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Kawaii Club – Back 2 School Special!


 

Yet another month has gone by and it is time to review my August Ookii Parcel from Kawaii Club Ookii Box, a Keep It Secret UK Subscription service.

As always, in the interest of honesty I will say that I am the Social Media & Support Manager over at Keep It Secret so I am sent these for an honest review as part of working for the company. All opinions of the items are my own though and I mostly just love showing you guys the super secret surprises that we ship off every month.


This month’s box theme was ‘Back 2 School’ and I have to say that this was my favourite box from Kawaii Club so far. I have always been a sucker for cute stationery and Keep It Secret have really out done themselves with the range of gorgeous treats on offer this month. With the launch of Kamio Stationery products over on their website, now is a great time to fill your pencil case with some cute erasers, sharpeners, pens and pencils, just in time for the start of the new school term (or, if you’re like me, for every day use and to just make you smile).

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The items in this month’s box are both adorable and incredibly useful, with a mix of washi tape, stickers, stamps and pencils.

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This cute masking tape measure 1.6m in all and features this adorable little bear. Needless to say some of my Etsy packages being sent out over the next few weeks will have a little kawaii love keeping them together.

 

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This transparent wallet is A4 in size and shows a chibi picture of No-Face from Spirited Away, one of my favourite Studio Ghibli films. This wallet is ideal to keep your artwork (or homework protected) and I’m sure that little soot mote won’t get dirt on your work.

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I haven’t had a secret diary in a very long time, but this Okitoki padlocked notebook might just convince me to start one again (pretty sure I’ve grown out of the AC 4 KR ((Keanu Reeves FYI)) stage, but hey he’s still a hottie).

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What do you get the girl who draws colouring books for a living? Why a set of coloured pencils of course. These cute pocket size pencils are ideal for taking on long road trips, holiday or just out in the garden while you colour in your copy of Colour Me Mindful (shameless plug – not even ashamed).

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I LOVED these pens when I was a kid so I am super stoked to have one again. They are just so wonderfully comfortable to use and incredibly practical, I mean, who wants to carry around 8 biro pens when you can just have one?

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I only recently became acquainted with Sumikkogurashi while I was visiting London and I have to say, I am very much in love with these tiny little mochi animals. So, the fact that I can now stick them anywhere makes me very happy.

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What Kawaii stationery set would be complete without the wonder that is Hello Kitty? This bento box of tiny rubber stamps is lovely and the stamps are clear and press well. A lovely way to decorate your diary so those school days don’t seem so boring.

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I love Sentimental Circus and actually have a few notebooks and stickers from their brand from visiting various Japanese stores over the years, so this giant paperclip/bookmark is a perfect way to round of my collection.

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Just to give you a quick sneak peek of the stamps and biro pen in action (not to mention a final little plug for Kawaii Club and Keep It Secret UKDon’t forget to sign up for next month to see what they have in store for you. I’m going to go and use these lovely gifts to help re-organise my week. 


Loving my Locks

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 9 tags: blue hair, Dreadlocks, lifestyle, self love

The last time I shared updates regarding my choice to style my hair into locks was back in April having had them crocheted by the very talented Rosielocksa loctician’ based in Bristol in February. This was the last picture I shared with you…

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These were my locks after having been freshly dyed and crocheted. How cute were they! Well, that was 6 months ago now and they have since began to mature beautifully. The bottom ones thickened and tightened very quickly, probably because they saw the most friction being closest to my neck. The top ones took a little longer and some are still finding their feet as my hair used to be layered, so the top ones were much thinner.

For my birthday, I decided I really wanted to add some length (as of July they were reaching my shoulders and at that annoying ‘in-between’ stage where they weren’t quite short and weren’t quite long), so went back to Rosielocks and asked her if she would make me some real hair extensions. I provided the hair (dyed blue of course) and she set to work. Here is my hair before I went back for my extensions and a little bit of (much needed) maintenance…

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As you can see the locks had started to tighten and produce some nice loops and kinks due to the hair shrinking up (excuse the roots!). The whole process of adding in the extensions took about 4 hours, which flew by as Rosielocks is a lovely host and we had some good chats and played with her cats while plodding along. The locks weren’t noticeably heavier straight away, but added such wonderful volume to the whole style I was very happy. I waited about a week before I actually dyed my whole head again to give them a chance to settle down and here is the final result…

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One of the first things I did as soon as I had the length was start playing around with different styles. I haven’t had long hair since I was 21, so it was so nice to be able to play with it again (with the added bonus of finally having my dream hairstyle). I think one of the best things about long locks for me personally, is the fact you don’t need any accessories or hair ties to play around with them, you can pretty much just knot them into place (an added bonus when you need to quickly get your hair out of your face when you are drawing!)

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The gorgeous beads you can see in some of these photos are from The Dread Bead Shop on Etsy and the lovely lady who runs it is probably the best for customer service that you are going to find. Her beads are all polymer clay and highly detailed. The clay is nice and light so it doesn’t weight locks down and the holes are generous so you can always find a bead that will suit your hair. Here are a couple of closer shots of the beads themselves. I love how they compliment the colour of my hair…

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The gorgeous purple bead on the far left in the above photo was actually a birthday gift from my good friend Lisa (AStarFellOnHer) and by far one of my favourite beads. It was the first bead that anyone had ever got me as a gift and I love it.

The wonderful thing about this new hairstyle is that it has already given me so much more confidence in myself. I love having blue hair and have now had it for six years, but growing up I always wanted long blue hair. When my hair was straight I would always get to the shoulder length stage and end up chopping it all off through frustration but now, thanks to these extensions, I have gone straight into my dream length. I have finally got the hair that I have always wanted and I couldn’t be happier about it.


Kawaii Club – Anime x Lifestyle Crossover!


Another month has gone by and it is time to review my July Ookii Parcel from Kawaii Club Ookii Box, a Keep It Secret UK Subscription service. As you might have noticed on my Twitter, things have been a little crazy lately what with the launch of my first three colouring books for adults published through Orion, so it has taken me a little while to get around to reviewing last month’s parcel. In fact – you now only have one more week until the August parcels are sent out, so sign up if you would like to grab one of these awesome Kawaii Club boxes this month.

As always, in the interest of honesty I will say that I am the Social Media & Support Manager over at Keep It Secret so I am sent these for an honest review as part of working for the company. All opinions of the items are my own though and I mostly just love showing you guys the super secret surprises that we ship off every month.

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The theme of this month’s Ookii Parcel was ‘Anime x Lifestyle Crossover’ and this was definitely a must have for anyone looking for some cute and kawaii fashion essentials. Personally I found this to be the weakest parcel for me so far, just simply because I don’t wear jewelry (so the earrings and choker were sadly wasted on me) and I have locks (so the hair clips are a little too tight and have teeth which would sadly damage them – I do wear hair clips some times, but tend to look for looser fitting friendlier ones). That being said, it is still a lovely selection of items and my loss is your gain as I will be giving away the hair clips, choker and earrings to one lucky commenter! (Keep reading for more info!)

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One pair of ‘Harajuku’ knee high socks – I am a HUGE knee high sock fan! I go to a lot of festivals and just love wearing knee high socks under my wellies. These would also look adorable with a Lolita skirt or if you were going for a fairy kei pastel goth look. The material is lovely and sturdy and stretchy meaning the sizing is quite flexible.

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One pair of cherry hair clips – I do wish I could wear these as they are very cute and good enough to eat. The clips are plastic but nice and strong so would do as a cute accessory, or practical hair clip to pull back a nice amount of hair. Perfect if you want to look sugar and spice with a cherry on top (literally).

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One No Face (Spirited Away) brooch clip – This is my favourite item in this month’s box, a gorgeous little Spirited Away brooch. I love this film and everything Studio Ghibli, so this is a lovely addition to my growing collection of pins and badges.

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One pink love heart faux leather choker necklace – As I said earlier, sadly I don’t actually wear jewelry (and on the very rare occasion that I do, it tends to be wood, plastic or leather and always without metal – I know – a metal head without the metal – weird) but this is a lovely little choker again adding to the pastel goth look of the socks. There is also something kind of Sailor Moon about the style…

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One pair of silhouette Sailor Moon Dangle Earrings – …Speaking of Sailor Moon. These dangle earrings are perfect for any Sailor Moon fan, but also have a lovely design to them which works well even if you don’t watch the series as it’s quite a nice little art nouveau style figure – I mean, they don’t have to know it’s , right?


Well, I promised you goodies and that is what I shall give you. If you would like a chance to win the Sailor Moon Dangle Earrings, pink love heart faux leather choker necklace and pair of cherry hair clips, courtesy of the awesome guys at Keep It Secret, all you have to do is visit their website and tell me one of your favourite items in their store and why in the comments below!

I will draw a random winner on Monday 10th August (any comments after 9am on that day will not be counted). Comments will count at the time you posted them, not the time they are moderated so don’t worry about missing out.

So, get visiting Keep It Secret and keep it kawaii!


Wednesday Wish List


Wednesday Wish List – Dread Central


As some of you may know, I recently took the plunge and finally got myself locks. I have wanted locks since I was very young. Not particularly sure what initially ignited my love for them beyond the awesome Celtic Warrior look, I just know that the idea of having dreads was always something that interested me (blue dreads – even better). As I grew older, I learned more about the link locks have with Celtic Paganism and how Celtic warriors used to wear them to strike fear into their enemies (Spartans and Greek warriors also did the same). When I was in university a friend of mine had beautiful dreadlocks which she had done when she was traveling around India, and I always wanted to try them for myself, but was put off by the stereotype that so many people put forward of them being unwashed or the idea that you had to cut them off to get rid of them (both completely untrue might I add! I wash mine almost as regularly as my straight hair and you can brush them out if you want to).

So on February 2nd I went along to a lovely lady in Bristol named Rosielocks, and 4 hours later, I was the proud owner of 42 brand new baby dreads. I had been growing my hair out for a few months prior to this, but as Rosie used the crochet method, luckily the length of my hair remained pretty much the same.

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As you can see from the above photo, they turned out amazingly! And I cannot thank Rosie enough for all of her hard work. I will be writing up a post about my ‘Dreadlock Journey’ in the future, but as I am only a couple of months in there hasn’t been a great change in them just yet beyond them falling a little better and having a LOT of dark roots!

So, for my first Wednesday Wish List of this year, I decided to go along a dreadlock theme and share with you some of my favourite adornments and products that I have found online for these knotty new friends.


Dreaded Storm… Handmade Lampwork Glass Bead

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This gorgeous hand made glass bead by Beatle Baby Glassworks on Etsy is £12.62 and it looks like it is worth every penny. As I don’t wear jewelry, dread beads are a brilliant way to accessorize; especially if it means wearing what looks like a beautiful tiny galaxy! The colours are beautifully vivid with purples, blues, greens and pinks, and the good thing about it being glass is that there is no danger of paint peeling or wood denting over time if you didn’t happen to take these beauties out for a bit.


Vital Goods – African Black Soap Shea Butter Shampoo – Grapefruit Lemongrass Dreadlock Shampoo

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Just how gorgeous and luxurious does this sound? I have been experimenting with a number of residue-free, cruelty free shampoos since getting my new dreads and this one just sounds gorgeous. The grapefruit and lemongrass combo just sounds lovely and refreshing, while the little bit of Shea Butter helps the tightening process and the Black Soap leaves you with a deep clean. Hoping to get a sample of this sometime in the future once I have finished my current bottle of Knotty Boy Shampoo (will be reviewing all the products I have tried in a future post).


Luving Your Locks – Dreadlock Hair Tie

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I love the winged detailing on this gorgeous dreadlock hair tie by LuvingYourLocks on Etsy. They have also created a series of beads which match this style in various colours. The good thing about this style of hair tie is that it’s not as strenuous on your locks as elastic can be (which can sometimes cut into the lock slightly). And is long enough to deal with much thicker hair. Personally I’ve fallen in love with this whole wings/leaves range and may have to invest in a collection in the future.


Dollylocks Travel Sized Variety Pack

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This is an extremely good deal, especially for people like me who are only just getting started with their hair and are eager to try out new products. I love the look of all of Dollylocks products, and this is a great way to sample some of the scents and different items including the tightening spray, powders and different shampoos. Also, it means you have a surplus of travel size items ideal for holidays (or in my case for convention weekends, festivals and LAN parties). Will definitely be treating myself to this some time in the future.


Custom Tentacle Bead from Southpaw Polymer

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One of the things I love about my hair so far is the fact it kind of makes me look like a mermaid. The beach and locks kid of go hand in had, so an aquatic themed lock bead like this seems ideal to me. The company makes them completely customized to your own specifications, from size to colours, and they have a wide range of colours including some lovely metallics. Even though they are made from polymer clay, they look so much more sturdy than you would think, but the clay makes them light enough to wear in your hair without feeling dragged down.


Magic Forest Bead by Knotfarfromhair

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If I was going to treat myself to any one of the beads I have favourited on Etsy, this would be a definite prize. It just looks like a miniature piece of art and has a beautiful, natural feel to it. Knotfarfromhair also do some wonderful tentacle style beads which wrap naturally around the lock and they come in a variety of fun, crazy colours.


BABYMETAL Review Live on Chaos Hour


Only a quick update post today as I am currently getting my stock ready for London Film and Comic Con weekend from the 11th – 13th July, as well as creating some scheduled posts for the weekend. My post yesterday on the BABYMETAL gig in London seemed to be a huge success, so for those of you who were looking for my review, you can find it here at Chaos Hour.

This is actually the first of many music reviews we are hoping to make a regular thing out of on the site. When Chaos Hour started it was very much a gaming and technology site, but this has grown to incorporate films, comics, books and TV shows over the years. The recent addition of music to the line ups of reviews, previews and spotlights, allows the creators to indulge in their passion for alternative culture, metal music, rock and soundtracks. If you would be interested in writing for Chaos Hour, we are always on the lookout for new reviewers and the addition of music journalism allows us to encourage a whole new style of journalistic talent. Writers on our site have already gone on to work for the likes of PC Gamer magazine and Total Film – who knows, we may even get the next Kerrang! or Metal Hammer journos coming through our doors.

But for now, I have a lot of prints to organize, sketch cards to sketch and boxes to pack for my first con back after my month’s ‘holiday’. Hoping to see some of you there this weekend. Please be sure to leave a comment if you will be popping by so I know to look out for you. As this is my birthday week convention, I may be out and about on occasion saying hi to people/getting autographs (Adama from Battlestar will be there and I am incredibly excited!) so I would hate to miss you. 

London and Baby Metal


Yesterday the mister and I traveled down to London to see Baby Metal live in concert and stopped in a few fun places on the way…


A few months ago it was announced that internet sensation and all round awesome fun feel good metal band Baby Metal would be coming to Sonisphere Festival. Now, the mister and I had already decided not to go to any festivals this year as we are saving our money for bigger exciting things, but this kind of threw us for six as we did actually really want to see them. But, being the celever so-n-so’s that we are, we figured there was no way they would be coming all the way over to the UK for one gig (on what was at the time set to be a small stage – I think they upgraded because of how popular they are). So, we waited and before you knew it they had announced another UK date in London’s Electric Ballroom. I was one of the first people to bag a ticket (before they AGAIN had to change venues to the larger Kentish Town Forum because they were so popular!) If you want to see what everyone was so excited about, check this out.

A full review of the gig will be available on Chaos Hour‘s new Music section tomorrow [Edit: Now available to read here], but for now just know that this was the most fun I have had at a gig in a long time! I could not stop smiling. The excitement of the girls was infectious and it was just such darn happy metal music with even some reggae and hip hop influences thrown in and a whole lot of tongue in cheek fun that we just had an amazing time! I ended up buying a tee shirt (which is generally a sign that I have converted to true fan – I don’t like wearing band tees for bands I don’t actively love) and we stopped off in Chinatown for some fun goodies before we headed home.

It was a long day overall. We had to get up early to catch the National Express and were met with every form of human rudeness along the way (which does nothing for your mood), not to mention not being able to sit next to each other for the 2 hour journey. But, it was all worth it. We wandered around Covent Garden and Camden and took in the sights, we even stopped into Cyber Dog, Tokyo Toys and Gekko (some of my favourite stores) and while I was adamant on not spending too much (I could always quite easily buy a new wardrobe in Camden), I did end up getting a really cute wrap around belt with pockets and attached purple/blue crocheted skirt, which will be ideal to wear over my leggings or skirts for conventions.

We ended up having lunch in Camden market and I tried some lovely Polish food. I’ve never really tried it (beyond the hot dogs/sausages you get in Polskiskleps) and it was really nice. There was a wonderful sweetness to it that made it perfect comfort food and it was in no way greasy like I expected, considering it was just meat in a bread roll. We also later had a dumpling from my favourite little dumpling-stop in Leicester Square – perfect street food for wandering around Covent Garden and watching street performers. We even managed to stop into a couple of different comic shops, including Orbital Comics which has, by far, one of the best independent comic book sections I have ever seen! We even saw a few familiar ‘faces’.

All in all it was a great day out and I would definitely go to see Baby Metal again. Hell the mister wanted to see them again as soon as they finished! A really fun gig and a lovely touristy day. Can’t wait to come back to the city again at the end of the week for London Film and Comic Con, albeit in a bit more of a business frame of mind.


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I tried to get Paddy to bury the hatchet with Teemo… he wasn’t having it.

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My favourite little dumpling store! I used to stop by here for dinner every now and then when I worked in London.

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Spotted some of Andrew Hinklebottom’s pin up art ‘in the wild’ at Orbital Comics.

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Had to take a moment when I saw this. Made me very sad for future generations who won’t even know what a Twinky is… Also… I miss Egon.

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Spotted a certain comic with a familiar signature. Gods bless Fernando Ruiz – I do miss his teachings.

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In true ‘blog’ tradition, I finally have a picture of my food. So – here you go!

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Sadly my phone ran out of battery before the actual gig – so here are my spoils from the day.

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Find of the day definitely goes to these – flavoured Oreos! Birthday cake batter (with sprinkles!) and vanilla milkshake!


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!


Motivational Spirit

by Anastasia Catris in Personal Comments: 2 tags: july, lifestyle, motivate, motivation, NaBloPoMo

After a month of not being connected to the technological world, I found myself disconnected from the creative one… Time to get motivated!


When my internet finally came back on earlier this week, I was expecting a huge influx of work to come pouring out of me. Sadly that wasn’t quite the case. A lot of the work I have to catch up on has already been paid for, which is obviously pushing me harder and harder to complete it, but I don’t have that wonderful creative drive I do for new projects and new challenges. So, this week I endeavored to snap myself out of it!

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Not only do I have a lot of work to catch up on, but convention season starts up again next week and I need to get my head back in the game. On top of all that, I finally have the resources I need to research my creator-owned project which was meant to be well on its way to completion by now, but due to the upheaval of June, is running ‘behind schedule’ (I say ‘behind’ I actually factored in a ‘just in case month and half’ but it would have been nice not to have to use it). You can see some of the inspiration I have been gathering for this project over on my Pinterest board, which I will obviously be adding to over the coming weeks.

My partner has just started a new job which is playing around with our hours and body clocks slightly, but this morning I managed to get up bright and early with him and start my day properly. I got my tickets booked for London next week (we’re going to see Baby Metal), transport and accommodation sorted for London Film and Comic Con and caught up on a whole bunch of e-mails before 9am. I almost instantly felt a huge weight off my shoulders as the logistics for next week were finally sorted and I could get back onto catching up on commissions.

My boyfriend and I are actually looking to move out later in the year (we both still live with our respective parents – living the dream – I know) so looking at housing and rental accommodation is definitely an incentive to get in the working spirit. I also took the time out of my day to just sit and meditate, which I never really take the time to do, but it definitely helped me organize my head a bit more and banish all of those nasty niggling thoughts of money worries and ‘starving artist stress’. Tomorrow I intend to get back to the gym as I have only managed to go once this week and that is definitely not good enough. I am hardly a gym bunny, but just a simple walk and sweat can really make a difference to me waking up in the morning and me stewing inside my own head.

One of the main things I have learned about being freelance is that it is very easy to work all the hours in the day if you let yourself – and that is NOT healthy. I’ve tried to make an active change in my work day (even if it is much longer than your average 9-5) to try and take some time out for myself. I never eat lunch at my desk anyway (hardly good for the artwork is it) but I try to take an hour for lunch anyway now, even if that is not all spent cooking/eating; I try to get out to the gym or for a walk at least before I start my day and I take more regular breaks just to stretch my legs and walk around the garden or play with the degus. I’m hoping this will pay off in that I won’t feel so fragged at the end of the day, but only time will tell. Until then, just keep on swimming!


Just a couple of shots of my garden. Pretty happy with how my plants are coming through. The roses are particularly impressive as they were just thrown in the clay soil underneath my house before I even moved there. They were a bit under the weather when I moved in (aphids mostly) bust seem to be doing much better now. There is something about taking a walk out amongst greenery, or tending to it that makes me feel a lot better.

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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…