Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rest in peace Carrie Fisher, my love my life

I'm sure all of you who've been following this blog from the start know that Carrie Fisher has always been quite special to me.  The news of her death today has been especially hard since she was my hero.  Without her I wouldn't be the person that I am today and it saddens me so much to know that she's never coming back.  Rest in peace my sweet princess, my love my life.  You will be forever missed. :(

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016: a Year in Review

For some people 2016 has been quite a flop.  At the beginning I thought 2016 was going to be a pretty bad year as well, but it seems I had that backwards.  So I'm going to do another "A Year in Review" post with you guys and share all the great things that have happened this year! 
  • Already at the beginning of the year, things were already turning out really good, for me and the rest of the ABBA fan community. :D  I received Frida, Benny, and Bjorn's autographs on the 28th and I really haven't stopped smiling since then!  I'm still super thankful to Gorel Hanser for making it possible and letting my dream about getting all four of ABBA's autographs come true!  (I already had Agnetha's autograph before that, so now I have all of them!!!)
  • Talking about dreams coming true, ABBA got together not just once but TWICE this year!  When I say getting together, I am not saying that ABBA performed together and sang, I just mean that the four members stood together in public next to each other!  And it's just soooo amazing!   Plus Agnetha and Frida sang together at the second reunion, so that makes it so much better!
  • My best friend in the whole entire world and I got to meet for the first time in the almost 3 years that we've known each other!  It was such an amazing experience and it's quite amazing how the ABBA fandom can create such beautiful friendships between fans!  <3
  • My ABBA collection expanded quite a bit!  When I first became an ABBA fan, I never expected to have this much stuff.  I know, it's kinda small compared to the collections of who knows, but it's still quite large for me! :D
  • My book that I had been working over a year on illustrating and writing finally got released!  :D
And much much more happened!  I just can't list it all since either I can't remember or it's not blog related or both. :)

And now that 2016 is almost over, we have 2017 to look forward to!  Learning more about ABBA's virtual return is definitely going to exciting, but there's going to be so much more I'm sure!  So now I'd just like to wish all my followers a very Happy New Year and I hope 2017 will be just as exciting and amazing as 2016 was! 


Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy 70th birthday Benny!

Happy 70th birthday, Benny!  I hope your birthday is filled with happiness, joy, celebration, and lots of love!

The Story of ABBA for Young Readers OUT NOW

The moment you've all been waiting for... 

The Story of ABBA for Young Readers is available to purchase right now!  You can purchase both cover variants on the CreateSpace EStore and Amazon!

CreateSpace links
Variant A
Variant B


I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me with this book -  my family and friends, and of course thank you for bearing with me for so long to get The Story of ABBA out!  Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy my new book!

~Becky Laine

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Peter Loner's Incredible ABBA Mixes

I've been wanting to post about this amazing YouTuber for quite some time now but never did find the time to do a good post on it!  My bad. :)

Peter Loner is an absolutely amazing person!  He does some really amazing mixes of ABBA's songs, filtering out the main vocals and revealing some pretty amazing backup vocals/instruments in the tracks!  He does more than just ABBA - Karen Carpenter, Ted Gardestad, you name it!  You can check out his YouTube channel here or check out this thread on the ABBAChat forum where a member has gathered a lot of his mixes!  :D

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Story of ABBA Blog Tour: Day 1

Today kicks off The Story of ABBA Re-Release Blog Tour!  From the 11th to the 16th, we will be sharing posts until the book release!

Taking part in the blog tour are Roxanne Dickson (December 12th), Rachael Ritchey (December 13th), and Allison Rose (December 14th & 15th).  Be sure to check out their blogs over the next couple of days to follow the rest of the tour, then return here on the 16th for the release!

For my part of the blog tour, I would like to show the two cover variants for my book.  When coming up with the cover design, we couldn't decide whether to pick one that's similar to the cover of the first edition or one that's completely new!  In the end, we decided to go with two!

The first one is the one that you've all seen on previous posts:
and here is the second one:
I've drawn this picture of the cat dresses numerous times over the past 4 years and was a little disappointed when we couldn't fit it into the final book.  So we placed it on the second cover!

Which cover do you like better?  Let me know in the comments!

We're also running a giveaway for a chance to win coupons to purchase The Story of ABBA for Young Readers at a reduced price!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Happy 5th Birthday, Benny Anderdoll!

Happy 5th birthday to my dear little Benny doll!  5 years already?  Wow, time really does fly! :D

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Happy 39th birthday, Peter!

Wishing a happy 39th birthday to Peter Christian Ulvaeus!  I hope he has a fantastic day full of celebration and love! :D

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Summer Night City" Art Print

I've released another illustration from my book, the Story of ABBA for Young Readers, on my RedBubble shop.  This photo is of ABBA in 1978 performing the song "Summer Night City" on a Japanese TV show.

Monday, November 21, 2016

"TopPop" Art Print

In preparation for The Story of ABBA, I've put up another illustration for sale on my RedBubble shop.  This picture didn't make it into the book, but it's such a good picture.  I even put up a colorizing video for this one.

The original image is of ABBA performing on the TV show TopPop in 1974.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Agnetha sang "The Winner Takes It All" at ABBA the Museum 3 years ago

So a few days ago ABBA the Museum wrote on Instagram:
"A few weeks after opening the museum we had a very special visit from someone who sang "The winner takes it all" in this songbooth, guess who?😊🎶"
Many people guessed it was Agnetha, some guessed it was Katy Perry, others guessed Mick Jagger, and a day after, the museum replied in a comment:
"The answer is Agnetha!!😀🙌👏 Agnetha was here together with Lollo Murray and Ingmarie Halling. They had dinner in our nice restaurant Pop House Food&Bar and then walked through the museum and stopped at the songbooth to sing "The winner takes it all." To quote Ingmarie: "It was an epic moment" 🙏👏❤"
and I'm just soooo happy about it! :D  The fact that Agnetha sang that song again makes me extremely happy!  Unfortunately, there isn't any video (I know because I asked and the museum replied to me. *blushes*), but just knowing that this happened is enough for me! :D

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Story of ABBA RedBubble Shop!

In preparation for the Story of ABBA for Young Readers, coming out in one month, I've opened up a shop on RedBubble to sell artwork that didn't make it into the final product.  http://www.redbubble.com/people/abbafan456?asc=u  I'll be putting out more as it gets closer to the release date.  This picture which I currently have up for sale is of ABBA in 1977.  The original image was used for the "Take A Chance On Me/I'm A Marionette" single.

Happy 71st birthday, Frida!

Wishing the happiest of birthdays to our dear Princess Frida, and many many more to come!  I hope she has a fantastic day! <3  Thank you for the music, Frida!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Sun's Shining in the Middle of the Night

This has got to be by far one of my favorite Tomas Ledin songs!  Agnetha and Frida's voices in the background are gorgeous!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

ABBA's Return in Digital - My thoughts

I'm sure you've all heard the news about ABBA's Digital return!  In case you hadn't, you can read about it here.  And no, ABBA are NOT reuniting.  (A lot of people seem to be confused about that.)

At first when I first heard the news, it didn't sound to exciting to me.  But now that I've given it some thought, it sounds like such an amazing idea, plus it gives fans of this generation (like me) a chance to be able to see ABBA in concert again!

I'm still a bit confused as to how this is going to work, whether ABBA are going to take old live recordings or record new audio completely!  It's most likely the first one, since I don't think ABBA are gonna be recording anything new.  I heard some rumors that ABBA will be releasing a 1977 live album next year, so I'm thinking that maybe they're using the 1977 audio for this project! :D  That would be really cool!

I'm also quite surprised to see that a lot of fans aren't too happy about Digital ABBA.  They say that it's going to be dumb, but they don't have an basis to be saying that.  None of us even know what it's going to be like!  I say we give it a chance, and I'm sure that it's going to be amazing!  I'm really looking forward to seeing what ABBA have for us in the coming year!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

My ABBA Collection so far

My ABBA collection has grown considerably since I last put up pictures, so I figured it was time I do yet another updated post.  :)

Take a look at that! :D  Not included are the The Album and Greatest Hits Vol.2 records.

Many thanks to my dear friend Eleonore for helping to expand my collection by giving me so many goodies, like the "Dancing Queen" poster on the right!  The poster on the left came from ABBA the Treasures.

My ABBA/ABBA related CD collection, ABBA Gold being my first. 

My large-ABBA book collection, including the first Story of ABBA for young readers and the new one.  (What do you think of the new cover?)

My copy of ABBA Intermezzo which features my book, and Bjorn's Pop Story and ABBA by Calvero.

And of course, my most prized possessions: ABBA's autographs!  I will never be able to thank Gorel Hanser for her incredible help in getting me Benny, Bjorn, and Frida's autographs!
 So that's my updated collection.  I hope you enjoyed it! :)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Happy 5th birthday, Bjorn Udollus!

 Happy birthday to my cute little Bjorn doll!  It's hard to believe it's been 5 years!  I still remember the day I first made him!  :D
Also a happy 3 year anniversary to when I got Fluffy Bjorny!  He arrived on the same day as Bjorn Uldollus' 2nd birthday. :)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Andante Andante" with Frida and Arturo Sandoval

Arturo Sandoval, a jazz trumpeter, is releasing a new album in February of next year featuring a duet with Frida!  :D  The song is "Andante Andante", one of my favorite ABBA songs!  I really look forward to hearing it! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

40 Years of Arrival

Happy 40th anniversary to Arrival, ABBA's 4th studio album! :D

Monday, October 10, 2016

Thank You - A Tribute to ABBA

I was listening to the song "Thank you" by Alcazar and was inspired to make this video. :)  I personally believe that Alcazar themselves wrote this song as a tribute to ABBA as I shall soon explain after the video:

In the song, Alcazar say:
"I'm paying my tribute for loving like I do
'cause knowing you was knowing me."

 "Knowing Me, Knowing You"...

Then there's the line
"Since I remember was always a happy new year
No one had ever been singing the music so bright and clear"

ABBA have the song "Happy New Year."  I know it's just a phrase that doesn't necessarily refer to ABBA's song, but I'm using it to support my reasoning. :)

"When dealing was done over doubts
They were gone and the winner waves so long"

Sounds very much like "The Winner Takes It All."

Even if I'm wrong about this song actually being a tribute to ABBA, it still makes a good song for a tribute video.  I hope you enjoy the video I made! :D

Friday, September 30, 2016

Save the Date: Story of ABBA for Young Readers Promotional Blog Tour!

Dear viewers,

From November 15th to December 16th, we're inviting people across the literary blogosphere and the online ABBA fan community to participate in a blog tour leading up the book's release.  And we'd like to invite you to join us! It's a great way to help new authors gain exposure, and as a stop on the tour, your blog will be visited by all kinds of new readers.

If you'd like to take part, we have a few different posting options, depending on how many reservations we've received and Becky's availability:
  • a standardized pre-written blog tour post;
  • an original interview (text-based) with the author/illustrator, Becky Laine;
  • a book review (advance digital copy of the book will be provided);
  • a unique, original post of your choice - feel free to use your imagination, we're open to ideas!
All blogging participants will receive a standardized post outlining the information we'd like circulated during the tourFeel free to customize it to match your personal style!  Following the tour, all participants will receive a 25% off discount code for a print version of the book in return for your kind help.
Depending on availability, we may also be able to offer a giveaway for you to host on your website, as Becky hopes to be giving away a few autographed print copies of the new book.
If you're interested in participating, please reply to this message, or contact us at storyofabbablogtour2016[at]gmail[dot]com by October 31st with the following information:
  • The name and URL of your blog/website
  • Available dates between November 15th and December 16th
  • Desired post format (e.g. standard prewritten, interview, book review, etc.)
We encourage you to reserve a spot early, especially if you are looking to make an original or interactive post involving Becky.  Allison Rose (allisonthewriter.wordpress.com) is organizing this tour, and will be happy to help you out if you have any questions or comments.  We encourage people under the age of 13 (aka minors) to get a parent or guardian's permission prior to participating.

If you know any other bloggers who would be interested in participating, would you please help us out by passing this message along?

Thank you!

Becky Laine and Allison Rose

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Arrival Yourself

Celebrate Arrival's 40th anniversary by putting your face into the Arrival cover! :D https://abba.lnk.to/ArrivalYourself It's really fun, and I've already made mine. ;)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Benny's Solo Album

In case you hadn't heard, Benny is working on a solo piano album in honor of his 70th birthday! :D  I'm super hyped for it since I love Benny's piano playing and I've always wanted an album like this!  You can read the article about it here!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Movies that feature ABBA songs

Do you know of any movies that feature ABBA songs in them?  I'm not talking about Muriel's Wedding or Mamma Mia! the movie.  I'm talking about movies that don't have anything to do with ABBA. So far I know of Get Smart (2008), A Night at the Museum 3 (Technically it's not ABBA singing, but it still played "Dancing Queen"), and The Martian.  Do you know of any others?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Old pics of Agnetha Doll

I was looking through some pictures a few days ago and found some old pictures that I'd forgotten to put up, so here they are. :)
Agnetha eating alphabet soup because why not?

Agnetha at the airport

Agnetha holding onto a plane + my arms.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: Pop Story

Another one of the gifts that Eleonore gave me is Bjorn's Pop Story! :D  In Swedish, the title translates as "The Story of ABBA", hehehe.
I find that the story itself doesn't tell the ABBA story that well.  Like, there are a lot of details that Bjorn left out, but I guess that's because this book is for children after all.  I figure my book, The Story of ABBA for Young Readers, is for children who are a little, but for children nevertheless, since I go into a lot of detail.   Anyway, Bjorn's book is still really entertaining and the illustrations are really cute!
Also the way Bjorn tells the story is really, really funny.  He's got a good sense of humor! :D  The text is super easy to read, and if I wanted to introduce my children to ABBA, I'd definitely start them off with this book.

Bjorn also includes a lot of funny stories, like the one about the bugs that flew onto the stage in Australia during the 77 tour.
Aren't those illustrations superb?? :D  (And read that text, too - it is hilarious!)
If I had to, I'd rate this book a 4 out of 5 rating.  It's really entertaining and good. Well done Bjorn! :D

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Velvet Costumes

It appears I forgot to share the costumes on here... Whoops!  You can check out the posts about the costumes on Sew Amazing here, here, here, and here!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Story of a Heart

As I mentioned in my previous post, one of the many gifts that I got from my best friend Eleonore when she came was Benny's album Story of a Heart.  I've enjoyed the album so much (I've listened to it over 5 times now.... I'm even listening to it now.) that I figured it'd be fun to do a review on it. :)

Benny Doll together with the album. :)
Track 1, "Glasgow Boogie" is such a fun and uplifting song.  It has to be one of my favorite tracks on the album.  The instruments on this track are so cool and it does sound very Scottish. :)  

"Trolska" is the next track on the album.  It reminds me of the type of music my grandparents would listen to.  It's kind of slow compared to "Glasgow Boogie" but still very happy.  It's very calming, I must say. 

The next track is "Story of a Heart", another one of my favorites.  Helen Sjoholm's voice is so pleasant (I have no idea why I didn't like it when I was younger????  Proof that I'm a crazy person.)  I've loved this song for a while now since I heard it on a video about Agnetha on YouTube. 

Next is "Bed of Roses".  This song also reminds me of something that my grandparents would listen to.  Very slow and pleasant sounding.  Very 1930s sounding, or 50s.  I dunno.  It does speed up a little, though.  Usually I don't like slow songs because they make me feel slow (don't ask), but this song is so sweet, even romantic sounding! :D 

"You Are My Man" is such a sweet song!  I'd heard it in Swedish before when I was watching BAO videos a while back and really liked it.  I also had completely forgotten that there was an English version, so when I listened to this album the first time, I was like "I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH!!" 

For some reason "Cirkus Finemang" always makes me laugh.  I don't know why.  It's very circus-y (probably why it's called "Cirkus Finemang") and makes me want to go to a circus very badly.  Again this also sounds like something my grandparents would listen to.  I wouldn't say the song is fast, nor would I say it's slow.  Aha, the best way to describe it is that it sounds like the type of music that would play on a Merry-Go-Round, or in a marching band.  Circus-y. :)

Would you believe, I'd never heard of the term "Fait Accompli" before?  I thought the song was going to be in a different language and was surprised to hear that it was English.  The song sounds very much like an ABBA song to me, but I can't picture it in Agnetha and Frida's voices.  It suits Tommy Korberg's voice very well.

"Song from the Second Floor" is a slow song.  But that doesn't mean I don't like it.  It's very gloomy sounding, but it's still very pretty. 

It's that song that plays in the intro to Mono Music's website! :D  I've had a love for "Birthday Waltz for Mona" ever since I first went to the website.  Also the fact that Benny wrote it for Mona for her birthday is super sweet!!

"(If This Is) Our Last Dance" is such a sweet song.  It's very Jazzy and even though I don't personally like Jazz that much, it's really nice.  Also, are they speaking Swedish in the background at one point?  (Yeah, they most like are.)

"Jehu" is a very fun-sounding song.  I particularly like the instruments in this one.  :D

"Tyrolean Schottische" is literally the cutest song.  Like, it sounds like the music out of a children's show, and I happen to really like songs from children's shows.  (I still have the music from Barney playing in my head.)  It also sounds like something out of a medieval thingy.

I'm really liking "The Stars".  It's such a sweet duet between Helen and Tommy and it has to be on my top favorites list.  This one's also very Jazzy.   

"P.S" is super short but absolutely beautiful!  I have quite the appreciation for violin and this one really makes me happy.  It also sounds like something out o a medieval thingy.  Very pretty.

And then the last track is "Story of a Heart" in Swedish.  I feel like this one didn't fit together as well as the English one, like the words don't really fit or something, but it's still just as nice as the English version.  I really like Swedish songs, so yeah, I like this one a lot.

As you can tell, I love this album a lot and I'd literally give it a 5 star rating!  Thanks again to Eleonore for getting it for me!  I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!  (And now I'm listening to the album again.)

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Way Old Friends Do - a Tale of Two ABBA Fans

We met just about two and a half years ago, just before the 40th Anniversary of Waterloo.  Eleonore and I were both making animations to celebrate the 40th Anniversary.  A simple comment on my YouTube channel is what began this wonderful friendship between ABBAFan Seventies and ABBAFan456.  Eleonore and I started talking ever since, and this summer, we got to meet for the first time in real life!
ABBA meeting ABBA!  Eleonore's ABBA Minifigs (left) and my ABBA minifigs (right).
Eleonore also gave me some wonderful gifts that I shall cherish forever!
A big box of goodies!
This ABBAsolutely fantastic poster from ABBA the Museum!  I love it so much!!

Some flyers from ABBA the Museum, Mamma Mia the Party, and Pop House, three ABBA the Museum bags, two pencils (that didn't show up in the picture for some reason???), a newspaper from Mamma Mia the party, an Official International ABBA Fan Club postcard, and three wonderful albums: Kristina live at Carnegie Hall, Story of a Heart, and the Arrival Deluxe Edition!  (I'm listening to Arrival right now as I'm writing this. :D )
And a VIP pass from the ABBA Fan Day. (sorry for the bad quality picture!)
She also got me Bjorn's Pop story and a book about the photos taken by Torbjorn Calvero, I just forgot to take pictures of them. :)  I absolutely love these gifts.  Thank you sooo much Eleonore!!

I also gave Eleonore some gifts as well: homemade ABBA dolls that are matching to mine, a copy o The Story of ABBA 1.0, as well as Bjorn, Benny, and Frida's autographs.  :)  That's right!  When I got their autographs for myself from Gorel, I made sure to get a set for Eleonore, too!
Eleonore's dolls and Legos together with mine! :D
Some pictures I had taken before hand of the dolls and the autographs.  I'll do a detailed post on how I made the dolls on Sew Amazing later. :)

Eleonore and I had such a great time together!  This will definitely be a memory that I will never forget.  Thank you, Eleonore, so much for everything!!

Also, if not for Eleonore, I wouldn't have been able to complete my 1977 gold costumes for my dolls.  When she went to ABBA the Museum the first time, she took some pictures of the back of Bjorn and Benny's costumes.  Thank you for that, as well! :D
So yeah, this is the story of our friendship.  I'm so happy to have a friend like Eleonore.  Best friends forever!! :D