A girl who turned into a swan

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Unless you've been hiding in some kind of underground bunker for the past couple of months, you've probably, by now, heard some talk of the film Black Swan. Every blog post, Tweet and Facebook update that I've seen lately, seems to mention something along the lines of "went to see Black Swan yesterday, it was amazing!" which is fair, because it is seriously bloody good; I thoroughly recommend it.

[Images from imdb.com]

Ballet is one of those things I really wish I'd done when I was younger - it's so amazing to watch and I'm very jealous of people who are able to dance like that. And the costumes are so beautiful! I've always had a bit of a thing for tutus; anyone who's read some of my older posts may remember this one about my favourite photograph of all time, Les Pointes, by Isabel Munoz. There's just something about the movement of all those layers of tulle that is so magical and lovely.
I was particularly excited to discover that Kate and Laura Mulleavy, aka the designers behind the label Rodarte, designed and made all of the ballet costumes in the film. You can't really tell from the two images above, but the costumes are insanely detailed and covered in hundreds of feathers. I think it was a brilliant idea to have the Mulleavy sisters design the ballet costumes, as they're renowned for producing intricately detailed clothing which is often beautiful with a dark or gothic edge; perfect for Black Swan. I've had these images from their Fall 2008 collection saved on my laptop for about a year but never actually used them for anything - now seems to be the perfect time as there's definitely something ballet-like in the full skirts and tight, pulled back hairstyles;

I WANT those tights.

[images from style.com]

*SIGH* It's all so beautiful!
Back to the film - I'm not going to go into the plot or anything like that - there's plenty of reviews out there on t'Interwebs (especially here!) and like I've already said, it seems most people have seen it by now or are planning on going. All I'm going to say is, it's absolutely stunning and the performances are incredible (Natalie Portman is surely a shoe-in for the Oscar). However, if you haven't seen it yet, and you're as wimpy as me, be prepared to be a bit freaked out in parts because there are some seriously dark, gruesome moments!*

*To be fair, I really am a MASSIVE wimp - I'm too scared to watch 127 Hours, even though I love James Franco, because I don't want to sit through the arm cutting off scene - so maybe the stuff in Black Swan isn't actually that bad. Have you seen it? What did you think?

Marvellous marbling

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Colours used - Barry M Nail Paint in Fuchsia and Bright Purple, Models Own Pink Blush, Topshop Stolen Sapphires

In my ongoing quest for crazy-amazing nail art, I decided to give water marbling a try. I'd been meaning to do it for ages, but it looked quite messy and time consuming so I kept putting it off. However, after MJ posted her amazing Topshop-inspired nails, I knew I had to give it a go, so after watching a couple of Youtube tutorials, I got to it.

I think the results look cool, (my favourite is the middle finger of my left hand - look how swirly it is!) but it really is quite a massive faff. There are absolutely loads of tutorials on Youtube, so if you do want to try this for yourself, I'd suggest checking those out, but basically, you take a bowl of water, drip some different colours of nail varnish into it, swirl them around with a toothpick (I actually used one of those mini umbrellas you put into cocktails because we didn't have any toothpicks...) then press your nail onto the surface of the water, so that the design sticks to it.

The most difficult thing about this method is that you have to work really quickly. The nail varnish dries on the surface of the water and forms a kind of film after about a minute, so you can only do one or two nails at a time, then you have to clear the water of any remaining varnish (using a toothpick/cocktail umbrella) and start over with more drops. Also, I found it really tricky to actually get the drops of nail varnish into the water - they just wouldn't drip! I ended up sort of waving the brush over the surface of the water to encourage a drop to fall from it, but in my panic and/or enthusiasm I managed to throw the brush onto my bed, thus resulting in a massive blue splodge on my bedcover. Doh!

Also, as you can imagine, it gets quite messy. You can't really avoid putting your finger into the water, so you end up having to do a lot of clean up afterwards with nail varnish remover. You can wrap sticky tape around your fingers as a guard, but I couldn't be bothered with that because I'm silly.

All in all, I really like the effect, especially because every nail looks different and unique, so I'd say it's definitely worth giving it a try, but only if you've got a lot of time, patience and tape on your hands.

"I'd like to thank the Academy..."

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

In keeping with the theme of "awards season", I thought it was about time I did this. Two very lovely blogging sisters, Dani and Nats, have both tagged me in The Versatile Blogger Award recently, which is super exciting as I've never, ever had a blogging award before (cue the tiny violins).
Firstly, we need some rules;

1.Thank and link back to who gave you the award.
2.Share 7 things about yourself.
3.Pass it on to 7 beauty blogs you've recently discovered and enjoy.
4.Leave your recipient a note, telling them about the award.

I actually did one of these things on Facebook ages ago, but you had to share 25 facts about yourself, so you'd think I'd find this easy. Sadly, I'm having a massive mental block at the moment, so this should be interesting... (or very probably not interesting at all...)

1. I was born in Liverpool and have spent all my life here (apart from 8 months in London when I was a baby and three years at uni living in Coventry/Leamington Spa). It's going to make me sound like I've got a chip on my shoulder, but I get really angry when people make Scouse jokes, firstly because I've heard them all before and secondly because it's actually really offensive! Since when was it ok to insult someone because of where they come from?! I couldn't believe it when I started uni and about 50% of the people I was introduced to felt the need to make jokes like "oh you're from Liverpool? I'd better keep an eye on my wallet..." After the first couple of times, it gets seriously old, believe me...

Sorry! Rant over!

2. I did Philosophy and Literature at uni and now I work as a Marketing/Events Assistant in an arts and community centre. Clearly nothing to do with my degree. I'm really envious of those people who've grown up just knowing what they want to do in life. It makes it much easier when choosing A Levels/degree subjects/work experience if you actually have a certain job that you're aiming for at the end of it all. I'm still not entirely sure what I want to be when I 'grow up' (23 is DEFINITELY not 'grown up', honestly.)

3. You may have noticed from my "about me" section, that it says I'm a musical theatre geek. This is not a joke. I am obsessed with musical theatre in a massive and frightening way. I was a member of MTW (Music Theatre Warwick) when I was at uni and performed in lots of shows and concerts. I LOVE IT. I don't get to do as much performing as I'd like in Liverpool, as there really aren't many opportunities to get involved with am-dram groups, however, I recently joined a glee club (yes, that's right, an actual GLEE CLUB!) so I'm finally getting my musical theatre fix again. It's so much fun!

4. Probably my biggest pet peeve is people who make noises when they eat. Bad table manners in general piss me off too, but listening to people chewing loudly is just horrendous. I don't understand why anyone would do it. JUST CLOSE YOUR MOUTH!!!!! I can't even verbalize how much I hate it. I just... can't...

5. I'm definitely more of a cat person than a dog person. I like dogs, but they're too boisterous. Cats are lazy, like me. When I eventually get my own place, I'd like to get two kittens.

6. I've actually had this blog since 2006; it used to be called "Alice Bands, Mary Janes and the bits in between" (because I really liked Alice bands and Mary Janes) but I thought that was a bit of a mouthful, so I changed it. I very, very rarely posted, I mean, I must have done about four posts in two years. I actually deleted the oldest posts recently because they were so rubbish and made me cringe! It's only over the past two years that I've really gotten into blogging frequently and interacting in the 'blogging community'.

7. I have always been a bit of a TV addict. Once I start watching a TV series, that's generally it - I'm hooked. Even if the show starts going downhill, or gets really confusing, I have to know what happens at the end! I'm one of the few people I know who actually watched every season of Lost and my main reasoning was that I'd already committed so much time to it, I just couldn't give up halfway through - I HAD to know the answers! I love all the American stuff like Glee (obviously), Desperate Housewives, Gossip Girl etc, but I'm also a sucker for quirky UK shows like Misfits and Being Human (news series of Skins on Thursday, anyone?). I also have a bit of a guilty Hollyoaks habit...

Well, there you go, seven things about me (and it took a lot longer than you'd think)

Now it says in the rules that I have to give the award to seven more bloggers, but I can't remember who has and hasn't already received it (I've seen it on quite a few blogs over the past few months) so I'm just going to be naughty and tag EVERYONE! If you read this and you haven't been tagged before now, then congratulations, you just got tagged! Yaaaay! Blog joy and love and happiness!

Gowning around

Friday, 21 January 2011

Now, as we've already established, many times on this blog, I'm a sucker for a pretty dress. My inner princess is literally screaming to get out, swathe herself in layers of tulle and silk and dance about singing "someday my prince will come". Sadly, when you live in merry old Liverpool, there's not a lot of opportunity for that kind of madness (at least not that I know of...). So I tend to spend my days, living vicariously through the people who do get to dress up all fancy-like on multiple occasions; celebrities. Which is why, when awards season comes around, I start getting a bit bloody excited. Couture gowns, sparkly, sparkly diamonds and plenty of preening and posing? This is my heaven.

You may remember that last year, I did a post about my favourite picks from the Oscars and, where I could, I tracked down the original catwalk versions of the dresses that the various stars wore. Well, I've decided to do this again, because I think it's really interesting to see how things are styled differently, and also, it makes me feel like a special fashion detective, trawling through images of dresses on style.com until I find the correct one. I wish I was a real detective...

First up we've got the Queen B herself, Leighton Meester in a Burberry Prorsum dress from the 2011 pre-Fall collection. It took me a while to work out whether this was the same one as the dress on the right, but it definitely is, they've just pushed the sleeves up and teamed it with a thick black belt. I prefer the way Leighton's wearing it though; the long sleeves and high neckline make her look positively demure, while the sheer fabric and thigh-high split keep it youthful and the right side of sexy. Very pretty.

Lea Michele has fast become one of my favourites on the red carpet, but I'm assuming she's got a seriously good styling team behind her as she ALWAYS looks perfect. Seriously, go to her IMDb page and look at the photos of her from different red carpet events, the girl has never once hit a bum note. (pun intended!) This pink Oscar de la Renta gown from the Spring 2011 show is super girly and by teaming it with gently tousled curls and soft, feminine makeup Lea is definitely channelling her inner princess. It may not be the 'edgiest' gown on the red carpet, but she looks beautiful and, honestly, what girl WOULDN'T want to dress like this for a day?

Lea's co-star, Dianna Agron, is another lady who always gets it right on the red carpet. This Grecian-style J Mendel dress from the 2011 pre-Fall collection is a subtle but glamourous choice, and I love how she's glammed it all up with a vintage-inspired hairdo and lots of diamonds. Is it just me, or is the model in the second photo actually quite terrifying? Smile!

Pink and champagne seemed to be the hottest colours on the night; aside from those I've already mentioned, we also saw Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Clare Danes and a whole load more sporting pale, feminine shades. The stupidly beautiful Mila Kunis, however, went for a vivid jewel green Vera Wang gown. I searched for a while to find the original version and I'm guessing that it's this one from the Fall 2011 Bridal collection; the bodice and shoulder detaling are the same, but it's been made in a different fabric, so the draping is a lot looser. I don't really know how it works when a celeb wears a "custom" gown; did Vera just offer to make it? Or did Mila give her a call and go "hi Vera, listen, this dress, I mean, it's great and everything, but I was thinking, could you do one in green? Yeah, thanks!" Either way, the green is a perfect choice against Mila's skin and dark hair and provided some much needed relief from the sea of pink/champagne. (oooh! A sea of pink champagne! Yum!)

Looking a lot less frilly and flouncy but still bloody gorgeous, was Easy A star Emma Stone in a very simple peach Calvin Klein dress. This is another dress that I simply could not find in the Calvin Klein archives, so I'm guessing it's also custom or a secret dress that nobody knows about. Emma's become famous for being this cool, indie chick, so I think it's quite fitting that she wore something a lot more modern and edgy. It's ultimately a very long t-shirt, but I think it works! Though I do prefer her as a redhead.

I know we shouldn't poke fun at other people's fashion choices, but I feel that I had to show this because it serves as further evidence that Heidi Klum is completely and utterly mental. Heidi, listen up, ok? Last year, we thought "oh Heidi, so what if she's dressed as a mermaid? It's ok, she's still beautiful. Maybe she's gone for a whole underwater motif, because her husband's name is Seal." But now, Heidi, we're all really starting to worry. You can't just drape yourself in some old curtains, tie a sash around your waist and call it a dress. That's not how it works, not at the Globes. And asking your kids to do your makeup was silly, wasn't it? You know better than this, Heidi. YOU'RE better than this. There, I've said what I needed to say, now let's move on...

There's only one way to end a post like this and that's with a photo of a man in a suit. I was torn between who to pick but ultimately settled on Joseph Gordon Levitt because he's adorable. I don't care what designer he's wearing, you don't care what designer he's wearing, let's all just have a good, long stare...

Who do you think was the best dressed? Even better, who do you think was the worst dressed??? Is anyone else REALLY excited for the Oscars now?!

Red carpet images from IMDb, catwalk images from Style.com, Vera Wang image from the official Vera Wang Facebook page.

Je voudrais s'il vous plaît - New Look

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I have decided that I don't do enough 'wish list' posts and this must change, so from now on, I'm introducing a new feature; "Je voudrais s'il vous plaît", which is French for "I would like please" (doesn't really make sense, but neither do I). Each post will focus on a different store, thus keeping us all up to date with what's currently in stock in various places and also meaning that I won't be spending HOURS clicking from online shop to online shop, trying to compile wish lists and simultaneously weeping with sheer materialism and greed for all the beautiferous items. I have no idea how frequent these posts will be; in a perfect world, I'd say weekly, but I don't want to make promises I can't keep, so I'm not going to specify any kind of time frame at the moment. (but in my head, where the secrets and plans are kept, I'm aiming for fortnightly... we shall see...)

I've been majorly unimpressed with New Look recently; it used to be one of my favourite shops, but seemed to go really downhill over the last few months, so I stopped bothering with it. That is, until last week, when I had some time to kill in town, and having exhausted all my other favourite haunts, I went to New Look for a nose (not an actual nose - you can't buy noses there. With all the advancements in cosmetics and stuff, it's probably only a matter of time before you can, but at the moment you definitely can't.) What a sight I was greeted with! So many beauties! I rushed about like a child with a severe sugar dependancy in a sweet shop, slightly overwhelmed but very excited! Sadly, as I'm currently on another "no more buying things until payday" stint, I didn't actually get anything. But that's not the point, this visit served a far more important purpose - it's rekindled my love of New Look. Hello, old friend, how I've missed thee...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Now I know there's some stuff going on here that we've all been seeing A LOT recently; leopard print, crop tops, Peter Pan collars (why are they called Peter Pan collars? Did he even have a collar? This is the boy who tried to stick his shadow back on with soap - I think it's safe to say that he'd have no idea how to fashion himself a collar...) but I think, if you're onto a good thing, why change it? I think my favourite item is the pink top (which is mad, because I don't even really wear pink), but I also love the slouchy black jumper and the leopard print satchel. So much good stuff!

One thing I have noticed is that the prices are a lot higher than I'm used to. Is it just me or does £21.99 seem a lot for a top from New Look? Normally I'd expect to pay about £15 maximum. Is this to do with the VAT increase? Or have New Look just upped their prices massively? What's happening here?!

Which items do you like? Do you think the prices have gone up or is it just me being stingy again? And what store shall I feature for my next "Je voudrais s'il vous plaît"? Tell me, s'il vous plaît.

Product review - Nail Rock nail wraps

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

It is safe to say that nails are the new black. (ok, it may not make complete sense, but it's still safe to say it)

With Chanel now in the habit of bringing out a couple of 'must-have' nail colours every season (hello Black Pearl), and brands such as Konad, Models Own and Barry M launching products to help you create quirky nail designs, it is now easier than ever to have on-trend, fabulous nails.

While there are plenty of nail salons out there, for me and many other folks, it's all about the DIY. When Gem posted her leopard print liquid eyeliner tutorial back in April, I think a lot of us suddenly realised that actually, while it might look complicated, nail art doesn't have to be that difficult to achieve. Fast forward a few months and every blogger under the sun has posted their own versions of leopard print nails, not to mention countless other amazing designs. DIY is definitely where it's at!

Enter Nail Rock wraps:

fashion and beauty at the little curly girl
It was only a matter of time before someone came up with a way for people to Minx their nails DIY-style, and these are the first ones I've seen that do just that. They're £6.50 and were available from Topshop but I think they're sold out at the moment, however, you can also get them from ASOS. I actually posted about them in October and I've had a pack sitting in my cupboard for ages, but I kept telling myself that I had to wait until my nails grew to a reasonable length before I could actually use them. Sadly, being an ex-biter, my nails are fairly weak and tend to grow to a certain length before they just give up or snap or I accidentally bite them. Anyway, this weekend I decided that most of my nails were long to enough to justify me trying them, so I armed myself with a hairdryer, a cuticle stick and a whole bunch of patience and got to it.

This the 'studs' design. I really wanted the snakeskin ones, but they were sold out.

They come with fairly detailed instructions on the pack, but I thought I'd give do a kind of step by step tutorial, adding my two cents along the way.

1. Start by ensuring that there's no shine on the surface of your nail by using the 'smoothing' side of a nail buffer. (You can get a really good multi-sided nail buffer from Primark for about a £1). Easy.

2. Select a wrap from the sheet which most closely matches the size of your nail. There's a variety of different sizes and you can trim them if there isn't one suitable.

3. Place the wrap at one side of your nail, so that the edge lines up with the cuticle. It's much easier to start from one side of the nail and work across, rather than starting at the bottom of the nail and working up.

4. Apply heat to the wrap from your hairdryer (on a low setting). On the instructions it says for a few seconds, but I'd say do it for as long as you can bear. The wrap softens with the heat, and the softer it is, the easier it is to manipulate, so the more heat your apply the better. However, please don't take this to mean that your should burn yourself. That is not my intention. I don't want any hairdryer related injuries on my conscience. I just don't need that.

5. After applying heat, take the flat end of a wooden cuticle stick, and smooth the wrap onto the nail, going from one side to the other, ensuring there are no bumps and creases on the surface of the wrap. (if you do get a crease, apply more heat, lift the wrap off your nail and start over).

6. Rub the cuticle stick over the entire surface of the wrap, to ensure it is fully adhered to your nail. (you can apply more heat here if you want)

7. Trim most of excess wrap with nail scissors, leaving a couple of milimeters above your actual nail. File the remaining bit away, by filing your nails gently, in a downwards motion. This for me was the trickiest bit as you want to get the end of the wrap to line up smoothly with your actual nail. Just take your time with it and don't be too rough. I used a nail file from Boots that had different sizes of grit on it; use a really rough grit to remove most of the wrap, then a finer grit to neaten it all up at the end.

Voila, you're done! I just read back through those steps and realised it might be better to do a video tutorial to show exactly how to apply them. There could already be tutorials online, I've not looked, but if anyone would like to see one, let me know and I might just do it!

It may look like a lot of steps, but it's really not too difficult. You do need to be patient; it took me a least an hour, though I did take a break after doing the first hand as I was getting bored. As with anything like this, it would be easier if you had someone helping you, but it's certainly not impossible to do it on your own. The bits you've got to really be careful with are making sure there's no creases in the wrap as you smooth it onto your nail, and filing it all away neatly at the end. As you can see from the photo below, creases do happen, however this was my first try and after doing that one I got much better!

I've had the wraps on for a couple of days now and they've stayed on quite well; the corners are starting to lift on a few nails, but I'd be lying if I said I haven't picked at them a bit... I think I'm going to just wait and see how long I can leave them for before they start looking crap. I hope they last until the end of the week because I'm going out on Friday night, but we shall see...

IMO they're really cool and it's nice to have an intricate pattern on my nails for once, rather than my standard leopard print or stripes. I'd definitely be up for using them again and, having looked on ASOS I've noticed there's some other exciting new patterns available now which I'd love to try. For the price, they're definitely worth it, as you potentially get two applications out of a pack (there's 24 stickers of varying sizes).

Have you tried the Nail Rock wraps? What did you think? Are you into DIY nails or do you think nothing beats a professional manicure?

Weird and wonderful

Sunday, 9 January 2011

I'm loving these images of Helena Bonham Carter from last week's issue of The Times Magazine, I think she's absolutely beautiful. I know HBC is one of those people who always appears on 'worst dressed' lists, but I get the impression that she really doesn't give a monkey's (hahaha 'monkeys' - coz she was in Planet of the Apes!. Get it? Hahahaha!) about that sort of thing; she marches to the beat of her own drum and that makes her very cool in my book.

What a fittie

Speaking of Helena, I finally went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last weekend. I can't believe it's taken me so long to go, as I'm a MA-HOO-SIVE HP geek fan, but it was just one of those things I didn't get around to doing. I really enjoyed it; out of all the films I'd say it's probably the one that stays most faithful to the book, although, that's to be expected really as they've done it in two parts which means they couldn't really get away with missing stuff out. Obviously there's a few bits that are changed (I HATE how Bill Weasley isn't introduced until the seventh film. Ridiculous), but they do manage to keep in most of the really important stuff.
HBC is back to her usual psychotic self as Bellatrix LeStrange. She really was just the perfect choice to play that character; she's exactly how I'd imagine her to look, plus she's got the whole evil and unhinged thing down to a T.

Yes, ok, she's a psycho. But look at her hair! She's a curly girl after my own heart!

I decided to re-read the final two books before I saw the film and they've completely re-awakened my love for the whole series. They're just so brilliant. Anyone who's only seen the films but not read the books, please, I urge you, just bloody well sit down and read them. The films are good, but they miss out so much vital information (and also add some really random stuff). The books are amazing and JK Rowling's brain is just magical. Seriously, just read them. Please? PLEASE! Once you've read them, you will thank me, I promise ;)

Another Helena film that's out at the moment is The King's Speech, which also stars Colin Firth. If you've not heard about it, it's about George VI, who suddenly became King after his brother abdicated the throne. He had serious difficulties with public speaking as he suffered from a stammer - kind of problematic when you're the King and are expected to be all speechy - so he hired a speech therapist to help him out. Had I not known anything about this film and just read the description, I probably wouldn't be that fussed about seeing it, however, I've already seen so many good reviews of it and there's been so much hype about Oscar nominations etc that I'm dying to see it.

What do you reckon? Does it sound like your cup of tea? And what do you think of Helena? And Harry Potter? Tell me things! Go!

[first three images scanned from The Times Magazine, Harry Potter image from IMDb]

Next year, baby

Friday, 7 January 2011

Yesterday was January 6th, (the traditional day for people to take their Christmas decorations down) and our house is now looking distinctly less festive. This saddens me, because even when Christmas day itself has been and gone, you've still got a couple of weeks when you can keep up the Christmas cheer by eating leftover turkey and mince pies and gazing happily at the twinkly, sparkly Christmas tree. However, January is well and truly here now, bringing with it nothing but empty pockets and a nagging feeling that, should I decide to step onto a set of scales, I will be thrown into a pit of despair and snakes horror. Yes, that's right children, Christmas is officially over.
While I appreciate that the new year is supposed to be a time of looking forward, making plans and generally being all good and action-y, I feel like I haven't quite wrung every single last drop of joy out of the proverbial Christmas dishcloth, so I thought I'd share a few snaps from the past couple of weeks before I finally put Christmas to bed.

Mmmm scenty

I managed to catch the end of Mary Poppins on TV one night. Dick Van Dyke's "cockney" accent is just so terrible that it's actually brilliant. "Elloaw Mayree Bohbbins!"

Lindt Father Christmas. He's gone to a better place now.

My new polka dot piggy bank! I've decided to name her Penelope. I've wanted a piggy bank for ages, firstly because I need somewhere to put the stupid amount of change I seem to accumulate and secondly because they're so kitsch and cute! This was a Christmas present from my mum, (from Next) and then weirdly, my auntie also bought me a mini one (also from Next) so now I've got the beginnings of a little piggy family. Hurray!

So that's it, Christmas is definitely over (I know, I know, it's been over for two weeks, stop living in the past, Franki!) and it's time to look forward. I've got lots of plans and ideas about how to make 2011 my best year yet, I just need to start putting them into action. (eeek!) The very lovely Gem, of From Gem With Love, has added a list of "Goals for 2011" to the sidebar of her blog and I'm tempted to do the same thing, as I'm thinking that, if they're written down in a place where other people can see them, it might just encourage me to get my arse in gear and actually make things happen. Why not eh?

What are your resolutions and goals for 2011? Have you got any clever plans for helping you actually stick to them? Care to share them with me???


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

I know this is all a bit redundant now because the snow is well and truly melted, but I think we've all come to realise by now that basically, how this blog works is that something happens and then about six years later I do a post about it. It's just how I roll.
I'm not sure what happened in the rest of the country, but in Liverpool, it snowed a bit and things were slightly difficult for a while, but then the snow melted and we all breathed a collective sigh of snowless relief and got on with our lives, and then suddenly, out of nowhere (well, not nowhere, it came from the sky. But what is the sky, really though?) the snow came back, bigger, angrier and even, somehow, whiter than before and ballsed everything right up.

This was when the snow got scary. Look at our car! It's literally drowning in snow... can you drown in snow?

This is Norma. (Look at her face! I did that) She was built by my Mum, Dad and me at about half ten at night because we're weird and were probably possibly drunk. Have you ever built a snowman? It's really difficult! The snow wouldn't clump together properly and it was really tiring. At one point I put too much pressure on her head, and part of it exploded. Snowwoman massacre. She was ok eventually. Bit skinny though.

The weird thing about Norma was that, once she was built, she spent the following days getting more and more horizontal. She was like a snowier, more terrifying version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Every day I'd get up and look out of the kitchen window and go "bloody hell, look at Norma now! She's practically doing a sideways limbo!" It was amazing though, because, no matter how horizontal she got, she managed to keep her head attached. It got to a point where she was less snowwoman, more snowbridge, but by God that head stayed on. I think that's probably all down to my excellent snowwoman building skills. It's all about the internal structure.

One night, about two weeks after her birth, it rained. When we came down the next morning, this was all that was left of Norma. I felt exactly like that little boy in The Snowman. Except I didn't get to fly anywhere. And, you know, I'm not a cartoon boy.

RIP Norma. I will always love you.

POTM - December

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year! This video was supposed to go up on the 1st but for some reason my videos take five or six hours to upload to Youtube and this one kept failing halfway through (grrr!) Finally, after muchos messing about, I've managed to get it up here. Technology, you will not beat me! (see after the video for a full list of products with links to where you can buy them)

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