Wednesday, 28 October 2015

✿*゚ Aranya's Arrival ( Lammily Doll) *゚✿

I've finally gotten it together to write up my post on my Lammily girl's arrival which I have to say was really fast, a lot faster than I expected her to be in fact. Normally purchases from America take around a week and a half to two weeks but Aranya arrived in one.

After removing her brown travel packaging, I was greeted by her beautifully illustrated and colourful box which shows her all packed and ready for her journey to my house!

The travel labels on her suitcase show that she has travelled to Australia, Canada, Paris, London (England) and New York, this is also referenced inside her leaflet which is tucked away inside the box, but I'll get to that later.

There is a beautiful illustration on the back of her box which depicts a serene pond and exotic birds, in the centre of the image there is a list of names, a thank you to the people who helped launch the doll during the Kickstarter campaign.

Both sides of the box are also beautifully decorated in the same watercolour style, the left side of the box, at the bottom (photograph above) states the artist who designed the box and I suspect the inner leaflet is Yelena Lamm. 

The right side of the box depicts a woodland clearing with butterflies fluttering up the side and trees in the background, the design is such that it puts me in mind of jungle tropics, but could quite easily be a clearing in any wooded area, not just the tropics, it's kind of confusing but in a good way!

The top of the box doesn't look like much in the photograph above, but the artist in me finds it interesting so I've uploaded it anyway! The image is clouds against the sky, it makes me think of the vastness of this planet we live on and the fact that no matter how far you may travel across the world the same sky is above you at all times...

I don't know about you but I'm always interested in the bottom of boxes, jars, tins, packets, dishes etc, it's where most companies place important and sometimes interesting information and yet at the same time it's the one place they don't really expect anyone to look so more often than not most packaging design doesn't continue underneath the box. 

In this case the dark blue tones from the bottom of the back and sides of the box is repeated below, along with contact and contact information and of course the obligatory warnings you find on any doll box...

You know the usual "Remove this that, something else before giving it to a child" - seriously, is anyone really that stupid that they don't think to do that?

On second thoughts don't answer that, I guess some people probably are! 


The box is an unusual design, the front cover forms a flap which you open and discover more artwork and a little slot in which the informational leaflet is positioned.

Once you remove the leaflet you're confronted with another beautifully designed background, as you can see in the photograph below...

The front of the leaflet says "Hello" in several languages, below this it says "It was the adventure of a lifetime! I'd like to share some moments of my journey with you..."

 I'll get to what's inside it soon, but first, I want to open up this second flap and show you Aranya herself!

                                                                   And here she is!
She is secured to her box in two places - across the ankles and by the hair. As you can see her wrists are articulated as are her ankles, but the rest of her body is pretty basic, except of course for her body size.

The background is removable and comes out really easily without any cutting or tearing required. Once you turn this over you can see how the doll is secured onto it. It's a typical twist tie with plastic strip affair which is pretty common these days.

Once you remove the doll from her bindings, you're left with this beautiful background against which she stood. Looking at the above photograph it may seem a bit weird how low down the holes for the bindings are but this is because unlike other fashion dolls who are normally secured by the neck and ankles amongst other places, Lammily is only secured at the ankles and by the hair, this will make more sense when you look at the next photograph...

There doesn't seem to be any reason to secure the doll's hair with plastic strips and thread apart from the fact that it is this section of the doll's hair which is secured to her packaging. The plastic strips alleviate any damage to her hair which may be caused by the ties, and the thread acts as a binder to hold the plastic strips into place, again cutting down on the possibility of damage to her hair.

This comes off very easily, it is sewn pretty loose so it could easily be removed by a child without the doll loosing any hair.

It's a great idea, I wish more companies would secure their dolls in this way.

The only issue I found with her bindings was that her ankle "skin" is quite soft and wasn't protected by any plastic strips etc and so when I removed the bindings from her ankles, I discovered a dent in one of them from where the tie was secured a little bit too tight, you can just see this in the photograph above and also on the other leg, which is shown in the photograph below.

It's a little annoying, but is easily covered up when she's wearing her leggings, as you shall see in a few pictures time... 

But first I'm going to tell you more about that pamphlet that she came with, as I've already shown you the front cover and told you what's written on it, I see no point in repeating it here, so I'm going to skip right to page two and show you from there on... 

Oh one thing I forgot to mention is that it is in "concertina style" not booklet, so you just keep folding out to reveal her story, then flip it over for the rest, anyway, here goes...

Page two concerns her recent travels in Canada, and as it's easily readable in the above photograph, I'll not repeat it here.

Page 3 to 4 are about her travels in Australia where she hung out with some Sheep Shearers in an Outback Sheep Station: " At a sheep station in the Australian Outback I tended to some cute and cuddly friends".

Pages 5 and 6 talk about her time in Paris, France: "In a bakery in Paris, I chatted with the owner and picked out a warm croissant and a scrumptious pain au chocolat."

I must say I envy her, I much prefer croissants to pain au chocolat though, but man Parisian patisseries are one of my favourite memories from my many visits to France, French pastry is just the yummiest!

Pages 7 and 8 are on the other side of the pamphlet and show Lammily's visit to New York...
 "New York City was filled with bustling energy. As I found myself in Brooklyn Park, I stopped to help a man fix his bicycle."

Pages 9 and 10 show Lammily's visit to London, England where of course it's raining - why of course? 

Well it's one of those sad stereotypes  like "It always rains in England" or "British people have bad teeth" Don't get me started, I'm trying so hard not to get on an angry rant here... 

Deep breath, anyhoo... She's in London, it's wet, she's happy about it, although judging by the illustration she's aged about 30 years, but I digress, here's what she has to say about the Capital of England ... "When it started pouring in London, I took it as a moment to break free rather than run away."  On page 10 she continues " These seemingly small moments are the most memorable. And friends like you make these memories special. So, let's go forward! There is much more to discover and explore ... together."

The next two pages, when the leaflet is folded back up, form the front and back of the leaflet, I've already told you what is on the front, so here's what's on the back: 

Under the heading "What's Next?"  The first thing listed is "Name Me... make it official at"

Below this, it says: "Travel the World. Dress me up in fashions inspired by different countries at

The final item is: "Keep in touch" at

And now it's time to whip her kit off and show you her nakie, then I'm going to dress her in her new outfit - Lammily Fashions  "Rocking London Outfit", which arrived a day before she did!

Poor thing she looks a little embarrassed, I'm not that surprised after all she'd known me a matter of minutes before I stripped her of her clothes! 

As you can see she has the same articulated ankles and wrists (the kind that go up and down, right to left) her knees and elbows bend and hold position in the same way Barbie and Pedigree Sindy do.

Hips, shoulders and head move the same way as a standard Barbie doll as well.

She doesn't have much of a waist line which is a shame, but I do love her sturdy frame and the weightiness of her, she is very well made and not at all flimsy.

I forgot to mention she has a maker's mark placed on her lower back, which you can see faintly in the above photograph, I'm sure this will be a useful I.D some day as if these dolls ever make it more widespread there is bound to be clones hitting the market not long afterwards!.

I'm sure in the hands of a child she would last a lot longer than your average fashion doll as her joints are also sturdy unlike a lot of other and more well known dolls.

Her travelling outfit is pretty basic, consisting of a pair of shorts, a shirt and a pair of trainers - No grundies - that girl goes commando!

But it is very well made, there are no frayed seams or loose threads like you find on many doll clothes, and is perfectly designed to not only fit her properly but also show off her unusual figure.

These three items don't seem like much but they do make a good starting block for a wardrobe, and can be added to a couple of pieces at a time, to make several different outfits.

They're also are a great place to start when designing clothes for her... If you have a pair of shorts, you can make long trousers, a skirt and underwear amongst other items. A shirt will help you design a pattern for a dress, t shirts and a coat.

If you combine both items you can make leotards and onsies...

The only thing that I find awkward is the shoes, as yet Lammily have still not offered footwear as a single purchase, and the only choices you get in each of the fashion packs are... A pair of plain black heels, a pair of plain white heels and a pair of black flats with red laces.

The Rocking London outfit I purchased at the same time as my doll includes a pair of plain black heels, packaged the set looks like this...

The back of the packaging shows how the doll will look when dressed in the complete outfit, and the right hand side of the packaging contains a number of facts about the Country or City the outfit is meant to depict.

The facts on the back of the Rocking London packaging are:

Big Ben is the name of the bell in the Elizabeth Tower often extended to refer to the clock and the tower.

London is the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times: in 1908, 1948 and 2012.

London is the first city in the world to have an underground subway system. It was also the first major railway to use electric traction. 

Many famous people have lived and worked in London, including Sir Isaac (they spell it Isaak?) Newton, and Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens, Charlie Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock, The Beatles and Pink Floyd to name but a few...

Once open, this is what you'll find inside...I know I've shown you this photograph before, but just to recap before I show you her all dressed up in her new togs

I tried everything on her at first, but didn't like how it looked so I fiddled about and decided that this is my favourite combination, I think she looks pretty cute, even if she's looking a bit miserable in it!

The only thing I'm not quite liking is the belt seems to be a little high and the sleeves aren't that long, but meh, I'm nitpicking really as I looked and looked at this outfit before I bought it so I was fully aware of these things before I purchased it!

Writing this post, I'm sure it will surprise you to learn (hahaha) I couldn't resist going back to the Lammily site and having a nose about at the Fashions on offer, I'm pretty sure the Scotland one wasn't there last time as I'd have most likely bought it for her instead or along with this one, so of course it's now on my Wishlist and a very likely purchase in the not too distant future...

The correct name for the outfit is "Scotland Adventure" and of course features tartan, I've told you about my dollies in tartan problem before right? anyway, it looks like this:

The set comes with a beautiful white Broderie Anglaise blouse, a pair of jeans, a beanie hat, some stupidly cute fingerless gloves a Tartan coat and a pair of flats (they could be brogues) with red laces... Just think of the mix and match fun I could have with that!

You can see the pattern of the blouse fabric better in the photograph below, it might be an idea to click on it, so you'll get an even bigger image...

She just looks so darn cute in that beanie, I think Aranya will look absolutely adorable, and why not seeing as the doll in the photograph above is her twin or however many she is!

Oh one more thing I forgot to mention, The doll's weight really helps to ground her, she doesn't need a stand to help her, which is great for setting up photographs.

Well, I'm off now,

Catch ya later!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

1981 Frogger Board Game by Milton Bradley

Another of my favourite games growing up was Frogger, which I'd play for hours on my Commodore 64 and oddly every time I went to an arcade too, I have no idea why I didn't try other games while there considering the amount of games to choose from, but for me, for a while Frogger was where it was at...

Just look at those graphics, is it any wonder that I was obsessed with getting my frog across that road?

This game still holds a special place in my heart, so my recent discovery of the existence of a Frogger Board Game was pretty mind blowing and once I had that knowledge I just had to get my hands on it, and yay I did too!

Anyone who's played the video game will not be surprised to learn that the object of the board game is to get your frog counter across the road to the safety area at the other side of the board.

Just like it's video game counterpart you have to avoid the cars that are moving across the road at the same time as your frog is attempting to cross.

Just like the video game both sides of the board have lily padded areas ( The Swamps) which are the safety areas, the black areas are Highways on which the cars you have to evade run, and the blue area in the centre of the board is the River which is where you place the coloured logs (red and yellow) where your frog can rest or leap from one to another to aid his journey across the board to safety.

At the time of purchase I'd stopped this game on Ebay and of course decided I had to have it, I hadn't seen another listing for this game and so decided I had to snap it up while I had the chance.

Unfortunately the listing stated that the cars were missing from the game, but they had been replaced with vintage matchbox cars instead, which I think adds to the appeal, as much as I would have loved to have found this game in it's entirety, little metal cars will do me just as well and definitely add to it's kitchness!

I did some research on this board game and discovered the section dedicated to this game on Board Game Geek  according to that site,  this is the second version of the game....

I found this cute close up of the frog counters on that site and had to share it as the photo's I've uploaded don't show the frogs in detail and as you can see from their photo, they are so darn cute!
At times during the game you are able to move not only your frog counter but all the frog counters in play, this is determined by a throw of the die. The frog symbol on the die will bring this movement into effect. At any other time in the game you move only your counter. You have the ability to hinder an opponent's passage across the board, one way to do this is to move either a log or a car across the board using part or all of the number of moves dictated by your dice throw.

Another photograph I found on that site, is a close up of the "logs" as you can see from the picture below, they are reversible with a fly symbol in the centre of each, on one side only. Like the video game, landing on the fly will give you a bonus - 2 extra spaces in which to move. The logs can be moved across the board or turned over to take a bonus (fly) out of play for a period of time.

The image above shows the car pieces with which you can "squash" your opponent's frog, just like the cars in the video game. 

There is of course much more to game play than I've written about here but like all board games playing them is much more fun than reading or writing about them, plus if I was to tell you very nuance of play here, I'd totally spoil it for you when you play the game yourself! 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Blog Problems, Hijacking and a Cat with Thumbs!

Now that I've finally managed to publish my last post on The Muppets Show Board Game, I thought I'd share with you a few problems I regularly encounter whilst writing my blog posts and in fact any other writing I attempt to do, on computer or even with a pen and pad and more often and not while drawing...

First off I should mention something that most of you should already know - I'm a cat person, I spend the majority of my time literary covered in them, at any moment in time, while I write my posts, mostly lying in bed with a bottle in my back unable to move much, I'm pounced on... 

My feet have all manner of chew marks from where I've become a Human cat toy while I slept, and my chest to my knees has between 4 and 6 cats draped across it at any one time, with my crazy jug dog squeezed in amongst them somewhere or more often than not, on her side being suckled as she keeps producing milk to feed her 2 and 1 year old "kittens"...

Lord. Melchett suckling Roxy
I'm also the subject of suckling, Tingle has been doing this to me since we first met when he was a few weeks old, and is more often than not stuck to the side of my Pikachu Onesie paddy pawing away and dribbling everywhere, but I digress.

Mr. Tingle suckling "his" Pikachu!

One thing that happens often is that my keyboard gets hijacked and that's really what I'm trying to share, but you know me I have to do these ins and outs of a duck's arse introductions first!

Mr.Tingle - Suckled himself to sleep

So,  first up is Mr. Tingle's contribution to my Muppets post...

I know Miss. Piggy is violent towards Kermit, and this is technically Domestic Abuse but, seriously Tingie - GBH?

I think that's pushing it a bit far!

Lord Melchett & Roxy
 Here's another one of Melchett suckling Roxy, just because it's blooming cute!

Roxy Derp -  The Cat Mother!

And here's one of Melchy having a sleepy on Aaron, which shows off his thumbs pretty well, he actually has two fully formed thumbs but one of these has a smaller thumb coming out of the side.

Lord Melchett & Aaron
He has extra toes too, but it's his sister Zelda who really takes the Polydactyl cake as she has a total of 28 fingies and toes, whereas Melchy only has 11!

Princess Zelda

Their brother Tingle only has extra toes, his front feet are like any other cat's and their little sister Moogle doesn't have any extras!

 Zelda's front left paw.

I took this picture of Zelda's left front paw when she was a kitten, it shows her two thumbs, she has three on her right front one!

Anyhoo, I digressed again...

Melchie puts those thumbs of his to good use, whilst I was writing my last blog post he decided he'd do his best Miss. Piggy impression *sigh*!

This isn't the only time this has happened though, the weirdest thing about it is when the cats do Google searches it is never for things that don't exist, for a while they had us worried, they seemed hell bent on World Domination, but thinking about it living under Feline rule would actually be preferable to living under this Government hauh hauh!

Wanna see some more?  Well alrighty then!

Mistress Moogle

This is Moogle  apart from being tiny and adorable, she's also a bit of a nutter, now I'm fully aware that most if not all cats are mental cases, cat logic being what it is, but Moogie Boogie Woogie, takes the biscuit... 

That said she's not quite as bad as her big brother Ziggy was as a kitten, he walled himself up and we had to remove half the wall to free him, he went swimming in a bath full of hot water and he tried to throw himself out of a second storey window - all this is made much more insane when you consider that he is such a scaredy cat that he freaks out if anyone sneezes!

Moogle hijacked my keyboard and wrote this... 

At first glance you might think "gibberish" but if you read it aloud it sounds suspiciously like "Ziggy" - so why would she search Google for Ziggy and what did she hope to find?  

 Possibly this video I uploaded to my YouTube account some time ago!


This is one of several videos I took of Ziggy & Vimes as kittens suckling upon Roxy's teats, she got so into being a mum that she produced milk for them to drink - not bad for a virginal dog that was still technically a puppy herself!

Talking of Ziggy...

Mr. Ziggy looking smug!

Both Ziggy and Vimes went through a stage of keyboard hijacking and Googling all manner of things we didn't know existed, unfortunately, due to frantic saving after two laptops died and still not quite sorting everything out yet... 

I can't remember where I put Vimes's contributions (involving climbing gear & N.A.S.A)  - I'll have to update this later when I find them...

Clearly a hacking attempt in both English and Welsh, which is kind of weird considering he's Scottish, but meh he does live in Wales so I guess it makes sense!

This one, of course pleased Aaron, he likes to think of the babies being as "nerdy" as himself and it's not just any Anime, oh no, It's Naruto - he glowed with pride!

Sir Vimes
Sir. Vimes - Interested in N.A.S.A and climbing equipment, which is quite apt, the climbing stuff not the N.A.S.A thing, as when he was small we worried he may have eye or balance problems as he had problems climbing and judging even the shortest distances, he's over that now and thankfully didn't even need all those crampons and such that he was planning on making us buy!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Hopkins the 3rd
 This is "Wolfie" Aaron found him as a stray while in college and took him to the nearby Vet' for safety, after discovering they'd only keep him one night, then back to possible danger for him, Aaron agreed to foster him until his owners could be found.

 Facebook posts, posters and left phone numbers gained no response and so Wolfie is now a beloved member of the family and like the others he likes nothing better than to hijack keyboards and try to play Aaron's MMORPGs.

 In fact he's getting to be so much of a nuisance that we're seriously considering getting him his own "Kitty Scratch Pad Laptop" complete with mousey!

 But of course I digress once again, Wolfie's keyboard hijacking escapade had us shocked and saddened at his choice of research material...

It seems our little Wolfie may in fact be a closet racist, why else would he want to find information on that vile group the KKK?

Oh Dear!

 What's worse is I can't look at his face any more without seeing this moustache superimposed over it...

Hitler, sorry I meant Wolfie!

I feel pretty guilty because he is a lovely little guy and probably couldn't help it but hmmm what if? 

Greebo Hopkins

Greebo or Greebee as I like to call him is our most recent stray, he was hanging around my garden for about a week in June, and run away every time we went near him... 

Then one night he turned up on our doorstep, straggly as anything and battered from fights,.after several attempts Aaron finally managed to coax him closer to the door and went to get him some food...

After eating a whole tin of meat, he let Aaron tickle him, that's when he discovered the poor sod had this evil looking wound, he brought him inside, gave him another tin of food and I bathed him, rubbed some tea tree enthused Vaseline on him, then made arrangements to take him to the vet...

One car ride, a check over,three injections and £50 later, it turned out he had an infection - if left it would have killed him ...

Greebo & the hideous wound

I also de-flea'd and wormed him, over the last few months his fur has gone from scabby and scruffy to silky and smooth!

Greebo's now fully healed he has quite an impressive scar though...

 He no longer "wolfs" his food down as he's gotten used to having two meals a day and biscuits in between.

He loves his toy catnip mice, ball and catnip drops, sleeping on a human bed with a human to cuddle up with instead of a dirt floor, and having a Daddy!

He also now only cries when he wants company!

He's so lovable it seems strange he ended up a stray, still he's now a very happy "Hopkins"!

Unlike the others he is more interested in having a warm bed to snuggle up on than stealing keyboards and using two £30.00 Gaming Mouse Pads as scratching posts (mentioning no names - Wolfie!) so far he hasn't commandeered anything other than Aaron's bed!

I guess only time will tell...