Monday, 31 October 2011


So this year for works fancy dress I wanted to try something completely new and test my creative skills!

At the moment, our stores going through a refurbishment. (dust & builders everywhere!)

So I decided that we should go as zombie builders! I looked on google and saw a "zipped face" effect which I thought was pretty gruesome so I decided to give it a go.

I bought spirit gum (special glue) from a fancy dress shop for £2.99 and that was all I needed to buy as I had the face paints at home.

This effect was pretty easy to acheive, all I had to do was glue the zip from some old trousers onto my face, and use foundation to blend it with my skin. I then used red paint and fake blood underneath the zip to create the unzipped face effect.

Add a helmet and a high viz for the builder effect and voila.

Sorry for bad picture, this was taken in the dark at 4.30am this morning lol! Happy Halloween :)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Millie's Monkeys

Woahh I've sort of abandoned this blog.

But I'm back :)

The reason I've not been around is because I've been busy with this....


How amazingly cute are these! So I've set up a page on Facebook and am selling these adorable sock monkeys to people all over :) I make any character people ask for and it helps me escape the mind numbing pain of working in retail!

Take a look, they will make your day :) xxx

Friday, 25 March 2011

Face painting virginity!!

This year it was Halloween on a week day, and as we're now too old to go trick or treatin' (boo), I still thought we should join in the fun and dress up for work. We didn't have much time to prepare for Halloween, partly because we left it so late and partly because of the lack of money.

I decided that we should go as Tesco zombies. That way, we could wear our uniform and just do our faces on the cheap. I've never done face painting before so I had no idea of the skill that was actually involved!

I went and bought a Snazaroo face painting kit for £6 and some 'special fx' moulding wax for £5. (bit pricey but you only use little amounts so it lasts ages!) I started by looking on google at different zombie faces and had a go at using the face paint.

The photograph above is my first try! I was pretty impressed with it but it did take a while to do. The one thing you have to be careful with when using the paints is the water. Use too much of it and the paint doesn't stick to your face, but too little and you just get hard, dry lumps on your skin.

After getting a rough idea of how the face paints worked, I tried experimenting with the moulding wax.


I can't stress enough how annoying this stuff is! When you first get it out of the pot, it is rock hard. The more you touch it, the stickier it becomes, so you have to work with it fast. My advice is to rub your fingers in baby oil before you use it so it doesn't stick, because once it gets too sticky, it's just unworkable.

To get this 'scratch' mark above, I took a piece of wax and began rolling it into a ball. Once it got to a chewing gum like consistency, I rolled it between my palms into a sausage shape and placed it on my face. To make it stick, I used the spatula provided to smear the edges of the wax to my skin. I cut a few lines in the scar, and waited for it to dry. Then, I used a sponge to dab black and red paint roughly over the wax to look like a burn. I used a paint brush to paint the wax in detail, making sure not to press too hard so it stayed intact.

The bullet wound (ish): To get the bullet wound, I followed the same steps as the scar, but instead of rolling it into a sausage shape, I rolled it into a ball. Once it was on my face, I used a pencil to make a small hole in the middle. After I'd painted the wound, I squeezed some fake blood into the hole, which I let drip out down my face. GRIM.

Okay, that was practise over. I was pretty pleased with how it went so thought I'd call it a day. In the morning (4am urghhh!) I got started on the real thing.

As you can see, my face turned out quite different to how it did on the practise run. This was purely because I f**ked up. I had two faces to complete, and only an hour to do it and I found myself stressing out! I was rushing and I couldn't get the wax to stick properly. So I stuck it on the best I could, and just prayed it would last the shift!

The actual face painting went really well. I used a sponge to dab the base white colour on my face, ears and neck and dabbed black paint on top to make it greyer and less fake. I mixed a purple shade for the eyes and smoothed the paint on easily with the brush. As I was doing this, both the bullet and scar were starting to fall off (I hadn't pressed it down hard enough). I didn't have enough time to re-stick them so I decided to pull them off and just paint over them.

As I took them off, some of the wax had dried around it which created a graze like effect. I painted the inside where the wounds had been to give it a layered, realistic effect. I was pleased with the way it looked and thought it looked more realistic than the fake wounds did to begin with.

Everyone loved the effort we made at work and we won best dressed....

We also got a customer complaint from a woman who said we were far too scary for her child...
I was soooo proud!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Little Red Riding Hood fancy dress.

This was probably the simplest costume I made....because I didn't make all of it.
I created this costume for a college project, and as you can see from the photo, I didn't make the dress...

But I did make the cape which was actually really easy.

  • Firstly, I went to tatters and got some red material. It doesn't really matter which type, but this one was cheap and easier to cut. I would suggest not getting a thicker material, as when you cut it, it tends to curl and it can be a right pain! I got two meters (as usual) for about £3 which was pretty good value considering I had loads left over.
  • Next, I wrapped the material around the girl I was making it for and pinned where to cut it. (You should make it quite long to get the full effect). After it was cut and the right size, I set about making the hood.
  • To make the hood, I cut two semi circles out of the leftover material. I sewed them together from one edge to the other (in a C shape) leaving a hole for the face. If you're going to attempt this, make sure you sew it inside out so the stitching doesn't show.
  • Once I had the hood, I turned it inside out and sewed it to the inside of the cape at the top. I stitched some red shoelaces to each side of the top of the cape (where the hood and cape met) and it was done! I'd advise not to use shoelaces as it looked a bit out of place, but that's all I had at the time. All that was left to do was borrow a red dress and shoes from someone and we were done!
Not bad for a quick costume.

Monday, 21 March 2011

I hate Valentines Day!

Okay, it may seem stupid, but I actually hate Valentine's Day. Reading this you're probably thinking "Ah thats obviously because she hasn't got a boyfriend". But I have got a boyfriend, and a lovely one at that.

What I hate about Valentine's day is going into the supermarkets and card shops and seeing the same tacky cards and presents, year after year! The stock normally includes some kind of mass produced teddy bear with some sickly cringeworthy note scrawled across it like "I wuv you" etc and as I see the thoughtless boyfriends queueing up to buy these things I can't help but think, where's the effort in that?

For Valentine's Day this year, I planned the present for my boyfriend months in advance. He'd booked a trip away for us to go to Chester Zoo in Liverpool as it was where we first got together so I decided to adopt him a giraffe from there as they're his favourite!

So you're probably thinking "Where's the effort in that?" Although I knew he'd love it, I bought it online in like five minutes so that makes me no better than the bear buying boyfriends! So I decided to use my thoughtful and creative side on the presentation of the present. This is what I came up with..

As you can see by the photographs, I decided to decorate a box that would contain the adoption pack. I looked EVERYWHERE for a big enough box with a lid. WHSmith didn't have them, stationary shops didnt have them. I was literally pulling my hair out and giving up on the whole idea.

So I was driving around like a nutter, wondering what my plan B would be, when I came up to a big industrial estate. It had one of them big, yellow storage buildings with the slogan "we sell boxes" in big lettering across the front, so I decided to take a look.

Hurrah! Well what do you know, they really do sell boxes haha! They have them stores everywhere, but stupidly enough, I didn't think they would have what I was looking for. How wrong I was! I got the box and lid for £4. Not bad considering I'd probably wasted double that amount in petrol, trying to find the bloody thing.

Once I had my box, I decided to paint it in a giraffe pattern. I went to Hobbycraft to get some paint, but came across some felt that had the giraffe pattern on it, so I decided to get some of that instead! It was around 30p a sheet and I got 6 of them. I also got some cheap poster paint which was only £1.50.

I applied several coats of brown paint to the box (including the bottom) and stuck the felt to the lid using pritt stick. Once it had dried (this did take a while), I thought about the inside of the box.

I bought some tissue paper for 50p and some love heart shaped confetti for the same price and lined the inside of the box with it. (These things were bought in Tesco at the time, but you can get them from Hobbycraft all year round.) All that was left for me to do now was get a balloon on the morning of Valentines Day from the local party shop (£2.99) and put it in the box so that it would pop out when he opened it. I finished it off by raiding my art drawer and finding some ribbon to wrap around the box, ready for him to open.

And...the beauty about this idea is that you can change it in so many ways to fit your budget. You can buy smaller boxes and personalise it with photographs and things like old cinema tickets you've kept from dates you've had. You can fill it with store bought balloons that you can get for 50p a bag, or even shredded bits of newspaper that hide the present. There's so many ways of adapting it to relate to the person you're giving it too, and it makes such a personalised, thoughtful present. If this doesn't say "I wuv you" then I don't know what does!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

My Adventure Book.

As well as making my own costumes, I like to make my own personalised gifts for people, not just because sometimes its cheaper that way, but because I know giving something personal to someone you care about means more than something you've just gone out and bought without putting much thought into.

For my boyfriend's birthday, I knew I wanted to give him something special, but I just didn't know what. That was until I saw the Disney Pixar film UP.

If you haven't seen UP yet, then you are missing out. It's one of those childrens films that reaches out to everyone, regardless of age. In the clever way that Disney films are made, it makes you laugh, cry and feel for the characters portrayed. The film centres around Carl and Ellie, two young children with dreams about going to Paradise Falls. Ellie has a scrapbook called "My Adventure book" and fills it with photographs and cut-outs of her lifes so far. Throughout the film, the book is shown in many scenes, filled with photographs of Carl and Ellie's life together. Above are some print screens I took from the film showing the book and what's inside it.

I wanted my version to be recognisable as the adventure book from Up but I knew that I didn't want it to be exactly the same. The book that is used in the film is expensive to buy on its own. The cheapest replica I found was £40 sheeeesh! (That's real leather and everything though I suppose.) So I went to Tesco and bought a canvas covered sketchbook for £4.

  • Firstly, I painted the front, back and insides of the book with brown acrylic paint. I tried with poster paint but I found that the canvas absorbed the paint too much and it took too long so I wouldn't advise to use that. The handy thing is that you can get cheap acrylics from pound shops now so they don't always have to be expensive.
  • After I'd painted the covers and waited for it to dry (takes a bit longer than poster paint so be patient!) I then thought about the front cover. The lettering on the original book appeared to be sewn onto it which wouldn't be possible on a canvas cover. I tried drawing the lettering and cutting them out, but they were so thin that when I cut them with the scissors, it would tear them. I went into Tesco and found some letters that were meant for cardmaking. They were RTC and at 50p each, I bought three lots. (They came in A-Z so you need mulitples for the words.)

  • I stuck them on with pritt stick and added a roughly drawn globe with two bits of sellotape to the top and bottom of it, to give it that rough, scrapbook look like the original book.

  • Once the cover was done, I got started on the inside. On the first page I wrote "Stuff I'm going to do" like the original and then sorted out the photo's to add. The rest of the book consisted of different photographs in chronological order from the start of our relationship up until the present. I added little notes, stuff I'd kept like cinema tickets, train tickets etc and little roughly drawn pictures to give it that childlike effect. The important thing is to stick everything in roughly. If it looks too neat, it won't have the scrapbook feel to it, so just chuck it all in and make it as personal as you can.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Clownin' around for Comic Relief.

Red Nose Day, Comic Relief, whatever you want to call it, it's an important day. I always feel so inspired seeing the effort people go to when raising money for charity. It's not often you see genuine acts of kindness, and when I see people, especially young children, raising money for people less fortunate than them, it really makes you feel that there is some good in this world!

Anyway, speech over. Down to the costumes. I work part time at Tesco at the moment, I keep telling myself I hate it and cant wait to leave to go to uni, but on days like today, where we all dress up and raise money for charity, I can't help but enjoy working there.

In the photo at the very top, I'm the third person along. Gary, my boyfriend, is the not so cheerful looking clown on the end. He's also the one in the photo above. We decided that for his costume we would go the whole hog, whereas I would just accessorize my work uniform.

  • The costume didn't cost much to make, and there was no sewing involved. (yay!) We got the shirt from Asda for £4 (most people have a school white shirt in the back of their wardrobe anyway) and bought some braces from Claires accessories for £5 (You could probably find these for much cheaper in charity shops, but Claires was selling them for RND).

  • We found the bow tie in POUNDLAND. My absolute proudest bargain! and we already had the wig and trousers, so all that was left was to add some long socks, homemade pompoms for our shoes and Hey Presto. Clown costume.