feel better about it after a few panels showcasing Chief O'Brien's working day. :D



Do you have a favourite webcomic? Let me know in the comments! :)



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Thursday, 24 September 2020

Social Media Profile A-Z

Social Media Profile A-Z

This month's A-Z is a run through of where to find me online.



A is for... Archive of our Own

Find my public account at babiafi.

How to post fanart to Archive of our Own AO3



B is for... Bloglovin'

The weird spelling always makes me think of Superbad's McLovin, but it's actually a network that serves as a blog reader. Find me at babiafi.



C is for... Canva

Okay, so it's less network and more graphic design platform, but you can share things with other users and refer friends.



D is for... DeviantArt

Yep, it's still going! I have an account at babiafi for when I go waste a couple of hours over there.



E is for... eBay

I mostly sell dolls and miniatures. Check out my listings under aeronwyn321.



F is for... Facebook

There's no escape from it! I have a page for my blog at babiandfi.



G is for... Gaia Online

Mini games, challenges, and collecting stuff to dress up your pixelated avatar. What's not to love? Find me at my main account, babiafi.

30 Days of Gaia Online Blog Challenge



H is for... Here

AKA Blogger, where you are right now!



I is for... Instagram

Find me posting infrequent dolly pictures at @babi_a_fi.




J is for... LiveJournal 

And its base code. I've still got a fandom Dreamwidth I use occasionally.



K is for... Kred

Find me at BABIAFI.



L is for... LinkedIn

Feel free to connect with me @jessicaclairepowell.

Ten Things Every Blogger Should Know About LinkedIn



M is for... Medium

I'll get around to using it one day, I'm sure. Find me @babiafi.



N is for... Nothing To See Here

There are lots of networks I'm just not on these days. I don't want to say I'm now old and uncool, but...



O is for... Old School

Drop me an email at jess@babiafi.co.uk.



P is for... Pinterest

I'm a fairly heavy user of Pinterest, particularly for promo and referral codes. Find me at babiafi.

Grow Your Blog With Pinterest



Q is for...

Pass.



R is for... [Good]reads

I go through phases with it, but when I'm reading a lot you can find me reviewing as Jessica Powell.



S is for... MySpace

Apparently it's still around. It's only on this list for nostalgia though. It was my first social network, and where I first learned how to write HTML.



T is for... Twitter

Find me @jess__powell.

Twitter



U is for... Tumblr

As in my recently undeleted account, babiafiblog. I swore I wouldn't go back but Tumblr ensures it's a 100% nightmare operation to find anything unless you log in.



V is for... Visuals

Find my attempts at photography on Flickr at plastigffantastig88.



W is for... Wordpress

Although I don't host there, I did create an account as babiafi to make it easier to comment on other blogs.



X is for... X-Ray

Of all the networks I think this blog is the one that reveals the most of me. I.e. I can't help but have some new random interest every week which I need to document before forgetting all about...



Y is for... YouTube

I don't use YT for much other than watching, but I do have a channel set up in case I change my mind one day.




Z is for... Zzzzz

Over and out, all!



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Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Mini Mart: Poppets Dolly Bits

Poppets Dolly Bits Wallpaper

Supplier: Poppets Dolly Bits
Website: poppetsdollybits.com | Etsy Store

Products:

This UK company specialises in doll house decor, especially wallpaper which is sold - in various scales - by the A4 sheet. Back when I originally bought the 12th scale house, almost five years ago now, I truly expected to make good progress so bought a selection of carpets and wallpaper from Poppets Dolly Bits. Once I actually put it together I realised that I actually wanted most of the wallpaper patterns to be much bigger and bolder, so I went back to my trusty old Pepin pattern books.

I have used a few of the Poppets sheets though, for the carpet in the small bedroom and the wallpaper in the kitchen and living room. Although it's still very rough and ready, the kitchen is the room with the most progress made at the moment so I've snapped a couple of pics in there. This is my absolute favourite of all the patterns available; it's so bright and cheerful!

Poppets Dolly Bits 1/12 Scale Wallpaper

Post and Packing:  Starts from £1.89 for paper items (+9p for each extra sheet).



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Mini Mart - Reviews of Dolls and Scale Miniatures


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

100 Truths Tag

100 Truths Tag

I found this tag on Sarah Withers' blog, who got it from Lala's Book Reviews. I couldn't resist giving it a try myself...

Monday, 21 September 2020

Get Real Girl Dolls

Get Real Girl Dolls

Launched in time for Christmas 2000, Get Real Girl offered a serious alternative to the fashion dolls available at the time. The problem was convincing retailers that people would be willing to shell out cold hard cash for that something that wasn't all weddings, princesses, and multiple shades of lipstick. Although they enjoyed strong online sales, relatively speaking, the toy aisle still ruled supreme in the early 2000s. They never really got the support they deserved, and by summer 2003 even their website www.getrealgirl.com was defunct. 

The company was originally co-founded by entrepreneur Michael Cookson, toy designer Juls Chavez  who had already racked up 15 years in the business working for the likes of Galoob and Mattel, and former model Cynthia Aadal. In 2017 Shona Gupta and Michael Cookson ran a kickstarter campaign in an attempt to relaunch the brand:

"We wanted an action figure that empowers girls ages 4-8. We set out to create one that inspires activity, adventure, and diversity for today’s girls. We think girls should always have more and better choices that embody healthy, active lifestyles and positive self-esteem. So we decided to reimagine a series of action figures that encourage girls to be true to themselves and engage with positive, female role models through play.

We’re reinventing the Get Real Girl line (first introduced before its time) for today’s parents and kids: Four action figures from different continents, that play different sports, and have their own passports and their own travel adventures. They have realistic proportions, authentic sports clothes and gear, and are fully-articulated, so the girls can stand on their own two feet and kick a soccer ball or shoot a basket.

...Get Real Girl is about sparking the imagination and engagement in sport through play - an important factor that drives the proven, direct correlation between girls’ participation in sports and better outcomes later in life. We want to promote healthy, active lifestyles and positive self-esteem through our alternative action figures and their stories."

Sadly, it didn't gain enough traction for the kind of investment needed, and then Mattel stomped all over them with the announcement of their new diverse body types and full articulation. If you see them on the secondhand market though they're still well worth picking; the quality and attention to detail is extremely impressive for playline.

The original dolls were designed by Lisa Whitsett - you can check out the original drawings on her Behance.



Get Real Girl Dolls

★ Corey Surfing Adventure - box front / box back.
★ Nini Backpacking Adventure - box front / box back.
★ Nakia Basketball Adventure - box front / box back.
★ Claire Scuba Diving Adventure - box front / box back.
Skylar Snowboarding Adenture - box front / box back.

The first wave of dolls were also sold through Avon in plainer packaging, like so:

Get Real Girl Avon



A number of new dolls were showcased at 2001 toy fairs. There were to be two guys joining the line, surfer Jack and skateboarder Piersin.

Get Real Girl Jack Surfing AdventureGet Real Girl Piersin Skateboarding Adventure

Two new girls would also have joined the line up, skateboarder Zoe and volleyball player Kadin. There were also plans for multiple accessory packs and sports equipment. Unfortunately, only three other dolls actually made it into production:

★ Nini Baseball Adventure - box front / box back.
★ Corey Swimming Adventure - box front / box back.

Get Real Girl Dolls 2001



Get Real Girls Gear Fashion Packs

Four fashion packs were also produced for the line in 2001.

★ Cruisin' Gear - box front / box back.
★ Groovin' Gear - box front / box back.
★ Hangin' Gear - box front / box back.
★ Urban Gear - box front / box back.



Get Real Girl Dolls Promo Image



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Dolls



Saturday, 19 September 2020

30 Days of What We Do In The Shadows

30 Days of What We Do In The Shadows

We just finished series two of What We Do In The Shadows so what better time to make it the subject of ye olde fandom meme? 



Day #01: First Encounter With This Series

The first series of the TV show was up on iPlayer early this year, so I took a chance on it as the title card put me in mind of The Mighty Boosh and stuff like that. I'm really glad I just clicked it on a whim because if I'd read it was a US remake I probably would have avoided it at all costs. (Who hasn't been scarred for life by accidentally clicking on an American sitcom remake? *shudder*)

What We Do In The Shadows



Day #02: The Moment You Fell In Love With This Series

As soon as Nandor started complaining about the unhygienic nature of leaving half drunk victims about the place. Finicky officious vampires are my kind of thing. 

Nandor the Relentless
 


Day #03: Favourite Franchise Entry

WWDITS is unusual for me in that I like the whole franchise. Overall, though, I think my favourite has to be the 2014 film. Taika Waititi as Viago is perfection, and I like that their lives are just that little bit more mundane to contrast better with the craziness of the supernatural elements. 

Viago Quote



Day #04: Best Backstory

Nadja rocks. And her backstory is both tragic but also kind of hilarious with its snakes, and its donkeys, and her witch obsession.

Nadja



Day #05: If You Were In Charge...

We would totally have a British spin-off set in one of the post WW2 'new towns'. Like how could anybody not want to watch a bunch of vampires flatsharing in Milton Keynes?

Milton Keynes



Day #06: Funniest Moment
 
"I’m doing an erotic dance for my friends. And you ruined it. I was in the zone. My friends were loving it."

What We Do In The Shadows - Deacon



Day #07: Scariest Moment

I'm just gonna leave this here... The only thing worse than a rubbish vampire orgy, is a rubbish vampire orgy with Colin Robinson cornering you to deconstruct the authenticity of random youtube videos.

What We Do In The Shadows Vampire Orgy



Day #08: Saddest Moment

The S2 Nandor/Guillermo break-up. Like, Nandor, you might have slaughtered tens of thousands of innocents, but how dare you make Guillermo cry!?

Nandermo



Day #09: Coolest Character Design

Carol is legitimately the type of vamp who gives kids nightmares.

Carol the Vampire



Day #10: Favourite Quote

Just leave me to do my dark bidding on the internet - design by GloriousWax

"What are you bidding on?"

"A table."



Day #11: Best Costume

Nadja's wardrobe is enough to make any goth jealous!

What We Do In The Shadows - Nadja



Day #12: Petyr or Baron Afanas?

Afanas' character design is awesome, but it's got to be Petyr. I love how he has just been chilling with the rest of them for decades. 

What We Do In The Shadows Petyr



Day #13: Best Song 

Nothing can top the Wellington Paranormal 'Two Metres Please' song. More useful pandemic advice in three bars of that than in six months worth of Boris Johnson's waffling...




Day #14: Favourite Vampire Character

Colin Robinson. To my shame, I had never really considered the energy vampire trope. What We Do In The Shadows executes it so flawlessly though, and now I can't imagine being without it. That scene where they go to the local council planning meeting so Colin can feed on the boredom of everyone attending... *chef kiss* 

Colin Robinson



Day #15: Favourite Non-Vampire Character

Well, Stu, obviously. But beyond that it has to be Guillermo. He's everything you want in a vampire familiar - desperate to become a vamp without being a total pushover. His character arc is great too, finding out that he's a descendant of Van Helsing and helplessly slaying vampires left, right and centre while still wanting to be one. 

He also owns the kind of knitwear collection most 80s TV hosts could only dream of...

Guillermo de la Cruz



Day #16: Favourite Recurring Character

Officers Minogue and O'Leary - and Sergeant Maaka. :)

Wellington Paranormal



Day #17: Favourite Guest Character

Mark Hamill as Jim the Vampire. I was well proud of myself for working out it was Mark Hamill all by myself too, lol. Seriously, I am notoriously bad at recognising actors in other roles - I'd be the only person in the world shocked by the Superman to Clark Kent transformation - so I was chuffed to recognise Hamill, Hayley Joel Osment, Benedict Wong, and Lucy Punch this season alone. 

On the other hand, I had no idea Kayvan Novak wasn't American until I read his Wikipedia page to write this post and realised I'd actually seen the bulk of his filmography...

Jim the Vampire



Day #18: Character You Love To Hate

The Nadja doll. It's just not as creepy as it could be - as a doll person and horror geek that lost opportunity kind of pains me.

Nadja Doll



Day #19: Favourite Location

The franchise has some wonderful sets - the room of doors in S2:Ep9, for instance. But for sheer tragicomedy value it's got to be the nightclub in Interviews With Some Vampires.

Interviews with some Vampires



Day #20: Favourite Cast Photo

This one from Comic Con 2019 is really cute, and I totally love all the colourful fashion choices going on.

Favourite Cast Photo



Day #21: Canon OTP

Viago and Katherine. ♥

"Some people freak out a bit about the age difference. They think, 'what's this 96-year-old lady doing with a guy four times her age?' And you know, I don't care. They can call me cradle snatcher, who cares?"

I dunno, that quote never fails to make me smile. It's so sweet and a refreshing twist on the way the age gaps are usually treated in vampire fandoms - aka, fine so long as both partners look young and beautiful...

Viago and Katherine



Day #22: Fanon Almost Canon OTP

Nandor and Guillermo. 

Just look at this pair of adorable idiots. ♥

Nandor and Guillermo



Day #23: Favourite Promo

Dating 101 with Viago.




Day #24: Coolest Effect

Ghost cup! (Shhh. We don't want to hurt Viago's feelings.)

Viago and Ghost Cup



Day #25: Best Fandom Merchandise

I haven't really seen any beyond t-shirts and badges, but I hope someone like NECA picks up the licence. Imagine a Viago figure with a little tiny ghost cup. Or Nandor complete with his handmade glitter portrait. :D Also 1/6 scale dolls, because I've never been in a fandom where I didn't want 1/6 scale dolls.

In the meantime I saw the world's best (worst?) leggings on Etsy:

Colin Robinson Leggings



Day #26: Favourite Fanvid

There hardly seems to be any. :( But someone has done the obligatory Friends intro at least -




Day #27: Favourite Prop

"I have recently rediscovered my love for topiary sculpture; the art of bush manipulation."

What We Do In The Shadows Topiary



Day #28: Best Take On Vampire Lore

I really like the extensive network of vampire only events and get togethers. It reminded me of CBBC show Young Dracula in that way, with all their (extremely uncool) vampire publications, exam systems, and High Council. That all kind of culminates in the Procession of Shame. It speaks of organised vampire culture - and how utterly naff it truly is.

What We Do In The Shadows Procession of Shame



Day #29: Predictions For The Future?

Hmm, I hope they get around to the werewolves film. And we can't have seen the last of Sam the cat familiar, right?? 

Werewolves not Swearwolves - UnicornEmpirePrints



Day #30: If You Like This, Try...

For the surreal elements, it made me think of The Mighty Boosh (2004), Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (2004), and my all time favourite all but forgotten sitcom, TLC (2002).

TLC Tv Show



#01 - First Encounter With This Series
#02 - The Moment You Fell In Love With This Series
#03 - Favourite Franchise Entry
#04 - Favourite Eeveelution
#05 - If You Were In Charge...
#06 - Funniest Moment
#07 - Scariest Moment
#08 - Saddest Moment
#09 - Coolest Character Design
#10 - Favourite Quote
#11 - Best Costume
#12 - Petyr or Baron Afanas?
#13 - Best Song
#14 - Favourite Vampire Character
#15 - Favourite Non-Vampire Character
#16 - Favourite Recurring Character
#17 - Favourite Guest Character
#18 - Character You Love To Hate
#19 - Favourite Location
#20 - Favourite Cast Photo
#21 - Canon OTP
#22 - Fanon OTP
#23 - Favourite Promo
#24 - Coolest Effect
#25 - Best Fandom Merchandise
#26 - Favourite Fanvid
#27 - Favourite Prop
#28 - Best Take On Vampire Lore
#29 - Predictions For The Future?
#30 - If You Like This, Try...



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