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Wouldn’t you know it, it’s my 1st Blogiversary!

I was going to act cool on my 1st Blogiversary, casually mentioning it, thanking my readers, then moving on to bigger better things, but then  I decided HELL NO!

It’s my (blogging) party and I’ll celebrate if I want to!

Bear with me please as I put on a dodgy paper hat and blow up a few balloons!

I figured horns are made for hooting and good times are meant for celebrating ūüôā

1st blogiversary

Well holy cow, how did I get here?

No, seriously, how the heck did this happen?

This blog started exactly a year ago with absolutely no clear direction.

It was supposed to be a place where I’d keep all the info I found interesting without clogging up my computer, as well as a quick writing practise before tackling my MA thesis.

In the first months I had told¬†zero people about its existence, as there really wasn’t anything to say on the matter or to boast about.

I really didn’t know if it would be something I’d continue or most probably abandon after the first few weeks.

You must understand that exactly a year ago I was a lurking Armitage Admirer who had only left one comment throughout my entire 6 month craze, but more about that later on.

What I’m driving at is that starting out no one¬†within the fandom had any idea who I was (some undoubtedly miss those good ol’¬†days…) nor did I seek the support of my RL friends to help push this thing forward, so in the first month of blogging I received a little over 20 clicks and I’ll be honest, I don’t know how I managed to get so many ūüôā

Things have certainly changed, and with the amount of visitors dropping by I really do regret writing better, more interesting posts ūüôā

¬†I’d like to thank each and every¬†one of you for visiting, commenting, supporting and being an integral part of this experience.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again¬†that without your presence here I’d just be a sad old (mad) cow posting for no one.

Hey, it worked in January but I think it would have lost its appeal by April…

Your friendship means almost as much to me as Lucas North’s bottom in tight denim jeans, and that really is saying a lot!

RichardArmitage Collage2

I’d also like to give special thanks to Servetus at Me+Richard, as she happens to be connected to many of my firsts!

She was the first blog I had visited after watching North and South, when certain Mr Thornton took possession of my heart and soul.

She’s the first blog I ever commented on some time in the autumn of 2011, under a different alias, and sweating buckets worried¬†that I’d look foolish because of what I had written (being rejected by the RArmy was a big fear of mine back then, as everyone seemed so friendly with each other, and I doubted such a tight-knit group would accept me, let alone welcome me with open arms. You live, you learn!).

Servetus had written one of the first comments on this blog and I swear, I had been such a lurker/admirer over at Me+R it felt like a celebrity sighting ūüôā

Anyway, how better to say a heartfelt Thank You! than a Richard Armitage thumb cupcake ( and yes I also think it may well be one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen in a while…).

Richard Armitage Thumb Cupcake Servetus Thank You!

Apart from search engines Servetus’ blog refers the most¬†traffic to this site, followed by RAFrenzy!

Thank You for the support of other bloggers!

I adore¬†being perched¬†on your blogrolls, and I’m there in good company, so¬†I’m grateful to you¬†for sticking me there.

I’ll be updating my blogroll to include all of my blogging friends and fellow admirers, so please take a second to click on a few.

We all know how long it takes to write a single post, not to mention updating, checking comments, and in general keeping that machine running, so I can only applaud you for constantly providing new posts for Armitage Admirers worldwide!

Guy of Gisborne collage

Here’s my year in numbers:

I’ve written close to 450 posts in the past 12 months.

There are the good ones, the bad and the right darn ugly ones¬†(sorry about those…).

A few months in I thought it would be the bees knees to get 100 000 clicks in the first year, but it seemed like a bit of a pipe dream.

Wouldn’t you know it, I’m just¬†a couple of clicks shy of¬†doubling that number and will be¬†hitting 200 000 in the next few days, so THANK YOU!

Online traffic is a funny little thing as it often depends on where you’re placed in search engines.

That means that posts that aren’t really all that¬†special seem to attract a huge amount of readers, while other are¬† popular for a few days after being published, and then go into (semi-)¬†retirement.

Lucas Borth Collage

The posts that have attracted the most views are:

1. On Richard Armitage and Lee Pace

2. Marilyn Monroe and Plastic Surgery

3. DIY Pin-Up

See what I mean?

Anyway, I think the statistics will change in the next few weeks judging by the interest in Richard Armitage and all things The Hobbit.

Fanstra# collage

My favorite posts are:

Fanstravaganza3 was a blast and I absolutely loved taking part in it!

I also really enjoyed putting together all three of my Fanstra3 posts.

I loved punning it out doggy style, seeing Heinz Kruger in his tighty whities, and stripping Richard down just to dress him up again.

I really (REALLY!!!) hope Fanstra4¬†will happen, because there’s no better way to celebrate the wonder that is¬†Armitage Admiration¬†ūüôā

I also enjoyed blogging in July¬†and August (December being my most flaky month…)¬†as I was¬†on holiday and could spend hours fiddling with images, gifs¬†and posts to my heart’s content.

Gisborne's Boy cake kopia

I especially liked the run-up to Armitage Day and  Operation Armitage.

I really do hope that we manage to have a Richard Armitage-rekated competition every year!

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a¬†special Thank You! to my partner in crime Seba from¬†Gisborne‚Äôs Boy¬† for sharing his amazing talent and¬†helping me with the competition.

I hope¬†we collaborate on many other projects in the future (and if you’re reading this Bug, I’m waiting on your email!).

PinUp Collage

The thing is, in the past year of blogging I’ve made many friends, and lost a few (some I’ve mourned, to others I can only say: Good riddance…)

I’ve expanded my horizons, but also tested my patience and understanding.

I’ve bitten my tongue and stepped away from a fight more time than I¬†have in RL,¬†and I think¬†I’ve also been more generous with expressing my delight, enthusiasm, friendship.

I honestly think I’m a better version of my RL self, so if you don’t like me here, believe me, it doesn’t get any better out there ūüėČ

I’ve gone beyond anything I would have though myself capable of, but I’ve also made a few mistakes, some I’ve learned from, others probably not.

I should really finish by thanking Richard for getting this whole project started, but what I’m really grateful for is that by being such a stand up sort of gentleman he seems to attract the absolute best type of admirer any fandom could wish for.

Are there crazy fans in the Armitage Army?

ABSOFUCKINGLUTLEY!

But I’d like to believe that we’re crazy in our own special, unique way ūüôā

AgzyM 2012 collage

While I’m on the topic of AgzyM¬†(move over Thorin, I’m all about Me Me¬†Me! today), I’ve decided to retire the Dita¬†photo I’ve been using as a visual representation of my online alter ego.

I’ve had such fun with that particular image, but¬†I¬†needed something new, so here it is:

AgzyM IWantToBeApinUp 2013

You know it’s only a matter of time before I stick a beard on this gravatar!

And here is the full body superhero version, because it seems like it’s going to be one of those years when you really need a cape:

AgzyM 2013 Boom

Thank You!

Happy Armitage Day! Make Your Own Armitage Goodie!

I’d like to start by saying a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who’s taken part in Operation Armitage!

Congrats to the winner from yeasterday’s competition!

Just a few words before I move on, though.

¬†First and foremost, Seba, from Gisborne’s Boy, my partner-in-crime!

You did a fab job, and it was such a fun process!

Thanks for sharing your talent with us, you’re a little creative¬†ray of light ūüôā

Thanks to my sister Magzy for her constant support, and for not looking at me funny when I get these ideas!

Thank You to the readers and people who commented!

Without you I’d just be an Armitage weirdo posting things online!

It’s the people who visit¬†that breathe life into a blog!

Congrats to the winners!

I hope you enjoy your prize.

If you were not among the lucky ones, remember, you’re always a winner in my eyes!

Before I move on to the main topic of this post, I’d like to present an award.

This gift goes to my most loyal reader, as well as the person who’s left the most comments.

My special ” Friend to IWantTobeAPinUp” award goes to:

She’s long become¬†a fixed¬†feature over here, to the point where I really can’t imagine her not¬†dropping by daily!

 This is my way of saying Thank You!

I have a confession to make.

Luciana was one of the winners during the week, however I knew I wanted to single her out individually at the end¬†ūüôā

Luciana, you get to choose an image out of the 8 featured during Operation Armitage, and a shopping bag with that picture will be sent to you.

Thank You to all my readers, I’m only sorry I don’t have the means to give each and every one of you a goodie.

So, I’ve settled for second best!

Seba created this stunning image, and I’ve decided to give everyone a chance to create their very own RA goodie!

I’ll be talking you through the process, based on pictures I took when I was creating the competition prizes!

Here is a step-by-step guide!

To transfer this image onto a T-shirt or bag, you will need:

A mirror reflection of the image you want.

This was a bit of a head-scratcher for Seba and me, until Magzy put us out of our misery.

In PSE, just go to Image, Rotate, Flip Horizontal!

A flat fabric surface, like a T-shirt

It’s important that it isn’t grainy or creased.

Iron-on paper for your printer

I got mine online, and an A4 sheet cost under Euro 0.50

I’ve tried different brands, and they are all the same.

What is important is to choose the paper based on the colour of fabric you are applying the image to.

There are 2 kinds I’ve encountered: for white / light and for black backgrounds.

Do yourself a favour and buy a few more than you need, just in case.

An iron, with the steam function switched off

Here’s the mirror reflection of Seba’s Hobbit Picnic:

First, print out your image on the iron-on paper.

Please set to the highest resolution on your printer.

It’s best to follow instructions, however let me give you some advice.

The paper has a blank side, and one that is patterned.

It’s important that you put the paper in the right way.

When you feed the paper in your printer, please check which side is printed on.

Do that by taking a regular blank page, putting a cross on the corner, and printing something tiny.

This will save you the bother of using up your cartridge on printing on the wrong side.

I’m not saying I’ve made that mistake before, but then I’m not saying I haven’t ūüėČ

Let the printout dry.

In the meantime, iron the surface you will be applying the image on.

Let it cool.

Then place the printout in its designated place, and start ironing!

Start from the top and work your way down.

This will prevent any bubbling.

Depending on how large your image is, this can take a few seconds, or up to a few minutes.

Remember to iron the edges and corners well too!

With some brands¬†the patterned¬†side changes colour when the process is complete (check instructions), but ours didn’t, so we just played it by ear.

Let it cool down, and then remove the outer layer with one smooth motion, but be careful not to tear the edges.

There you have it!

It’s as easy as I LUV RA!

If you image is shiny, but you want a more matt finish, simply put a blank sheet of regular paper, and iron that on top of the image for a few seconds.

Remember that the image will fade in the wash, always wash inside out, in maximum 40 degrees, without spinning.

Do not iron the image.

Strong chemicals like bleach will also damage it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Operation Armitage as much as I have!

It’s been a blast!

1 Day till Richard’s Birthday! Operation Armitage Competition!

Welcome to the countdown to Richard Armitage’s Birthday!

Congrats to yesterday’s winner!

This is the last day of Operation Armitage, and your last chance to get your hands on a cotton shopping bag, with an amazing illustration by ¬†Seba, from Gisborne’s Boy.

Thank You Seba for working so hard on these illustrations!

It’s been an absolute pleasure, and I hope you will soon forget how difficult it has been, so we can work on a project soon!

Congratulations to the winners.

If you haven’t been lucky, not to worry.

Tomorrow, on Armitage Day, I will be posting a very special picture created by Seba, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to make your very own Armitage print goodie!

The Hobbit related¬†image we have in store for you tomorrow¬†is simply beautiful, and I bet you’ll want it on your T-shirt or bag ūüôā

I will also be awarding a prize to one of my super loyal readers, who happens to be the one who has commented most on my blog, so please stop by!

It’s the last day of the Operation Armitage Birthday Countdown.

I know some of you really REALLY!!! want to get their hands on the Armitage Bag, so I’ve decided to help your luck!

Let me introduce:

The Richard Armitage Hunger Games Twist!!!

You can give multiple answers to the competition question.

Each time you do, your name will be put in the box.

The more times you answer, the more times your name appears in the box, the bigger chance you have of winning!!!

You can litter that box with your name, leaving you opponents far behind ūüėČ

Mwaahhaaahhaaahaa!

Either I’m very good, or terribly nasty, but let’s see who wants it bad enough ūüôā

To read about the rules, please go  HERE.

This whole week has been a barrel of laughs, so it’s only fitting that the last cotton shopping bag has this print on it!

Bilbo is adorable, although I’m not a fan of hairy toes ūüėČ

I wonder if dwarves also have hairy feet.

On second thought,¬†I’d rather not know!

Remember that if you want to strut to the cinema to see The Hobbit with this bag on your shoulder, please leave the answer to the following question in comments and keep your fingers crossed.

Bear in mind The Richard Armitage Hunger Games Twist!

The question is:

Why is Thorin juggling fish?

Comments close at 12pm GMT tomorrow!

Please make sure I have the means to contact you either by email or Twitter!

Also tomorrow, there is a special Seba image for all the RA fans, and a guide on how to print it on your T-shirt or bag at home!

Good Luck!

Comments are CLOSED!

2 Days till Richard’s Birthday! Operation Armitage Competition!

Welcome to the countdown to Richard Armitage’s Birthday!

This is day SIX of Operation Armitage.

I’ve been having so much fun, and I hope you have too.

Congratulations to the winners so far!

Congrats to the winner of the competition from yesterday ūüôā

To read about the rules, please go HERE.

This image of  Thorin, Gizzy, Thornton, and bearded Armitage, created by our super talented  Seba, from Gisborne’s Boy, is one of my favorites ūüôā

It’s hard not to be swept away by Richard Armitage.

Even producers agree, and have hired Richard to play in a tornado movie.

I think all of us hope that if a tornado sweeps Richard away, he’ll land right on our doorstep.

Remember that to enter the competition, and get have the postman deliver this bag to your door, please leave the answer to the following question in comments, and keep your fingers crossed.

The question is:

If you could save only ONE Armitage DVD or audiobook from a tornado, which one would it be and why?

Comments close at 12pm GMT tomorrow, when the next opportunity to win an Armitage shopping bag is posted ūüôā

Please make sure I have the means to contact you, either by email or Twitter!

Comments are now CLOSED!

3 Days till Richard’s Birthday! Operation Armitage Competition!

Welcome to the countdown to Richard Armitage’s Birthday!

 This is day FIVE, so we are over half-way in the Operation Armitage competition.

There’s a chance to win an Armitage goodie today and for the next 2 days.

Congratulations to the winners so far!

The winner of yesterday’s competition is:

To read about the rules, please go HERE.

The cotton shopping bag up for grabs today is decorated with the illustration of the battle between brains and bulk!

Thank You Seba, from Gisborne’s Boy, for creating such a lovely pic!

I’d say the pen is mightier, but it’s less fun to swoosh around, pretending you’re Luke Skywalker battling Darth Vader!

Remember that to enter the competition, and get your sharp claws into this item, please leave the answer to the following question in comments.

The question is:

 If Richard Armitage wrote an autobiography, what would be its title?

Comments close at 12pm GMT tomorrow, when the next opportunity to win an Armitage¬†shopping bag¬†is posted ūüôā

Please make sure I have the means to contact the lucky winner, either by email or Twitter!

Good Luck!

*bows down to Seba, Magzy, and Max’s iPhone*

Comments are now CLOSED

5 Days till Richard’s Birthday! Operation Armitage Competition!

Welcome to the countdown to Richard Armitage’s Birthday!

Congrats to the winner of yesterday’s competition!

It’s already¬†day THREE¬†of the competition, and there’s¬†yet another¬†chance to win an Armitage goodie!

To read about the rules, please go HERE.

Today’s goodie is:

The more observant of you can probably guess that it’s a cotton shopping bag, with an explosive ¬†illustration by¬†my Bug,¬†Seba from Gisborne’s Boy!

I really can’t sing his praise enough, so I’ll just say I am fortunate to call him a friend.

That Heinz is always up to no good!

¬†I trust Lucas North’s abilities to disarm a bomb, and Porter’s pecks can melt any mechanism, so I hope the world is safe once again.

Remember that to enter the competition, and get your hands on this item, is answer the following question in comments.

The question is:

If Richard Armitage started his own secret service agency, what would it be called?

Comments close at 12pm GMT tomorrow,¬†and that’s when the next competition post is out ūüôā

Please make sure I have the means to contact you, either by email or Twitter!

Good Luck!

Ta! to Seba, Magzy and Max’s iPhone ūüôā

Comments are now CLOSED!

6 Days till Richard’s Birthday! Operation Armitage Competition!

Welcome to the countdown to Richard Armitage’s Birthday!

I hope you had fun yesterday and¬†congratulations to the lucky winner of yesterdays competition¬†ūüôā

This is the¬†SECOND day of the¬†Operation Armitage Birthday, and there’s a chance to win an Armitage goodie today, and for the next 5 days!

To read about the rules, please go HERE.

Up for grabs today is…

This¬†cotton shopping bag,¬†with¬†this adorable illustration by our very talented Seba from Gisborne’s Boy!

Why is it that the naughtiest RA characters are the sexiest?

Anyway, the Bad Boys are out on the town.

I hope Ricky remembers not to drink and drive, Guy not to drink and stab, and Lee not to drink and cheat!

 Remember that to enter the competition, and get your nimble fingers on this item, all you have to do is answer the following question in comments, and get lucky.

If you feel more comfortable answering in your native language, you can do so!

The question is:

What pick up line does an Armitage Bad Boy use in a bar?

Comments close at 12pm GMT tomorrow, when the next opportunity to win an Armitage¬†treat is posted ūüôā

Please make sure I have the means to contact you, either by email or Twitter!

Good Luck!

Thank you to Seba, Magzy, and Max’s iPhone for working hard on this project.

Comments are now closed!

7 Days till Richard’s Birthday! Operation Armitage Competition!

Welcome to the countdown to Richard Armitage’s Birthday!

This is the FIRST day of the competition, and there’s a chance to win an Armitage goodie every day for the next 7 days!

To read about the rules, please go HERE.

Up for grabs today is…

This¬†cotton shopping bag, adorned with a one-of-a-kind illustration by our very talented Seba from Gisborne’s Boy!

Guess the cat’s out of the bag.

I bet you never thought you’d see Standring, Thornton, and Harry frolicking in a field together!

What’s more, it’s strange to feel jealous of a lamb ūüėČ

Remember that to enter the competition, and get your beautifully manicured paws on this item, all you need to do is answer the following question in comments, and keep your fingers crossed.

As the RA fandom knows no barriers, those who feel very uncomfortable answering in English can answer in their native tongue.

If you see a comment in another language, please translate in the reply if you can!

The question is:

What does a female sheep say when she sees Richard Armitage?

Comments close at 12pm GMT tomorrow, when the next opportunity to win an Armitage¬†delight is posted ūüôā

Please make sure I have the means to contact you, either by email or Twitter!

Good Luck!

Thanks to Seba, Magzy, and Max’s¬†iPhone¬†for collaborating on this project ūüôā

Comments are now CLOSED!

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