Friday, 14 November 2014

Maybe It's Mabel

hello chums, i'm away at the moment in Coventry visiting my family but i've been working on a new illustration in my hotel room in the evenings (before I lose myself to the stack of books I brought with me!).

now I should explain beforehand, this is another fanart piece, so most of you probably won't have a clue what it means or who it's supposed to be!

I'll do my best to help you out in that department but in the meantime, I present to you... Mabel Pines

Mabel is a character from the cartoon show Gravity Falls

now for those of you that don't spend inordinate amounts of time watching cartoons and animations, Gravity Falls is a very brilliant show created by Alex Hirsch full of all sort of mysterious yet hilarious goings on. It's sort of like a cross between Twin Peaks and Adventure Time with lots of other good stuff thrown in...

Mabel is one of the main characters in the show along with her twin brother Dipper Pines + various other brilliant characters. The show mainly focuses on the adventures (or misadventures) of Mabel and Dipper as they explore their home in the town of Gravity Falls, where they've been sent for the Summer to stay with their Great Uncle Stan.

I absolutely LOVE this show! I've mentioned my eternal love of other amazing animated shows before (like Adventure Time, American Dad, Bob's Burgers, Family Guy, Archer, Monkey Dust, Rick and Morty, Bravest Warriors and Bee and Puppycat to name but a few!) and Gravity Falls is another one that is definitely on the list.BECAUSE IT'S SO VERY BRILLIANT!

Mainly because it's impossible not to like Mabel, she's utterly brilliant in every way and she might just be one of my absolute all time favourite animated characters... ever! Her total enthusiasm for life is unwavering and she looks upon everything as an adventure

in the show Mabel is a precocious and super creative twelve-year-old with braces + colourfully outrageous taste in jumpers/sweaters. She never lets anything faze her and she's always proud to be herself no matter what. She's a bit of a fangirl herself and she loves to sing and draw and paint and make things, actually we have a bit in common... that's probably why I like her so much!

as you know i'm a MASSIVE FANGIRL (it's true) and from time to time I like to have a go at drawing existing characters I like in my own style. So naturally my Mabel is a bit older than twelve, she hasn't managed to put candy colours in her hair yet (I know... I did an illustration WITHOUT rainbow hair?!) but she still loves wacky jumpers, and it's nearly time for those braces to come off!

in case you're wondering what she's holding, that is a lolly stick covered in 'Smile Dip'

in one very memorable episode Mabel comes across a stack of old unsold 'Smile Dip' candy which she immediately devours... unfortunately the out-of-date sweets set off a strange candy induced reaction causing her to hallucinate bizarre (yet highly amusing) sugar fueled visions (it sounds bad but I promise it's all for fun, it's a kids show after all!)

although Mabel swears off 'Smile Dip' at the end of the episode I couldn't resist giving her a packet, you might also notice her funky bead bracelets (handmade) and cryptic tattoos...

 the bracelets feature names of some of the other characters, Mabel's closest friends in the show. There's the infamous Smile Dip + a little tattoo of Bill Cipher (you'll have to watch the show to find out who he is)

Mabel's other little tattoo pays homage to her beloved pet pig Waddles

Waddles, a pig Mabel wins at the local Mystery Fair, is her near constant companion and sidekick

Initially I attempted a version of her with some hot pink in her hair (in fact I accidentally gave her my own hair!!!) but I wasn't sure if I liked it with the pink, so she stayed a Brunette for this one which was strange, I'm so used to giving my drawings pastel hair, it felt weird leaving it all a normal hair colour!

anyway it was HEAPS of fun to draw another existing character and I can't think of one more deserving to be drawn than Mabel Pines!

in case you want to know more about the eternally wonderful Mabel, click below to watch the first episode of Season 1 of Gravity Falls

Thank you Mabel, you are my spirit animal

Sunday, 9 November 2014

deck the halls?!

Hello chums, thanks for stopping by, don't be put off by the title of today's post but I have to warn you, if you're a bit of a Grinch or total Ebenezer Scrooge then you're probably not going to enjoy the rest of the blog...

Unless you've been living under a rock (or staunchly ignoring any and all traces of the festive cheer quietly brewing in virtually every shop) then you might have noticed that Christmas is on the way again at last! Now it's no secret on this blog that I am a HUGE fan of all things festive and Christmassy, I've blogged about my love of Xmas in the past many times (see here if you're interested).

Love it or loathe it, I don't think you can really ignore it! It might still be a bit early for me to get away with putting up my Christmas tree or breaking out the light up earrings but I figured it was as good a time as any for a festive themed blog post!

Now I know most people don't like seeing Christmas stuff this time of year (only 45 days to go...) but I get so excited when places start filling up with festive goods and playing Christmas songs! And well... I DON'T THINK IT'S TOO EARLY!!! Why?! because I LOVE Christmas of course!

Do you know who else loves Christmas? Well i'll give you a clue, their names begin with 'A' and 'I' and they love to dress up!

That's right, little Aalish and Illiam also can't wait for Christmas!

 So today they tried on all of their new festive costumes while I warbled along to Santa Baby and cleared away all the scraps of card from the Christmas clothes sheet.

Although technically it's actually a Nollick Ghennal sheet! In case you couldn't guess, 'Nollick Ghennal' means Merry Christmas in Manx Gaelic, so once again this sheet will be sold exclusively in Sweet Ginger Emporium in Ramsey here on the Isle of Man. 

the A3 sheet has a set of nice Christmas outfits for both Aalish and Illiam to try on, including a jolly snowman + a festively decorated tree

there's even a Rudolph the Reindeer mask to go with any of the costumes

 + the sheet also has a bunch of fun accessories to go with the outfits

and just like the Hop-Tu-Naa/Halloween sheet all of the clothes are interchangeable to fit both paper dolls meaning each of them can have a go at being Santa or one of his Elf helpers

are you feeling Christmassy yet? If you are then that's BRILLIANT! There's no shame in getting into the spirit of things because Christmas is such a fun time of year isn't it!

It is without a doubt my favourite time of the year, and not for the reason you might be thinking (namely PRESENTS!) but because I just LOVE all of the cheer everywhere, the decorations, the lights, all the glitter, the music, the carols, beautifully wrapped gifts, advent calendars and all of that special Christmas magic and joy that fills the air.

that's my mum Joy holding a lovely festive pillow with her name on it! You see I'm not from a very religious family so for me Christmas is more a time that heralds the arrival of my favourite season and an opportunity to buy or make lovely things to give to my friends and family. I just adore giving presents!
Although this year will probably be my most frugal Christmas since reaching adulthood (arguable really considering what a big kid I am!) but what with my no longer having a job + being unable to work at the moment this lack of income means I won't be able to spoil my loved ones quite as much this year.

Despite this, I've still been excitedly gathering gifts for them all (albeit on a much tighter budget than previous years). For a while I worried that this might put a damper on things for me this year, there have been times in the past when i've been in such a low mood come December that I haven't even bothered to put up any decorations (meaning my parents never bothered decorating the house either) but this year i'm determined to make the most of the situation and conjure up as much festive cheer as I can. If that means oodles of lopsided homemade gifts then so be it!

I visited the Christmas Shop at Tynwald earlier this week with my mum and my nephew Josh (over for a few days visiting from Coventry) and I think seeing all of the decorations and gifts and lovely tress really started to get me into the spirit of things! 

 don't worry, I'm not about to tinsel bomb the house or pull on my Christmas jumper (not just yet anyway) but i'm beginning to feel the warm fuzzy glow of the approaching holidays, hence why I wanted to share Aalish and Illiam's new clothes with you all today. 

So I'm going to make Christmas 2014 a fun one, even if I don't have the funds for all the fabulous frivolities I usually get at this time of year. Homemade cupcakes and gingerbread for EVERYONE!

and on that note, i'll sign off for this evening. I'm popping out the Cinema to see 'Interstellar' because i'm a big sci-fi geek and I love movies!

so until next time, a very merry toodle-ooh to you and you and you...