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Call For Journalists and Bloggers!


Shout out to all horror, arts, comic and literature bloggers and journalists!


Those of you who follow my Twitter or Facebook accounts will know that I am slowly counting down the days (between catching up on commissions and preparing for Convention season to start back up) to my very own Kickstarter project. You can read more about the project itself here if you’d like.

Cirque Du Mort will be a small collection of horror short stories, focusing around a haunted circus full of tragic, comic, vengeful and even sadistic characters. If you are a fan of The Addams Family, Penny Dreadful, American Horror Story or Carnivale, then this illustrated book will be right up your street. I also intend for the project to have a strong body positive message inspired by the different body types seen in a stereotypical historical circus or sideshow.

As some of you may already know, Kickstarter projects aren’t easy and require a lot of prior research, press contacts and networking, which is why I’m making this post as a shout out for any bloggers who might be interested in helping the project out in its early stages. This could be anything from interviews, guest blogs, articles or even just re-tweeting or re-blogging. Any help would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to see more about the project, including some of the teaser images, please see the original post. If you would like to get in touch you can do so at mail@anastasiacatris.com

Pop Up Cardiff


Today I managed to pull myself away from the drawing table for an hour or two to explore Womanby Street’s first Pop Up Event…


A few months ago, a friend of mine who is also a TV extra and happens to be the proprietor of FUEL in Cardiff (seriously check this place out – the owner is a lovely guy and the club itself plays the best music in town), mentioned that he and a few of the other club/pub owners were looking to encourage an alternative quarter in Cardiff, akin to Camden in London. This was to include independent locally sourced food and drink (as well as Vegan and Vegetarian food), art galleries, vintage clothes stores and live music events. Obviously this idea was right down my street, but also, I fell, much needed in the Welsh capitol.

Wales has always been a brilliant producer of rock talent and encouraging of punk, alternative and rock culture; so the idea of a ‘quarter’ of Cardiff dedicated to this scene would be welcome. Now, I haven’t been out and about on Cardiff’s live music scene for a while now. I used to go out all the time and even worked in a rock club myself, but sadly work has started to eat into my social time quite considerably; but anything that encourages people to appreciate food, music and art is good in my book. I also LOVE Camden. When I was a student in London it was one of my favourite places to be on the weekend, so the idea of that sort of vibrant, bohemian culture being right on my doorstep is very exciting.

The Pop Up Cardiff event was a much smaller version of the Camden vibe, but nonetheless captured the bohemian atmosphere perfectly. From the street food vendors to the galleries, hemp clothes, vintage stores, palmistry and buskers, it was like they had brought a tiny section of London to the Welsh Capitol. I turned up quite early, so did not see the crowds I would have hoped for on a Sunny Sunday, but the food vendors were still rammed with custom with queues for barbecue spilling out onto the street.

Despite the amount of social media attention this event had, it would have been nice to see some more signage around Cardiff advertising it to bring in the sun-worshipers on their way to other bars and restaurants around town. But this is probably more of a Cardiff Council issue than the fault of Womanby Street itself. The interior galleries and stores also seemed a little bit under-staffed as far as vendors were concerned and I was a bit unsure as to who owned what stall, but again this may have been the fault of coming early in the day.

I for one hope that Womanby Street keeps this sort of event up as it is a perfect place to showcase new music, art and foodie talent. I for one would love to be involved with it in the future and will definitely be returning to the Fashion Quarter when my bank balance is a bit healthier. Tomorrow however, I will be heading to the ACTUAL Camden for a gig which I have been looking forward to for a while so expect only a short post from me (probably from the bus!)


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Saturday Stash


It occurs to me that I have yet to do a ‘loot’ or ‘hoard’ post, so I thought I should give it a go…


The last few weeks have been a little bit frugal, so I’ve gathered a few of my recent buys from the last month together into my first Saturday Stash. Considering I don’t go shopping that often (apart from for art supplies), this probably won’t be a very regular thing. But, as conventions are starting up again next week, you never know (I tend to do all my shopping at conventions – I mean, I’m in a hall full of geeky products, how could I not).


Starting off with my best buys for the month. The mister and I went to a car boot sale a week or so ago and challenged each other to go off and buy something for £2! I think I won because I came back with this gorgeous little art nouveau owl statue (two things I love) for only 50p (the base was broken but nothing that some superglue couldn’t fix) and 2 Zadie Smith books I have been eyeing up in Waterstones for a while, for only a £1. Leaving me with 50p for a bottle of water (it was a very hot day).

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This month saw the arrival of my very first Loot Crate. It was pretty obvious what would be inside (the clue was transfrom – hello!) but I was pretty happy with the contents considering that my partner is a MASSIVE Transformers fan. He wore the shirt to work the very next day.

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Probably my biggest expenditure for the month – I got my hair dyed and cut! My roots were coming through something fierce and as I am growing it long I hadn’t had it trimmed in a while. Thanks to Owen from Slunks in Cardiff I now have healthy ends with a Summery turquoise blue on top and Neon Blue underneath (Colour by Manic Panic).

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Before…

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I stopped in to visit my partner in his new job the other day and he happens to work opposite a Waterstones… yeah, that’s going ot be a problem. As I was waiting for him I noticed this lovely copy of the novel of Battle Royale and it just so happened to be in the ‘Buy One Get One Half Price’… it would be rude not to, right?

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Finally, my copy of Afterlife Inc, the gorgeous Hard Back edition came through yesterday and it is beautiful. If you haven’t checked out Afterlife yet you seriously need to. I have been a die hard supporter of these books since I first found them at Bristol Comic Expo two years ago and have reviewed them several times for Chaos Hour as well as funding their various projects. It is a brilliant story and this new edition bundles them altogether into a wonderful hard back with a load of fun added extras in the back.

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1404577240144Well, would you look at that! You have to read it now!


Wednesday Wish List – Totoro Time


Wednesday Wish List – Totoro Time


Those of you who know me well may have noticed I have a slight… itsy bitsy… okay HUGE obsession with ‘My Neighbour Totoro’. Even though ‘Spirited Away’ remains my all time favourite Studio Ghibli film (so far – I mean, there are a lot of them), I just love the character of Totoro and his little tororo friends. My partner and I actually have plushies of the grey, blue and white totoros above our bed and occasionally I come home to discover they have been on some fun adventures. They’ve even left me notes when I come home after a hard weekend of conventions (They’re in my mister’s handwriting, but that can be forged right?)

You can see some of my own Totoro Fan Art here and even buy yourself a print of it, should you so wish, on my Etsy Store. But for now, here are some of my favourite Totoro related pieces from around the web for my Wednesday Wish List.


Totoro Sweater Jacket 100% hand knit from pure merino wool by AnnaWoolMagic on Etsy – £137.56

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Starting with this gorgeous cardigan/sweater from Etsy. I believe it is actually one of a kind (or she only has one in stock) which is why the hefty price tag, but when you see the amount of work put into hand crafting this, that’s not really surprising. I love big baggy cardigans, especially over skirts and tights, so this would see a whole lot of use out of some one like me. Not exactly a Summer choice, but still a beautiful find.


Studio Ghibli Spirited Away Sootball Slouch style jumper by ZenohTee on Etsy – £22.99

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As a ‘larger up top’ kind of gal, I find off the shoulder numbers to be incredible flattering, I also like the look of the length of the sleeves on this piece (I’m a fingerless gloves lover, so long sleeves are a good replacement for those sometimes). The design is cute and fun and can be classed as either ‘Spirited Away’ (the sweets in the top soot sprite’s hand) or ‘Totoro’ so that makes me happy. There is also a soot sprite on the back right shoulder.


All 3 Posters – my neighbor totoro, princess mononoke, spirited away – papercut style print – ghibli, movie poster, wall art, decor by BigBadRobot on Etsy – £16.75+

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I really love the design of these paper cut-out prints. They are stylized enough that you don’t even have to be a Ghibli fan to enjoy them. A very stylish and classic way to put some Totoro love on your walls. If you like the style of this print you should definitely check out the Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away Prints that come along with it, they are gorgeous.


Totoro in the Mountain Art Print by YouCouCou on Society6 – Variety of Prices and sizes

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I don’t know what it is about this piece, but I really just love Totoro’s expression! There’s something imposing and Godzilla-like about this poster whilst also retaining the cute kawaii nature of the characters.


Totoro Soot Sprite Slippers – Available to Bid on EBay

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As some one who works at home, slippers are a must have and these are just awesome! Look at their little faces! There is also a range of Totoro slippers too, but I am not a fan of the Totoro smiling plushie/onesie style that I see around, I prefer his cute quizzical look.


We Are The Children Who Never Grow Up’ Vest Top – Available to bid on EBay

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My one and only ‘Summer’ piece of the bunch, but the bright colours and floaty material definitely make up for it. The quote kind of sums up why I love Totoro so much – it is just a gloriously innocent children’s film that makes you feel like a kid again.


Don’t forget to check out my own Totoro artwork on Etsy. You can even earn £5 off your first purchase on Etsy here. What is your favourite Studio Ghibli film? Also, is there a character or film/TV series/book etc, that you always have to buy the merch for whenever you see it? Leave a comment below…