Sunday, 28 April 2013

Genes in Jeans - My Go at Stand-Up Comedy

Wow, I did something crazy.

I had a go at stand-up comedy. Its something I've always wanted to have a go at, but I think you usually need some sort of credentials to get involved... in particular I think you need to have a track record of being funny. However this was a comedy night with a difference - this was Bright Club.

Now Bright Club has several regular sessions across the country and the basic premise is it's 'where comedy meets brains'. The bill is largely made up of academics, research students, scientists and more and the idea is to talk about something that the audience may never have heard about before and to make it amusing. This makes writing a set a little tricky as you can't really do a lot of observational humour but I am nothing if not a fan of a challenge.

I've never been known for my wit, despite my surname, so I spent the whole time writing my set terrified that it wouldn't be funny. I spoke a little about becoming a geneticist, a little about working on yeast and a little on my favourite topic of all, superheroes.

I debated the outfit for a long time, but I decided on my final joke and had to really build the outfit around that. In the end I figured I'd wear jeans, and it took my friend Fiona to point out that there was some humour in wearing jeans and talking about genes... oops.

Anywho, the genes were from Vivien of Holloway and are the 50s reproduction jeans (they are wonderful) and my blouse is from Dorothy Perkins via a charity shop.

The night itself was terrifying, I was performing last so there was a lot of pressure to get laughs. Thank goodness the audience were very happy and supportive. They even laughed at me!! YES! I was surprised how much I enjoyed the experience, unfortunately my set was meant to be 8 minutes, but I managed to over run quite a bit... oh dear.

Anywho, here is my set if you'd like to see:

I'd highly recommend giving stand-up a go to anyone and it really is a lot of fun trying to see the funny side in your area of expertise. I'd love to know what you think - please let me know if I made you laugh.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Trip to Whitby and a Couple of Outfits

Well hello there!

Things have been super busy here so I'm doing a big post with lots of pictures. Not last weekend but the one before I actually had a long weekend off. I wouldn't really mind working weekends but when you live apart from your partner it can make arranging visiting times difficult. As a consequence it means that my husband needs to vist me more often than I get to visit him, so a rare weekend off means I get to have a trip away.

Mr. Fancy lives close to Whitby so during my time a-visitin' we took the time to check out the seaside town and the creepy abbey.

I did get to see cute ponies though.

It was a moody spring day with clouds in the sky but it wasn't too cold so I chose to wear a Pearl Lowe jersey dress, a vintage cardigan and my classic teal mac over the top.

I love Pearl Lowe dresses, but since Peacocks disappeared I'm not really sure if there will be any more, there are still quite a few floating around on eBay but they can go for quite a price, this one cost me around £18 which is probably about average.

The cardigan came from a vintage shop in York. I'm not sure how long it will be around for, but it is a 3 for £5 vintage shop near the Shambles and given that it is so cheap I would certainly recommend it! It doesn't really have anything super classy or anything from before the 1960s but it has a lot of nice woolen skirts, blouses and knitwear so it is excellent for super cheap vintage basics.

This cardigan in particular is from M&S and has grapes as pert of the design. I thought the whole idea of grapes on a cardigan was crazy so I decided that I had to have it and for around £1.65, who can blame me.

On the Sunday we went to a restaurant for a really yummy carvery and I wore an outfit composed of items found solely at the 3 for £5 vintage shop. I can't really date anything accutately, but I think the skirt looks early 1990s and the cardigan is probably from a similar time. The shoes are a pair of brogues from Clarks.

That's it for now. Has anyone else found a vintage shop as bargain-istic as 3 for £5?

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Cosplay: Listen Very Carefully, I Shall Say This Only Once - Michelle Dubois Cosplay

A friend of me was celebrating his last day of work with a house party. Not just any party - a themed party!

The theme was French. To be taken as seriously as we wanted. So naturally, me being me, I needed a costume. I agonised for quite a while trying to decide how to dress, and brifiely toyed with the idea of making a rat costume so that I could be Remy from Ratatouille but that went out of the window once I realised I didn't have a lot of time.

What I did decide was to go with the slightly vintage theme and find a way to utilise my new haircut. I dressed as Michelle Dubois from 'Allo 'Allo!. 'Allo 'Allo! is a terribly awesome TV show from the 1980s about a cafe owner in Nazi occupied France, it's filled with innuendo and I have no idea how it became regular viewing for a 5-year-old on a Saturday evening, but regular viewing it was.

Michelle is famous for her line 'Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once...' and for her classic trench coat and beret.

I curled my hair in rolls the day before the party so that I could brush it out into those classic waves before the party and attempted a sort of classic 1940s make up look. I simply pinned the beret in place, at a jaunty angle as her look requires.

I looked through charity shops to try and find the perfect coat in the end I found a classic 80s trench from a charity shop in town, it was originally from House of Fraser, and cost £6.99.

Of course what Michelle wore under the coat was up for debate.

I didn't go that far but I made a pencil skirt and wore a simple black jumper underneath so I didn't take pictures of that.

At the party I did meet someone dressed as René which was petty cool!!

Anywho that's it for now!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sewing: A Purple Dress Made With Vintage Laura Ashley Fabric and Birthday Spoils

Time to unveil another of my sewing project creations, this time it was a purple dress made from vintage Laura Ashley fabric. I used a Butterick pattern that was fairly simple despite having pockets, binding and a full skirt, I picked the variation with sleeves but I like the style so much I am probably going to make another without sleeves too in a different fabric.

I made this one in an evening and day, which I though was pretty good going! There are a few niggles with my sewing technique but in general I found it much more comfortable than the first one I made so maybe I am getting better! I wore it with a navy cardigan for a trip out although it is still freezing so I needed to wear chunky boots which somehow means that the whole thing looks a little bit 1990s:

I really really like the fit and style of this dress so I will definitely be making it in another fabric. I also think that with the addition of a simple waistband this would make a really ice full skirt - with pockets - I love pockets!

It was also my birthday this week and with my hair growing steadily more and more dishevelled I felt the need to experiment with proper hair styling. So after a little bit of research I decided to use my birthday money to buy a pair of these gorgeous GHDs in a mint green colour from the candy collection...

Of course I decided to experiment. Now I didn't take a before shot (thank goodness) but here is the after styling shot. I went for the sleek on top, curly at the bottom look. What do you think? 

Do you have any top tips for using straighteners?

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Casual Cosplay: Zombies Ate My Neighbours

Hello there! Lets jump right into it. Lysanne, friend of mine works on a retro games podcast called Retrograde where her and her fellow game geeks play through old school games and review them for your aural pleasure.

The latest installment is an early 90s game called Zombies ate my neighbours. I won't really go into the game here, if you want more info on that you can listen to the podcast here, but Lysanne set me a challenge - could I do an outfit inspired by one of the games characters.

Well, to quote Barney Stinson, Challenge Accepted!

There were no real rules, simply that I could choose any character from the game and that I had just under a week to assemble a costume in whatever form.

Zombies ate my neighbours has an awesome retro vibe so typical of that time period when 80s was changing to 90s and big trainers, hair and baseball caps were all in style.

Its tough to find much original art from the game but I did find this 50s horror comic inspired fan art by crowbrandon on deviant art!

The character I decided to have a go at dressing as is Julie, the girl in the shorts and baseball cap, and in hindsight this may have been a silly decision since I didn't have any of the correct clothing and with so little time it was going to be tough - whoops.

I needed to put something together, and managed to get, I think, the right kind of look, if slightly the wrong colours:

I put together a pair of shorts with a white top, a burgundy jumper, socks and trainers, which you you can't really see, but you can see here. The cap was my brothers and came from the olympic village in London, so it wasn't really appropriate, but I tried to solve the colour problem a little but tying a red scarf around the top. It has definitely ended up being more of an inspired by look rather than cosplay, but with such short notice I don't think I did a too bad job.

If you feel like you want to challenge me to a outfit post I'd love to hear from you! I always love a challenge.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Vintage and Sewing: A Tale of Two Skirts (One Home-made, One a Bargain)

Hello folks! I thought today I would share some skirts. The first is a gorgeous full heavy skirt I got from a thrift shop in York. It was little more than a warehouse filled with bags of dusty smelling clothes, some on hangers, some in large bin bags, unsorted and unlabelled. However the sign outside stated 'All vintage 3 for £5' so I really couldn't not have a rake around.

This skirt is one of my 3 for £5 bargains, and it has no labels or sizes but my Mum says it looks familiar to her so based on the fit I would guess very late 80s or early 90s but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. It has a sort of tapestry style pattern in lovely blues and creams and the heavy lined fabric is simply perfect for the winter.

I teamed it with a classic short mac style coat (a hand me down from my Mum) and some little black boots. Unfortunately even though the colour of the mac was perfect to match, it is not very thick so I needed to wear a massive cardigan underneath making the fit a bit less... flattering. 

My walk into town also proved super useful as I recently started reading the A Song of Ice and Fire Books (since I can't wait for the TV show to find out what happens to the characters!) and WHSmith currently have them on offer 3 for £12 so I have been a busy little book worm.

The second skirt I want to mention is the other thing that has been eating up all of my time. SEWING!!!!

I'm addicted.

I have a pencil skirt from Vivien of Holloway but I managed to bust out of the back seam back around christmas time and I havent yet repaired it. Upon inspection I took careful noted of how the pieces fit together and designed my own pattern pieces so that I could make a pencil skirt of my own.

Here is my first attempt. I used some of the leftover dress fabric since it was so cheap, but in the end I don't think I did a bad job - it took me about 4 hours in total which I thought was pretty good going. Maybe I'll be on the Great British Sewing Bee next year (once I develop a lot more skills... are you watching by the way?).

My next sewing task is a similar skirt to this, but in a thicker black fabric as I plan on dressing as Michelle from 'Allo Allo next week. I've not even started yet so I'm pushing it for time... Oh well, I work best under pressure anyway.

Bye for now!

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