Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Jan & Feb Monthly Logs: Better Things, Happy Mail, and Opportunities

If you've been following my posts on my Facebook and Instagram accounts, I recently posted a picture of my area's weather in a more peaceful, picturesque state (and I will post it here too, as it's rather pretty).

Winter in March - Ellie Morris

Imagine my surprise when I opened the curtains to find everywhere covered in frosty white blankets, a fairytale image of bliss that we rarely get in our damp and blustery town by the sea. Snow falling from the sky, it was a happy day for most; my brother experienced a snowball fight and building a snowman for the first time, and I know he wasn't the only one that enjoyed this change in weather.
Now, I never used to be such a Scrooge, as I have fond memories of snowball fights in the fields and my sister's good aim and timing, which ended up with a snowball inside my mouth! But I have to confess that snow, these days, is an anxious nightmare for me. I have issues with my balance and walking, and if I slip on the ice, I could potentially get injured. So I mostly stayed inside, which isn't necessarily depressing... until the boiler broke down within a few hours of The Beast from the East coming to the UK!
I'll tell you, this week has been an absolute challenge! The highlight was definitely having no central heating or warm water for three days (it turned out that the pipes had been frozen solid, so it was an easy fix, thankfully), but some other trials turned this week from bad to worse. Other annoying things included strange dreams and little sleep; a meeting (it wasn't too bad, but I just dislike that sort of thing); baking disasters that ultimately ended up being okay, but was very trying and I had to make three separate attempts; embarrassing myself in public; a blood test that ended up with blood running all down my arm; and finally, to top things off, as soon as I got to the restaurant for my sister's birthday, I realised that I had forgotten something very important... Underwear.
It's been a crazy week, but at least it ended on a funny note! And there were so many good things that happened within the past two months.
So on a more positive note...


Such a wonderful thing happened on the first day of this month! My lovely friend, Vivi, opened her own indie Lolita fashion business!! We'd chatted about such a thing for some time, and she is such a talented, sweet and dedicated soul that I'm so incredibly proud of her; you go, girl! She works in a team of three to produce historically-inspired, lacy, intricate, dreamy designs, along with her sister and mother. Their brand name is Viviana Iris, and I want to buy their entire store and future collections until I can hardly breathe due to my room being filled to the ceiling with ruffles, lace, and silk.
In fact, as soon as I could, I snapped up a pair of bloomers and a bonnet for my dolls, which was a dream come true, and I'm thrilled with the quality and love that goes into the clothing.
Please take a look at their Facebook page and Storenvy, and if you're inclined, follow them on her new Instagram! @vivianairisfashions

Beautiful things from Viviana Iris

Another exciting mail day was when I received my parcel from China, containing my first ever BJD! She is Myou Delia, and I decided to name her Aika, after my main character from my previous two novels, "When the Summer Ends" and "Mansions of Glass". She is a character that I felt incredibly close to throughout the writing, and even today she remains one of my favourites, as we have a lot in common - so a physical representation of my first 'proper' novel character is wonderful to have!
I'd always wanted a BJD, maybe for six years, and I had decided long ago that my first one would be Aika. I wonder if anybody else has a doll or figurine of their characters, as a way of inspiring and rewarding oneself for artwork or writing? Let me know in the comments if you have one, or if you're planning one!
(I don't have a great picture yet, as I'm still styling her and waiting for decent light and her official outfit - but she's too pretty to leave without an image, haha. The bluebell dress she is wearing, I bought from Cath Kidston and altered and customised. Perfect for Spring!)

Aika in her new dress - Ellie Morris

One of the achievements for January was hitting 20,000 words of "Tiger Lily Maxime"! Obviously I was very behind on NaNoWriMo to only reach that goal now, but it's still incredibly pleasing, nevertheless! Some nights I write 4,000+ words in one sitting, and only realise that it is past midnight when I start getting thirsty, and it's that kind of concentration and enthusiasm that really adds a significant amount to my word count. Otherwise, I think about it more than I actually spend time doing it, haha. I'm always getting new ideas and inspiration for this story, and it's been so enjoyable every time I find enough brain cells and hours to write!


Another busy month, also with some exciting opportunities.

I found out early on, that I received an unconditional offer for my Creative Writing course at university! Of course, I already had my qualifications from last year, so I didn't need to wait on exam results to receive my place - but I was still extremely happy to get an offer like that! Nerves almost always accompanies excitement, but I celebrated by travelling down to Liverpool on the train to meet my dad out of work, where we went to a Vietnamese restaurant that I like (I discovered Vietnamese pho in January, and found that I can't get enough of it!), and did some shopping.

Mint Turntable and Morricone - Ellie Morris

It was a really lovely evening, and I bought myself a record player in HMV! I've been interested in record players, as a lot of the music I like is quite old, but I'm so glad that I took the plunge and actually got one. Usually if I want something, I sit around and think about it for a long while, and it's probably a few months before I actually get my paws on whatever it is I'm thinking of getting - but this was a relatively quick decision, and not at all a bad one!

First two Vinyls - Ellie Morris

The first vinyl I bought was a live album of Ennio Morricone in Santa Cecilia. It was really fun to listen to, and sometimes as I drift off to sleep, it feels like I'm in a spaghetti western movie.
The next day, I bought an album by another artist that I admire, Clothilde, a young singer in the late 1960's who was famous for her sweet voice but cynical and strange lyrics. I'm so glad to own this record too, as I listen to her "French Swinging Mademoiselle" album a lot.
Since my dad was very pleased about my record player, he told his cousin, who dropped off two huge boxes of his late mother's records; I found some real treasures in there, including Siouxsie and the Banshee's "Once Upon a Time" album, and a Glen Miller compilation, along with a LOT of Elvis and other rock n' roll artists. This week I'm going through them all, working out what I can sell, and which ones I will keep. There must be over 200, so it's going to take a while!

Aside from that, I also started a small, part-time volunteering job at an animal shelter for small pets! It's early days, as I've only been once so far, but I enjoyed looking after the animals. There are two rabbits, two guinea pigs, a cage of degus, and three African Grey parrots! Holding the parrot for the first time was kind of scary, as they're so big and have massive, sharp beaks, but I'd never done that before, so it was a great experience. Part of the duties include cleaning the hutches, doing small health checks on the animals, sweeping the hay, keeping them clean, and generally making a fuss over them with lots of attention and cuddles! I hope that I can meet some of the dogs soon, also, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Thank you if you've read this far, and please feel free to follow or comment if you'd like! I've been a bit behind on my posts recently, but I'm trying to get back into it.


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