Pink Pressies

I always like to see what "little mindings" people got for Christmas so I thought I'd share mine here, including some bigger presents that came as a bit of a surprise.  

I couldn't believe the generosity of the girls in my department at work this year. Just look at the pile of pinky goodness they got me. The funniest has to be the bat notepad with pink edging that my department supervisor got me ("It was so you!")

The present I definitely was not expecting to get was my dad's old camera. He said he really wanted me to have it though. It's a bit more advanced than what I'm using right now, but luckily it comes with an instruction booklet which I'll need to pour over when I've got more time.

Here's a pile of cute stationary from my mum and dad and my sister and also a dress from the "goth section" of h&m that my sister got me. She knows me so well.

My dad also got me a neat little pink screw-driver which will come in incredibly handy and means that I won't have to keep borrowing Tim's all the time. Yay! And it's pink, of course.

"It was this or a skeleton toilet-roll holder." My sister again, being very sweet and looking all over for something will skulls on it for her weird little sister. 

I'd love to know what you guys got for Christmas, particularly if your pressies all had some strange accidental theme like all the pink things I got this year (although that's probably not so accidental since it's pretty obvious I like pink!).

Christmas 2014

I hope everyone had a good Christmas this year! We had a fairly low-key Christmas. Very few presents and we didn't even remember to put the tree up. Still, that's not really what Christmas is about and it's not as though anyone's really going to be mad if you don't decorate the house enough. For me anyway, the most important thing about Christmas is remembering the amazing gift of salvation we've been given in Jesus Christ, even if I find it hard to focus on that sometimes, amid all the rushing around to get things ready for Christmas. When I do stop to think and pray about it though, it blows my mind every time. Can't believe God gives us this love and forgiveness we don't deserve at all. Amazing! Anyway, I'm rambling...

Hey look it's the dark, thick-rimmed specs convention. On Christmas day I wore a black knitted mini-dress from Mango with my plastic harness from restyle. Bit of an odd-looking contraption to get into, but I love it! I also wore Illamasqua lipstick in the colour 'Kontrol' and did my eyes all glittery. Aww.

And I've already written about what my husband gave me for Christmas but, for him, I bought these t-shirts from Rotten Cotton. They're based on the films Braindead and Xtro, two of our favourite movies. When they arrived, I almost wished I'd got them in a size extra small and worn them myself instead, but Tim looks cracking in them, I've got to admit.

Queen of Darkness Grey Skull Dress

My roots are horrific, but I don't even mind. I wanted to show off this dress I got from Queen of Darkness. It's got a grey skulls and roses design and feel soft and fuzzy like velour. I love it!

Halloween Valentine

New drawing up on my website. It's always Halloween when you're a bit spooky and it's always Valentine's day when you're in love.

Marimo Moss Ball

My husband's Christmas present to me arrived in the post today. It's a marimo... It's an underwater plant that looks like an animal, basically. You change it's water every two weeks and give it a bath if its fur gets dirty. Pretty much the perfect level of "pet" for me to have.

It's colloquially referred to as a marimo moss ball, but it's actually an algae rather than moss. It's also flippin' cute, as plants go. And, although I put it in front of the window to photograph it, they're used to living in the dim light at the bottom of lakes so I'll be keeping it away from direct sunlight.

We got mine from Jadsimo and it arrived very quickly and safely. What do you guys think about marimos? Are they the perfect low-maintenance pet?

Accidental Pfeffernüsse

The other day, I think I accidentally made pfeffernüsse. Or "those wee spicy, gingerbready German biscuits you get from Lidl" as most folks here know them as.

I was following a recipe for gingerbread cookies, but I ended up rolling the mixture into balls rather than trying to roll out the dough and make shapes with a cutter. I also smelled the mixture and decided it wasn't strong enough (I think this is my German roots revealing themselves) so I added allspice and cloves for more of a kick. In the end, the result was pretty much the same as pfeffernüsse minus the icing! And they tasted really good too.

Dress Up

Last Sunday, had a day out in town then went to visit my parents at night.

I wore this retro dress I got from T. K. Maxx. It's a bit big for me, but I tied a scarf round the collar and threw a cardigan on and I think I got away with it. 

Lunch at our favourite coffee bar. I had a posh-looking broccoli pastie (a poshtie?) and we shared a pistachio brownie and some billionaire shortbread. I can't even describe to you how phenomenally tasting this home baking is. 

Then, at night, when we visited my parents, we had the surprise of seeing my little niece and nephew. I spent a good while before dinner making dress-up dolls with my niece. She's so cute.

Joker Brooch

This little joker pin is a custom order brooch I made for someone. He's got beady eyes (literally) and a smart little black ribbon tie. Do feel free to get in touch if you want a custom order for brooches or, well, anything really! (email: ali horn @ google mail . com)

Alcest, Opeth, Beastmilk & In Solitude

There are so many good gigs on here at the moment, I'm having to choose between them. I've still got Solstafir and Bast to look forward to and, already this month, I've seen Opeth, supported by Alcest and Beastmilk supporting In Solitude another night.

My friend is a big Alcest fan which is what lead us to going to this gig in the first place. However, I especially enjoyed Opeth who I'd not heard much of prior, I hate to admit. Alcest were very good too. The tracks I liked the most were apparently from their older albums so I'll need to check those out. 

Two days later I donned my new Restyle harness (love it!) to go and see Beastmilk. I hope you folks are appreciating all these tiny, blurry pictures of bands...

Beastmilk put on a fantastic show as we'd hoped and In Solitude were great too. Good stuff!

Luminous Pink Skull Brooch

I made a large pink felt skull brooch (because who doesn't love pink skulls, right??). You can purchase it from my etsy shop here.

First Saturday Off In A Year

My day job rota has changed so instead of working Fridays and Saturdays, I am now working Mondays and Fridays. I'm so happy. Every craft fair and art exhibition in my local area seems to be on a Saturday and, as terrifying as it is to think of exhibiting/selling my stuff in public again, I know it's something I really need to push myself to do. Having Saturdays off could really open up so many opportunities for me.

For my first Saturday off (other than annual leave) in a year, however, I decided not to do any work whatsoever and take the day off to celebrate! 

Jacket: h&m (+ Vastum patch)
Shoes: Primark

We had lunch at one of our favourite places. It's closed on Sundays so Tim and I haven't actually been there for about a year. We're usually the only people there who aren't pensioners (pensioners have good taste in food and coffee. What can I say?), but I think there were a couple of other "young" people there on Saturday too, haha.

I finally had a chance to have a proper listen to the metal mix tape my friend made me. Really digging the Agalloch tracks and Chelsea Wolfe who I've never really listened to before. We've got so many metal gigs coming up (including two next week we've already got tickets for) we both want to go to our wallets will probably be suffering by the end of the year.

At night, Tim and I made veggie sushi based on this recipe. It's the first time I've made anything like it and the first time I've ever ventured into a Chinese supermarket either. It was definitely worthwhile though. The rolls were delicious and the sauce totally made the meal.

I'm not actually a vegan though so next on the agenda is probably to look up some recipes for sushi involving (cooked!) fish.

Picking Up Small People After School

I went to pick up my little niece and nephew from school the other day for the first time (for me, not for them!). As it turned out, my sister was there in time to pick them up anyway, but it means I now know where to go if they need picked up again. Or even if they don't. Because spending time with them is pretty great fun anyway (they're nuts).

Of course I arrived an hour early, but better early than late. It means I had some time to have a coffee at one of my favourite coffee places and do some reading. I've just started on this series by C. J. Cherryh.

The kids were picked up safe and sound. Even if my wee niece's school bag looks bigger than her.

My nephew doing his homework. He's a maths genius already because my sister is a maths teacher. Also, check out how cool my sister's kitchen is. I always think it looks like something from a magazine. Don't tell her I said that.

And I finally had a chance to give my sister the fimo ring I had made her for her birthday. It's the black, bulbous one on the right and the other two are ones she made herself.

Pink & Yellow

Why is it that life always seems to fall into patterns of colour. For instance, all my recent photos seem to be pink and yellow. Anyway, here's a wee rundown of recent fun:

Oi look, I've a beetle in my ear! ... It's a beetle earring I got from New Look last halloween. 

Hawkwind's 'Electric Tepee' has been in my CD player a lot recently.

Outfit shots in the mirror. Why do I do this when my clothes are all black and look the same? I don't know...

A new recipe I tried out. Pizza with sweet potato sauce, topped with cavolo nero cabbage, goats cheese, walnuts and parmesan. A really strange combination, but it tasted totally amazing. Check out the recipe I used here.

Tim and me, trying to take a nice photo outside to send to his grandma in Australia. You can't really see it, but he's wearing the black shirt with rainbow skulls I bought him (I love that shirt!)

Small Toxic Green On Pink Skull Purses

I've also been making some more small wallet-sized purses in the same toxic green and barbie pink colour-scheme.

More Skull Print Cosmetic Bags

I've been making more of these large cosmetic bags/pouches recently, in toxic green and barbie pink this time. They're a little cheaper than the black ones because I've used cotton poplin on the outside instead of craft cotton this time. You can grab one here at my etsy shop.

Recent Buys - Abysmal Grief

Yay! I got a bunch of Abysmal Grief releases in the mail today. I love this band! They're so much fun.

Coffin-Shaped Purses With Skull Design

I made another set of coffin purses for my etsy shop. These ones have a hand-painted skull on the front, red lining inside and a black skull-shaped zipper pull. See them here!