Wednesday, 31 October 2012

With heartfelt apologies to Mr E A Poe

Once upon a midnight late, while I pondered on my fate,
(a horde of boisterous Makie scientists as never seen before)
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
Then a crash and burble-blatting, right outside my bedroom door.
"Tis just the cat," I muttered, "bashing at my bedroom door:
Just the cat... Please, nothing more!"

September was a long time over, one day alone left in October,
Leaves were strewn in ember-wrought jewelled gusts upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; Halloween about to follow,
Ghosts and ghouls released to borrow tricks and treats and games and more
For skellingtons and be-sheeted ghosties knocking on my house's door
Ghosts and Ghouls and nothing more.

And the blatting grew more strident and the honking ever violent
Filling me, filling me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now to still the shrieking in my head, I lie repeating,
"Tis just the cat demanding breakfast at the bedroom door;
Just my fat cat wanting breakfast sitting at my bedroom door,
Just the cat and nothing more."

Suddenly the crashing ended and, as I'm certain they intended,
"Plink?" called I, "Or Melchett? An explanation I implore.
You know the humans are both napping, there's a housewide ban on blatting,
Also sounds described as splatting, slithering, whooping and all crashing,
Especially at the hour of four thirty..." here I opened wide the door.
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, hearing,
Faint sounds of splashing and pirate calling from underneath the bathroom door
And as the silence slunk off, broken, there came a slingle tentacular token,
And a greenish glowing light from underneath the bathroom door,
A trembling green and purple tentacle underneath the bathroom door,
This and water and nothing more.

Halloween 2012
Tentacle? Check. Hook? Check. Mayhem? CHECK.
Back into the bedroom, sighing, always at the Makies sighing,
Then I heard a tapping and a scratching louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “Surely not an escapee Makie.. I’m losing the plot…
Let me see then what the threat is, and this mystery explore,
Let me see what’s tapping and scratching and… growling at my bedroom door.
Oh please, the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I pulled the portal, willing it to be a mortal
When in there stepped a stately Maiden of the days of yore…
Looking down my eyes espied a rather oddly dressed-up Blythe,
Who raised her hands and growled and cried and perched outside my bedroom door.
Perched upon an orange pumpkin dumped outside my bedroom door,
Perched and growled and nothing more.

Halloween 2012
Aspen, who is rather miffed at the glue dot keeping her nose-costume on... 

Well. This fluffy vision soon beguiling my worn temper into smiling
By the fuzzy boots and gloves and tunic that it wore.
“Though thy head is fur-behatted, thou,” I said, “were nearly splatted,
Hanging around on a precarious pumpkin sat outside my bedroom door…
Tell me where the others are, let me know just to be sure”.
Quoth a Makie: “Eat my Shorts!”

Halloween 2012
*le sigh* Hi Melchie... 

Another coughed as if to squelch it, but it only could be Melchett,
And as I turned and looked I saw her and…what’s that? Another more?
Melchie was a calavera, and as I started to blink and stare a
Blythe trotted out from behind the pumpkin sat outside my bedroom door
A new Blythe with long yellowish hair that I had never seen before,
Sitting and smiling and nothing more.

Halloween 2012
Say hello to the long-anticipated Elin! Wooo!

“Oh great!” I moaned, my resolve fleeting as all four then fell to speaking,
Talking all at once and squeaking of blood and guts and gore,
Of mad experiments and plotting, of delicate things they could be dropping,
And of things that needed chopping right there on my bedroom floor,
Back to bed I went and left them, partying on my bedroom floor,
And as I went, I vowed “NO MORE!”

Halloween 2012
Oh, you could at least attempt to smile... 

Halloween 2012
That's better! 

Hope you all have a glorious Halloween/Samhain/Nos Galad Gaeaf! I'll be celebrating by shutting the girls in the bathroom with the giant squid and hiding things from trick or treaters! Stay spooky :) 

Glorious Wolf Hat by Manon of De Belles Poupees, Voodoo Necklace by Fil of Mok.Me

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink...

...well, not quite, but I'm currently detached from my PC.

I've got up this morning to find my study door locked from the inside. Occasionally, there are gales of laughter and cackling.

Even more mysteriously, the postman delivered a package today. I set it down at the bottom of the stairs and headed into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee... I got back just in time to see it vanishing into my room. There was giggling, squealing and what I can only describe as roaring.

There's also something weird going on in the bathroom. I heard a lot of splashing and there's greenish light streaming from under the door. Someone's yelling something about splicing mainbraces and avasting lots.

The cats have taken up residence under the bed, and are refusing to come out.

I think I'm going to take a shower and carve the pumpkin. Hopefully by that point, they'll let me in to see what's been going on.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Huzzah! Our spooky order has arrived from Makie Lab!
Spooky jumpers
Aspen needs some clothing of her own... 
There were a few more things in the bag... watch this spooky space!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Snip... snip...

Today's been a bit of a cutting out day. Which means that tomorrow might just be a sewing day!
Tiny pieces!
Hopefully we'll be able to have a bit of a fashion show later this week.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Happy Birthday to Meee!

Today I am twenty-mumblemumblemumble, which makes me very nearly OLD on the basis that next year, I will be twenty-mumblemumblemumble + 1, which is technically not twenty-anything any more. Harrumph.

But anyway. I happen to be blessed with the absolute best of long-suffering boyfriends (who is tolerating the proliferation of tinythings in my study with all the grace that can be expected from a man with shelves full of D+D books, unpainted warhammer sets and board games). In his role as enabler, he today presented me with an exciting box filled with a big-headed eye-changing dolly, and some funky accessories to go with her!

I'm not sure Melchie took to her straight off...
I keep the tools on a high shelf... 
But Plink was very keen to give her a hand out of the box.
Melchie? Help please?

O hai! Let me remove the... gosh. That is rather a lot of sellotape... 

I'm sure they're going to get on fine.
Welcome to the league of ridiculous knitted headgear!

If you're after the specifics, she's a "Simply Chocolate" and it appears she thinks she's called Aspen. Her eye colours are blue, minty green, rather-startling-orange and quite-weird-pink... shall have to invest in some new chips soon.

She's not wearing any trousers. 

Melchett, stop mucking about.
If you shut her in there, Plink, I'll hand you the tape.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Take one Makie Meet goody bag hockey mask...

Spooky Woo! Perhaps a bit too scary?
...add a wet Sunday afternoon, a Terry Pratchett audio book and a load of warhammer citadel paints, a bit of swearing, some embroidery thread and a button...

Lack of natural light = rubbish photos. Better get used to it, we're in the dark till Spring!
...and you come out with a whole new costume that needs to be made before Halloween! Pffft. Brain, give me some time off, yes? 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Makie Meet, the summarisinginging

Aaah. Now I've had a bit of sleep, I think I'm up to a summary of the fun and games had by all at the Makie Lab meet up.

We left Sheepland reasonably bright and early, and had a rather nice train ride down to London (especially in comparison to the ride back, see Twitter for gory details), then battled with tube line closures and not realising that for some reason Paddington Tube Station is in two bits (am a hick from the sticks and I HATE LONDON. There. I've said it.). The much-maligned mini A-Z book came in very useful in finding Scrutton Street; although the girls came from there, they were sulking too much at their travel arrangements (dinner napkin roulades) to give me useful directions.

After finding the lab, Steamplink and Madame Von Melchie were released from their prisons, costumes donned and much squeaking ensued!
Makie Meet October 2012
Free! Freeeeeeee!
Plink had a good nose around Widget's lab...
Makie Meet October 2012
Frantically calculating which big red button to press.
We met the twitchy-eared test subject SU3K4T and got a look at her braaaaains...
Makie Meet October 2012
There are videos of Suekat out there, go look!
We discovered that Dave and Am look exactly like their humans! (Also Yeti is very, very tall!)
Makie Meet October 2012
Modelling their Makie Couture original hats :) 
Count Dracuted didn't scare us and Millie the Witch was adorable.
Makie Meet October 2012
Costumes by the talented Poklfil
Refreshments were provided by Chelsea, sugar, sugar and more sugar.
Makie Meet October 2012
Dave lines up a shot.
We also got let into a few top sekrit MakieLab plans... but our lips are sealed! ... no, not quite as literally as sealed as the head in this photo.
Makie Meet October 2012
Then we got on with the gruelling task of trying to make everyone stand up for long enough to get a group photo!
Makie Meet October 2012
Makies are wobbly!
Sulka had a much nicer camera than mine and stole all the Makies for individual portrait shots. Really looking forwards to seeing these, because at that point the light was going and I don't have a flash.
Makie Meet October 2012
Smile, everyone! Say candy corn!
Thanks to all at MakieLab for tolerating us dumping our stuff all over your workspace, the epic goody bags of joy and giving up your Saturdays so's we could have a good time. Special kudos to Chelsea for the mint M+M cookies if not the punch which caused a MAJOR sugar crash on the tube back to Paddington!

There are more photos available in the flickr set, which is here. Happy clicking!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Steamplink and Madame Von Melchie


Finally, I can let you into the sekrit of the costumes we've been working on for the last month!
Steamplink and Madame Von Melchie
Just put some gears on it and call it steeeeeeeeempunk!
Steampunk is fantastic, as far as I'm concerned. I've got a whole Pinterest board devoted to the collecting of steampunky ideas, and I've been dying to make a Makie-sized steampunk costume for ages. Happily, the Makie Meet gave me the perfect excuse to make two!

Here's the Steamplink. Obviously involved in the science side of things, she's probably an airship engineer or the like.
Steamplink and Madame Von Melchie
Okay, yes. The gears have no purpose. So hit me with sticks. 
Her boots and belt are from Collectible Kitbash and are seriously high quality. The boots have even got hobnails on them!
Steamplink and Madame Von Melchie
Up, up and awaaaaaaay!
Madame Von Melchie is more of a lace-and-arsenic sort.
Steamplink and Madame Von Melchie
Shall we dance? Or shall I poison you? Either way is good...
Her hat is essentially felt, fabric, glue and more glue. The skirt has wire in the hem to help it hold its shape. There's a 3-layer bustle on the back, which is happily not held together with glue. That's a chicken feather in the hat, by the way.
Steamplink and Madame Von Melchie
No, she wouldn't take off the fluffy bunny slippers.
I'm delighted with the costumes, especially Plink's wings and goggles. Many huge hugs to the Jo for sending me the watch faces!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Chuff chuff chuff chuff chuff chuff!

We're on our way to the first ever MAKIE MEET, and are currently on a train. Trains are cool and involve things like tunnels. (I may have deliberately picked the quiet coach in attempt to suppress over-excited Makies. Hah.)

Full summary of events to follow; keep us with our adventures on Twitter throughout the day!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Stabby stabby stabby!

So we got another awesome parcel in the post yesterday, with some superb kit for the lab from the lovely Jo! It contained a bag of fuzzies for needle felting, a very exciting stabby hobby that I had yet to try.

Needle felting seems to involved (as I see it) ramming a sharp pointy object into a soft fuzzy object and making shapes that are kind of not soft and kind of not fuzzy.

Of course, the first thing to do is break one of the needles.

But then I started to get the hang of it, and without stabbing my fingers more than the once, made Mr Sinister Acorn Dude!

Acorn, check. Sinister, check. Yup. Sinister Acorn Dude. 
I think I need more practice! Thanks Jo! :D

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Parcel, yeah!

On Tuesday, I got an exciting text!

Dapper Bears and Mice playing tiny trombones are part of normal life around here. 
Indeed, I had just had my flu jab, and cheering up *was* needed. Hooray for parcels with monsters on!

Of course, the contents of the parcel with the monster on had to be formally examined. As Plink was busy doing something which involved explosions and half a tube of green paint (I didn't ask), Melchett decided that the task was hers.
Grr. Rawr. Raar. 
Of course, the fact that the item really wasn't intended for either of those two was no barrier to Makie Exploration. 

Slightly wondering if the Blythes are going to cope...

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Here at Makie Couture, we're a big supporter of Silicone Roundabout businesses, and we've been fans of Moo ever since they printed our first cute Moo cards for swapping over pints at Oxford flickr meets (*takes a moment for some nostalgia*)
The Accursed Frame of Moo
The Accursed Frame of Moo, which is on my hallway wall.
2008, representin'
Of course, we had to get some up-to-date Makie Couture business cards sorted for the Makie meet...
...and some fun stickers!
The sticker books are great value, and with reasonable P&P and a pretty swift and speedy service, you can't go wrong. Of course, you can go even less wrong if you clicky this linky here, because you'll get 10% off of your first order*.

*and I get some Moo points towards my next purchase. But hey, I bring you all this entertainment for free, so it's worth it, right?! 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

So you're after a...

... Makie meet costume sneaky peek?

Oh, alright then...

Oh yeah, we're mysterious and also SECRETIVE around here. You'd better believe it. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Today has involved...

  • Needles and thread
  • Fabric glue
  • Scraps of this and that
  • 5 snaps
  • Miscellaneous watch parts
  • 23 naughty words
  • 6 rivets
  • 1 very large hammer
  • 12 exceptionally naughty words
  • A pair of rather small boots
  • 1 metre of watered purple ribbon
  • Feeding wire into zig zag stitching
  • Bamboo skewers
  • An argument over the wearing of fluffy bunny slippers
... but I think we're nearly ready for next weekend's Makie Meet! Pfooooof!

Saturday, 13 October 2012


Picture of giant eyeball that washed up on Florida beach
Here's looking at you, Kid.
Photo by Carli Segelson via National Geographic

Despite Twitter-Based Accusations, the girls swear this is nothing to do with them. I'm not entirely sure I believe them, but what can you do?
You can read the whole story here.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Paper Hat: The Tutorialinginginging...

Goodness. We're going to end the run of hat-based tutorials and postings soon, I promise. It's probably something to do with the change in the weather! As the evenings draw in and the wind gets... erm... windier... there's nothing better than curling up and making some outerwear!

Anyway. As promised, here's a guide to making your very own paper hat, Makies for the wearing of. This is adapted from a classic paper hat fold you can do with a £5 note, either for leaving as a pretty tip or for annoying bus drivers. Hahaha.
'loes Sailor
Smart, eh?
You will need:

  • Fabric measuring 12.5cm by 20.5cm (roughly 5" by 8 1/4")
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Needle and thread
  • Fray check
  • Scissors
Depending on the wibblyness of your fabric (technical term), you might need to interface it for added stiffness (fnaar). I would advise that you fold up a test hat and see what your fabric is going to do; although feeling flimsy when flat, the quilting cotton I used is surprisingly sturdy once folded and interfacing is really not needed.

Okay! Let's get folding. First thing, a warning:

You will be using a iron to crease all of your folds. Although you could use the heat only, you will most likely need steam to set the creases. The steam shoots out in all directions. 
You are very, very likely to get burnt fingers if you're not paying attention to what you are doing! 
Do not attempt to make these hats with small children, pets or wayward Makies distracting you! 

Crystal? Right. Read through all the steps, then have a go. If you're not clear on how the folding works, try it with a piece of paper before you move on to the fabric.

First, lay your fabric face down on the ironing board. Fold over 0.5cm ish at each end. This gives you a nice finish on the bottom opening of the hat.
Paper Haaaaatses
Flat, flat, flat. Fold ends and iron.
Fold the fabric in half, pattern out. Iron the fold. Lay folded fabric on your ironing board, opening towards you.
Paper Haaaaatses
Opening at the bottom, or you'll not get into your hat. 
Fold in the corners and iron flat.
Paper Haaaaatses
Find the middle first!
Bring the open edges of the fabric up over the triangle. Iron. It's easier to do one side, then flip the hat over and do the other.
Paper Haaaaatses
Opening still towards you, yes! 
Fold the nice finished edge down to make the outside bottom of the hat. Iron. This is where you're most likely to burn yourself.
Paper Haaaaatses
Basically fold the flat bit in half, so's there's a nice finish. Flatten with the iron. 
Congratulate yourself on having some fingers left. Switch off the iron, breathe a sigh of relief.
To finish the hat, you need to do a few little sewing stitches at the red dots. I just overcast a couple of times and make sure it's secure. For a smart finish, trim the edges marked by the arrows and apply a little fray check to stop... well. Fraying.
Paper Haaaaatses
Stitch through all layers at the dots to hold the hat together. Trim and fray-check at the arrows.
Hats don't have to be just one size! As long as you keep the proportions, you can make any size you like. The tiny hats started off about 7cm wide and have got a hairgrip stitched into the bottom to keep them in place. They could do with a little wire in the brim to hold them open... time to experiment!
Plink, play nice.
"Little haaaaaaaaatses!" "Hey! Plink! Play nice!"