Spooky Sewing

Having a couple of hours spare before Little L was due home from school today I wanted to try and fit in a quick project. With Halloween almost here I decided on making the character Oogie Boogie from one of my favourite films, The Nightmare Before Christmas. I settled on this character because he isn't very detailed and I knew that I already had suitable materials.

The fabric I used for the body is from some old curtains that belonged to my Mum. The eyes, mouth and slit in the tummy were cut from black felt and sewn on by sewing machine. I then used embroidery thread to make stitches around his mouth and tummy slit. A line of straight stitch was sewn all the way around followed by a row of zig zag stitch. I did this because the fabric is a quite loose weave and frays a lot. I chose to sew the body parts together this way because I wanted him to have a bit of a tatty look to him. The little plastic spiders were attached using a hot glue gun.

Horror Film Festival

The day I'd been waiting weeks for was finally here. Sunday morning I was up and about, slapping on my make up at 7:30 getting ready to go to our first horror film festival, Grimmfest. The event was held at The Printworks in Manchester which took us about an hour to drive to. The parking cost £5.50 for 24hrs and was only about a 5 minute walk away from the cinema. Stalls were set up selling t-shirts, dvds, posters, etc. 

The nice people from SHUDDER (which is a new horror streaming service) were giving away t shirts for signing up. Anders did and when they asked if I wanted to as well I explained that I'd already done it online so they gave me one as well.
The first film was being shown at 10:20 and to be honest I wasn't particularly fussed if we got there on time or not because it didn't look like my kind of thing. 

The film was called Darling and I'm so glad we did get there early enough to view it because it turned out to be both mine and Anders' favourite film of the day. 
 Beyond The Gates was the next to be shown but this one we missed because we nipped out to get some food.
Tonight She Comes was the next that we saw and then we stuck around for the Q & A after the film with the director, Matt Stuertz. Anders really liked the music score for this as it reminded him of 1980's horror films.
This was followed by The Rezort, a British zombie film. The director, Steve Barker and writer, Paul Gerstenberger were present after for a Q & A session. (We didn't stay for this, not because we didn't want to hear what they had to say but after staying for one Q & A session found that we then only had about 15 minutes at the most for drinks, toilet breaks, etc before back in the cinema to find seats again. The organiser did say that it was a jam packed day to get everything in)
Villmark Asylum, a Norwegian film was the next to be shown. I love foreign horror films so I was looking forward to this one.
The Rift was the last film of the day (I had sore eyes and a bit of bum ache at this point) followed by a live Skype Q & A with Ken Foree.
We were also treated to an unofficial trailer for Habit, a British horror set in Manchester. From what I saw I can't wait to watch this one after it's release.
The organisers were having a bit of an after party and said everyone was quite welcome to join them which I thought was very good of them(out of the question for us though due to travelling home)
We arrived home around 11:30 and ordered a pizza before everywhere began to close for the night. I think that  Anders surprised himself by managing to sit through so many films as he can be quite fidgety but we've both said how we definitely want to go to next year's Grimmfest, maybe bringing our eldest boy along too.

Korean Beauty Products

My love of Korean beauty products began with one hand cream because I was drawn to the cute packaging and now it looks like a teenage girl has begun to take over my dressing table. Cuteness aside I really like most of the products that I've tried.

I usually buy my products via Ebay but I've recently discovered the Kawaii Panda beauty box which sends only Korean beauty products. As far as I'm aware this is the only box of this kind available in the UK. The box includes five full size items and is priced at £18 plus £3.20 p+p. 

I thought I'd try it out and my September box arrived today. These are the items for this month.

CELRANICO Green Tea Seed Oil Balancing Essence

Tangle Jelly Mask

A'PIEU Sweet Tea Lip Balm


Fresh Cup Strawberry Smoothie Modeling Mask

SKINFOOD My Short Cake Setting Mascara

I'm pleased with the items that I received especially the smoothie modeling mask as I've been wanting to try this. I looked up the prices on Ebay for these items and while there is not a massive saving on the products like you can get with some beauty boxes I don't see that as a negative because it's something not readily available in UK high street shops, it is conveniently delivered to your door plus the import tax has already been paid.
As well as the beauty box, Kawaii Panda have recently began to sell individual items via their website.

So Excited

I can't contain my excitement this week as we have purchased some tickets to Grimmfest, a horror film festival. I know horror isn't everyone's cup of tea but it is our favourite film genre. Neither of us have been before because it was hard for us to find a sitter for Little L but that's all sorted for this year.

This year Grimmfest is taking place October 6th-9th at the ODEON Printworks in Manchester (that's not too far for us to travel). The festival has all categories of horror films covered ... the full line up can be found here. Ken Foree is one of the special guests with others being announced closer to the festival time. Tickets can be purchased for the full event, day passes and individual films.
I can't wait .. I don't even think I get this excited on the run up to Christmas.

A Day In Llandudno

To take advantage of the good weather we've been having so late in to Summer we spent this Sunday in Llandudno. It seemed lots of other people had the same idea as it was quite busy.

We headed to the pier first of all then walked up to Happy Valley gardens. On a previous visit we walked past the park but have never wandered in. 

The views of the sea are amazing due to the park being on a slope.
Dotted about the town are wooden carvings of Alice In Wonderland characters. This is because Llandudno has links to a girl named Alice who is thought to be the inspiration for the character. The carvings are numbered and you can follow a trail to find them all. We didn't do this but found some in the park.

The caterpillar,

white rabbit

and a table ready for the mad hatters tea party.

A brass band began to play and we noticed even the band stand was decorated with characters.
Little L was a bit disappointed that we didn't manage a paddle in the sea because we headed for home earlier than we normally would due to school the next day. 

As we were leaving Llandudno we spotted this old building and stopped to take some photos.

 At first we did think that it was derelict but after looking more closely noticed that the doors weren't too shabby and bins around the back looked pretty new. A man appeared and began tidying up some litter as I was taking photos so I asked about the building and was told it was still in use for music events three times a week. I'm glad it's still in use and not like so many old buildings that I've seen which have just left to rot away.

Mini Zoo Visit

Yesterday we paid a visit to a mini zoo which is located at Reaseheath college. It was a spur of the moment decision (it was either this or go bra shopping) but the zoo is only about a 30 minute drive away. The college offer animal management courses and due to the zoo being used for teaching purposes it is only open during certain school holidays. 

The weather wasn't great so some of the animals were watching us from undercover.

This meerkat on watch duty was the only one outside with all the others in their house staying warm and dry.

I didn't know what this little deer like creature was until I looked it up when we came home and found out that it is a Patagonian Mara, a large rodent which is closely related to the guinea pig.

The zoo houses over 180 species but Little L's favourite animals were the rabbits. All the rabbits here have been rescued and re homed at the zoo.
The admission price to the zoo is £5 for adults and £4 for children which I think is a great price. I know it is only a small zoo and you couldn't really spend a full day here but it also isn't overcrowded with people and not so large that children may begin to lose interest.

Hartley Homes

On our trip to Wycoller we noticed these house as we passed through Colne and stopped on our way back home to take some photos. I've never seen anything like them before but there maybe similar arrangements to these here and there around Britain.

The first thing we saw was the clock tower and thought we were approaching a church but instead it was this collection of quaint houses. There are 20 houses in all,10 either side of the clock tower.

I think that at one time this stone arch would have been the main entrance to the complex but this was padlocked.

The wooden plaques on the arch give information about the properties.

I found more information about these houses here. After reading more about them I found that one of the renovations was an added bedroom as the interior up until 1960-63 had a bed-sit arrangement. I think they look tiny now so it must have been a bit of a tight squeeze before the extension. 

This aerial view of Hartley Homes taken in 1934. The building next to the houses was a hospital and when we were driving past only managed to catch a quick glimpse of the front but I don't know how much of that building remains or what it is used for as it was mainly hidden by trees.

These homes are for local elderly residents. I thought they may have been when we first came across them but I don't know who these houses were originally intended for. I would love to live here if I lasted to an old age and even told my husband to start saving his pennies (but they are rented properties plus we're not in the area). To live here it must have a wonderful sense of community spirit, lovely waking to see the lawns and plants and feeling of safety living in closed complex.