Friday, 29 November 2013

Papercraft Espeon

In the two minutes of sunshine I had this morning I managed to get a few photos of my second papercraft, Espeon. (It's raining now.) I've always been used to having a psychic type in my team, so when Cel gave me two Eevees in Diamond, one of them ended up like this.

I didn't look at the instructions before making this so I found the head and ears quite tricky, and didn't do a great job of them as a result. Otherwise, this papercraft went well! Before cutting the parts out, I used an empty fountain pen to score the fold lines, which made the folds a lot easier and more precise.

On my Christmas wishlist now is PVA glue. My crappy glue stick kind of does the job but it is such a pain to apply when you're holding this fiddly delicate 3D thingy in your hands and the tab you want to glue down is in a hard-to-reach place.

I've asked my dad to print off templates for Toon Link (from Zelda) and Baphomet Jr. (from Ragnarok Online) so I'm really looking forward to starting on those!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Links à la Mode: 28th November '13

I can't believe I almost missed an interview invitation. It's been sitting in the university's portal gathering dust for days, but EVERYTHING IS OKAY NOW. I feel like that pot of petunias rushing to the ground, thinking "NOT AGAIN" even though there's a tiny voice als screaming "there there, you'll make it through this, it's a necessary evil and you HAVE TO DO IT JUST DO IT". If I plotted a graph of my stress level against the percentage of caps lock in my writing, it would be an EXPONENTIAL CURVE

In other news, I did an Espeon papercraft this week and it was really fun. Riki has a paper friend now! I'll do a post on it soon.



"Grace" has many meanings. Whether you're saying "grace" at the dinner table today with your friends and family for Thanksgiving, or you're talking about the elegance of "grace", or heck, maybe you're talking about Grace Coddington, no matter what if you love fashion, you'll be thinking about "grace" this holiday season. This week's roundup the IFB Community has put a lot of thought into their posts, with super smart tips and tricks to get you through the season. Going into the science behind autumn colours, the difference between plaid and tartan, how to shop Black Friday, and even how to style your hair for going out or staying in. It's everything you need, so grab the mug of spiced cider read these links! Happy Thanksgiving!

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

Instructions for submitting to Links à la Mode:
1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Herohom and homies

on deviantART
And this is when I try to doodle neatly.

I always love imagining Dunban in his (relative) youth, in the army with his chums, Dickson and Mumkhar. I wonder how they first met, whether they sparred with each other sometimes, how many times they got wasted together. And then Xenoblade Chronicles happened...

Doctor Who was really good last weekend but infuriating too, because we have to wait for Christmas for another new episode. So instead I'm busying my inner fangirl by obsessing over Xenoblade, again. Last night I had a pot at the level 120 dragon in the mountains. It didn't go so well but I will try harder next time.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


I'm not going to lie. Ask me what first springs to mind when you say "dungarees", and I will reply, "Mario". Maybe someone in the world idolises Italian plumbers as style icons, but it's not me.

Dungarees don't seem like the most flattering thing to wear, but they're not just for cosplaying Minions. For a casual look, wear them over a t-shirt with your trusty Converse, and throw a jacket over the whole thing. If you're brave, however, try them over a lace top with heels for an interesting juxtaposition of throwaway casual and elegant.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Plant pigments: the science of autumn colours

Here in the UK, temperatures have plummeted, so we're having to wrap up warm. The trees went orange quite late this year though, so it still looks like autumn, though it feels like winter. I think autumn is the most beautiful season - though it comes with a sense of melancholy as the days shorten, nothing rivals the breath-taking display of oranges, golds and reds. And of course it means Christmas is around the corner!

But have you ever wondered why trees shed their leaves, or what's responsible for the stunning colours of autumn?

When groundwater freezes it becomes difficult to draw up enough water to replace the water lost by transpiration, so in autumn, deciduous plants shed their leaves to reduce water loss.

One of the first chemicals in the leaves that's broken down is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that absorbs light to fuel photosynthesis. The plant absorbs the products of breakdown and stores it for spring. When the chlorophyll breaks down, other photosynthetic pigments are revealed.

Carotenoids are 'accessory pigments' that absorb light energy and pass it to chlorophyll, and also protect chloropyll from being damaged by high energy ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. A famous carotenoid is beta-carotene in carrots, which is good for you because it's an antioxidant, and it can be turned into vitamin A.  Fucoxanthin is what makes some seaweed and algae brown. Anthocyanins also protect plant tissues from UV.
Wavelengths of visible light absorbed by chlorophylls and carotenoids
From LED Grow Lights
Whatever colours a pigment doesn't absorb, it reflects, and the reflected colour is what we see. Chlorophylls absorbs red and blue, so appear green. Carotenoids absorb mostly blue, so appear yellow, orange or red.

The most stunning range of autumn colours is produced with sunny days and cool nights. The sunny days promotes the synthesis of yellow pigments, which makes the colours more intense. Cool nights slows down the transport of sugars from the leaves to the roots, so the extra sugars left in the leaves get turned into red anthocyanins.

Monday, 18 November 2013

"Ain't no rest for the wicked"

Jacket: River Island, Asos
Necklace: DIY
Vest: Esprit, China
Dress: New Look
Socks: China
Boots: Doc Martens, eBay

I remember this outfit as the one I wore to my day in Liverpewl with Ginge. I find that days out tend to attach themselves to whatever outfit I'm in that day, so when I wear it again, I'm not just wearing clothes, but memories too.

My mum always complains that I'm overdoing it with the floweriness and she is probably right as usual, but I still really like this look despite the differing floral densities. You will just have to get over it.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Links à la Mode: 14th November '13

There's less than a week until my interview for dental school and I'm frickin' bricking it. My friends have been awesome and given up their time to help me prepare, and I've had several mock interviews with teachers, and I've even talked to myself in a mirror like a Sim levelling up her charisma, but I still feel utterly unprepared. All I need to do is show them who I am.

At least I now have something to wear. I need a sunny morning to photograph it but it makes me look like I mean business.


Primped and Pretty in Pink

This season has everything all mixed up. Pink for autumn? Sweatshirts? After all, breaking rules is what fashion is all about. As we're right in the midst of the holiday season, getting beautified and looking your best is second only to getting in the spirit of giving. This week's round-up has a nice mix of beauty, trend and tips for the holidays, so get your cup of mint cocoa and read through these fabulous links!

Links a la Mode: 14th November '13

Instructions for Submitting to Links à la Mode:
1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


on deviantART
 I finally admitted to myself that my old self-portrait is rubbish and I can do better now. I stuck with the greyscale because colouring things in is a pain. The water brush on Paint Tool SAI is my new friend - it helped make the hair look lovely and soft.

Have you ever drawn yourself? I've learnt that the only way to truly know a face is to draw it. You'll notice things that would have otherwise gone undetected, even if it's someone familiar.

Saturday, 9 November 2013


|| Iron Fist || Topshop ||
|| Asos || Red or Dead ||

I adore my black heeled brogues - they're so elegant - but I would really love some flat brogues too for casual wear. Though the white crochet lace ones by Topshop look perfect for summer, I think I like the tan-coloured tapestry ones most. Which one's your favourite?

Now a little lesson on definitions. Oxfords are shoes that have 'closed lacing', like the show on the right, below. Its defining feature is this closure style.
From Aquila
Brogues are shoes with the decorative perforations and serration on the edges of the pieces of leather. Its defining feature is the pretty little holes. So the shoe on the right above is also a brogue shoe. Now if you look at the ten shoes at the top of this post, you can see that while all of them are brogues, not all of them are Oxfords.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

What to wear to a uni interview

Congratulations! A university has looked at your grades, statement and references, and now wants to meet you. You've scrambled around researching careers, getting work experience and maybe even sitting admissions tests, and it's paid off. The interview is, for some people, the highest hurdle in the competition for a place on a highly competitive course. It triggers sleepless nights, more frantic research, and sitting mock interviews with friends and teachers. It's a very important event... so you want to look respectable, don't you?

Rules for dressing for an interview

Of course there are obvious ones, like looking clean and trying to stand up straight, but here are seven non-negotiable rules that you must adhere to. Some of them are trickier than they sound. (Though all of my advice in this post is geared towards people interviewing for courses like sciences, healthcare and humanities.)

Knee-length skirt
If a skirt or dress that's caught your eye is even remotely approaching mid-thigh length, don't even think about it. Put it down and turn away.

Sensible shoes
'Sensible' means closed-toe shoes with no obvious platform or any kind of heel you could stab a person with. If you really want to wear heels but need to walk in between a train station and the uni campus, maybe wear flats for the journey.

No boobs
Cleavage should be strictly under cover - people need to earn that stuff, you know. If you've got a top or dress with a low neckline, try layering a blouse underneath it to cover up a little.

Wear a set
You need to know exactly what your doing with textures and colours if you dare to stray from a set suit. It is pretty much impossible to match black with black or grey with grey or navy with navy if you've got, say, a blazer already but no skirt or trousers. It's probably a lot easier to just buy a new set. The easiest way to not wear a set is to go a different colour and a different texture, but be careful with this.

You can't overdress
At a uni interview you need to look like you mean srs bsns. This is the next few years of your life on the line, and probably your life's career too. In a professional setting you can't actually look that out of place even in a full suit.

Be comfortable
At your interview, your mind may or may not be in complete meltdown, but if you're physically uncomfortable due to your clothes, you'll stand little chance of coming across as comfortable and relaxed. So don't make compromises - buy only clothing and shoes that fit you, and make you look good, so you can feel good and make the best impression you can.

Be boring
I know it can be so, so hard to restrain your creativity and play it safe, even though you want to look like the interesting person you are. But the best approach is to look ordinary and boring, only to reveal yourself as a stunning candidate when you get talking with your interviewer. Once you get on your course, perhaps you can afford to dress how to you want a little more.

I know I said to be boring, but with some carefully chosen accessories, you can sneakily show elements of your personality which may even be a useful topic of conversation. If your a musician, maybe you could wear a treble clef necklace. Or you could wear a brooch to show your support of a charity you volunteer for or donate to. But be sensible and subtle.

 Matalan: £42
skirt | top | blazer

 New Look: £43
dress | blazer

Next: £108
blazer | top | skirt

Shopping tips

Bring a companion
Someone sensible and reserved would be ideal, so you have someone to keep you down to earth and focussed on finding something appropriate for the occasion. It's really helpful for someone to check whether the seams are okay and the fabric's lying right, because even with mirrors, you can't really see your own back very well.

Keep your receipts
It's a lot easier to just buy all the main things from one shop, but if you do have to do some intershop matching, keep receipts handy in case you find something that's better than what you already have.

Always try stuff on
This is an absolute must when it comes to tailoring. Sizes vary hugely across different shops and it can be hard to find a jacket that fits you just right, but it's worth the trouble. When matching things, look at the fabrics under bright light to ensure the colours and textures work together.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

"Before the doors close"

Necklace: Clothes Show Live
Jacket: Timberland
Vest: Primark
Skirt with DIY lace trim: Matalan
Petticoat: Matalan
Socks: Topshop
Boots: Safiya

Orchestra was fun this week. After the post-concert high, I feel physically okay (just tired), but emotionally shattered and volatile. Was it the Sibelius? I don't know how I'm going to make it through school tomorrow!

Hope you had a good Hallowe'en, and maybe enjoyed some fireworks this weekend. Keep your head up.
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