Ren Fest, All Hallows’ Eve Weekend

On Sunday, Willy and I attended Ren Fest for a few short hours. We had planned to be there all day but since it was pouring down rain in the morning, I thought we weren’t getting to go at all. Fortunately, it let up about noon and we headed out to the festival.

This year I decided I really wanted to attend on All Hallows’ as a way to sneak a second Halloween costume in for the year. I always go to Fest in costume but I really wanted to do something outside of my norm: The Raven.

I have had the nickname of Raven for so many years but I have never dressed as one, until now.
to incorporate my husband in the costuming, we decided he’d go as Edgar Allan Poe. (the other option, a Khaki Scout ala Moonrise Kingdom, wasn’t very appealing to him)

This costume was definitely a labor of love. I made my tutu by following a tutorial for a very full tutu. The tutorial is for toddler sizes so I didn’t really do the math about how much tulle I would need to make one for myself, in total around 200 yards. A shopkeep at festival didn’t believe me when I told him it was that much but each strip is anywhere from 3-4 feet long and there are two strips in each little hole, stacked three deep, all the way around my waist.
I really didn’t want any “wardrobe malfunctions” so my hindparts were VERY covered. The only other drawback to this plan? Bathroom breaks were a total pain! The tulle grabbed my tights and it was A LOT of fluff to try and wrangle into a stall.

My make-up is from another tutorial. I modified it to fit the products (mostly) I had on hand, didn’t need a beak because I already had one and also, I didn’t want to change my eyebrows so I just darkened them.
I did a make-up test and then decided I needed to add some more product. On my face I’m wearing Colorstay foundation, NYX black gel smudger, NYX milk eye pencil, Eyeco fat eyestick in Old Gold, Almay Intense Eyes for green eyes, Hard Candy eyeshadow in Space Cadet, NYX Glam Liner in Glam Platnum, Almay black liquid liner, Almay black kohl liner and Physician’s Formula green gel liner.

It was hard to capture the detail of the mask and my make-up at the same time
because I’m so pale and it’s so intensely dark.

The mask was originally supposed to be an entire cowl piece but it was WAY TOO HOT HERE (stupid Texas) so I adapted and created a head piece instead.
(it’s currently sitting on this skull because I don’t have a mannequin head and want to keep the shape)

The back of the mask is a sleep mask from United Airlines First Class.
It worked perfectly.

I layered several different types and shapes of feathers over the mask and added some buttons for the eyes. The beak I cut off a Venetian style plaster mask that came white but I painted it black by hand and then spray painted a clear coat on top to give it the glossy effect.

Willy’s Poe costume was very easy to put together with a vest we purchased (this will work for our actual Halloween costumes as well) some smudged eye shadow around his eyes, a normal button down shirt, a strip of black fabric for his ascot and a feather as his quill pen.

This is probably my most favorite costume to date and we had a lovely afternoon at Fest.

Normally I would wear something else our second trip to Fest,next month,
Untitledbut this year I might just go as Raven again. I loved it that much.

Other costume notes: my little shawl thing reminded me of wings and is actually a faux fur wrap that attaches to my leather jacket, I just tied it on with some ribbon. the waist cincher is by Renaissance Leather. the black belt, mug holder and pouch I used for my phone are from Ravenswood, my boots are old Airwalk from Payless, tights are Vera Wang from Kohl’s and my mug is from Wondrous Works in Wood (it’s a purple heart wood)

Scarf Swap Time Is Fast Approaching

So, another month is gone again and I should probably do a little update for those of you that follow me here and not on twitter where I run off at the “mouth” every day of the week but today is not that day. Today it’s time to start thinking about scarves, even though my A/C is still running, I’m still having to shave my legs and my boots are getting dusty. Someday soon, PLEASE, it will get cold-ish and I will get to break back into my stock of scarves. I will get to shop for new ones. I will buy one for someone else.

Thankfully, the scarf swap always helps on that last one.

If you haven’t played along before, you can check out these posts for more info: post 1, post 2 and there are more links contained in that first post if you want to read even more.

The swap admin is essentially the same every year:

    You Don’t Have To Be A Blogger To Participate
    You Can E-Mail (e-mail address located under contact me), Tweet Or Comment On This Post To Sign Up
    You MUST Provide Me With An E-Mail Address To Assign Your Match/Allow Correspondence Between You

This is much earlier than I usually post about doing the swap but maybe that will be better? I know a lot of stores have some GORGEOUS scarves out now, so maybe grab one now and if you do, I might be able to match you with a person that is interested in that color or style? Just let me know if you’ve already shopped or plan on pre-shopping and we can sort all that out later.

You have until Monday Dec 31st to sign-up
Matches will be sent out Tuesday Jan 1st

Scarves should be sent to your swap by Friday Jan 18th. Again, the mail out date is a guideline and not a hard and fast rule. I have extended it a little this year (because at least in my world time is FLYING by this year) but if you are ready earlier, please feel free to send it earlier. If you need to send it later, all I ask is that you inform your swap partner so they aren’t left wondering if they were forgotten.

If you have any specific color aversions, preferences, fabric allergies or anything of that sort, please include them in your comment, tweet or e-mail! It just helps your swap partner pick something that you’ll love.

The flickr pool is still there for uploading pictures of your scarves or you can send them to me and I’ll add them, just make sure you let me know that it’s okay to do so.

I look forward to seeing everyone get lovely new scarves!

WYS week one

It’s Friday and I have gotten dressed every day this week. When I say dressed, I mean real clothes…even if the outfits weren’t all that dressy and were barely a step above yoga or pajama pants…and I am getting sick again so toward the end of this week I wore the same jeans multiple days or even got dressed for like 20 minutes, felt like I was about to crash and burn so I got undressed and then went back into a warmer hoodie and jeans ensemble. I’m still going to call it a success because for the first time I walked into my closet with IDEAS instead of complaints and loathing.

And it’s also a success because other people said they were inspired to join in, which is always awesome. As always there is a flickr pool so feel free to share your outfit photos so we all have inspiration!

This week I definitely stayed in my comfort zone of jeans + but I did get ideas about the skirts and dresses I wanted to be wearing…so maybe if I am not feeling too puny this weekend (and have some place to go) I’ll wear the outfits I have in my head.

You already saw the first day…so second day
I busted out this cropped, bow-tie, cardigan that I have had for probably 4 years and have never worn. I have thought about wearing it, I have put it on and taken it off many times over but have never actually gone through with wearing it, until now.

The third day
I wore this coat I bought for BlogHer ’08 and these lime green loafers.

The fourth day
I wore some brand new jeans (Levi’s) that I scored on sale for $12 and paired them with these old Mary Jane’s I’ve had for years. I pulled the color combo of my shirt and hoodie from the shoes and that’s how I went with a way old pale green scoop neck tee with the also way old coral hoodie.

The fifth day is when I started getting sick
So same exact pair of jeans a short-sleeved dolman sweater layered under a long-sleeved wrap cardigan that I got last year.

And finally today when I put together this
Super cute outfit of a couple years old navy blue skirt, many years old rust colored polk-dot tunic and year old flower cardigan with belt that is at least 5 years old and brand new birthday boots which lasted all of 20 minutes.

When I am feeling better, I definitely will be wearing that outfit again.

Are you doing WYS?

first eye tutorial

Lessons learned from my first tutorial:

1) I ramble a lot. I had to cut over 4 + minutes out of this video to get YouTube to accept it.

2) I should’ve turned the iPhone landscape.

3) I probably shouldn’t have used my iPhone at all.

4) I really look HAGGARD when I don’t sleep a full night in multiple weeks.

5) I say “UM” and “Going On” FREQUENTLY

6) I wish I would’ve put lip gloss on, HELLO CHICKEN LIPS

Let me know if this was helpful and if y’all are interested in me doing more…I promise they’ll get better as I do them. I do intend to correct the issues.

past life eyes

In a past life, when I was young and first living in Texas, I spent my days schlepping make-up behind the Origins counter at Foley’s department store. It wasn’t a bad gig, really, I loved (and still do) Origins as a company and a product and people that bought that particular brand of make-up were of the least asshole-ish of those that shopped the cosmetics counters in Foley’s but MAN did working in cosmetics in a department store AT CHRISTMAS blow the nastiest and wartiest and smelliest of goats.

My favorite part of the job was the gratis. Not going to lie. My second favorite part of the job was playing with the make-up. I could give two shits about selling it, honestly, but color is something I am good at and I was willing to put it on anyone that asked, day or night. Of course, I was supposed to push them to buy it, but I just really enjoyed playing with it. So much so that during my down time I just made mock-ups of eyes.

We got these little eyeshadow diagrams that we were supposed to send home with makeover clientele to show them how we had done their make up but when I didn’t have anything better to do? I’d just sit there and play with unusual color combinations. I got started with it because I got asked so many times what I was wearing and frequently would have so many colors on that I would forget and feel like a jackass but, as time went on it just became my thing. Some of my customers started coming in just to see what outlandish color combinations I could make work and if I got something really out there to work on paper they would insist I put it on them and frequently buy the outcome. At training programs I got called out for being able to match skin tones without having to try them on people and for my eye diagram things.

Recently, Christina played around with green eye shadow and posted it on twitter and it reminded me how much fun I used to have with make-up. I’ve long since resorted to just wearing mascara, tinted moisturizer, blush and some gloss and calling it a day but because of that tweet? I actually did a full eye the other night for dinner and this morning I did a horrible eye diagram in photoshop for y’all (it’s much easier on paper with the actual shadow products)

Crappy lighting

I should call these my cammo eyes judging by the shades of greens and golds but in person it doesn’t look quite that crazy and everything is MUCH more blended.

Is this something y’all are interested in? I’d totally add a section to the blog with make-up tutorials or just eye mock-ups/pics if y’all are, um with better pics of course, just let me know.

Halloween 2011 and other stuff


I shared the inside pics of the house today on Style Lush and as soon as my voice comes all the way back, I’ll do a vlog to put up here that gets more into the details.

I really love how everything turned out this year so be sure to check that out!

As an update to the Sprog/Barbie/Mum sitch, they broke-up on Sunday so no mum will be purchased or made. Sprog was SUPREMELY upset when it all went down but she handled some things REALLY POORLY and he felt like he didn’t want to deal with it anymore. Hugely mature of him to make a choice that made him unhappy in the moment but is better for him in the long run.

In other Sprog news, we got his first progress report this year and he got ALL A’S AND B’S!! I seriously could not be more proud of him and we are all working hard to maintain it. He has a flat $50 waiting for him if his report card comes in looking the same way.
butter headband

In shop news, I’ve added 3 new necklaces (one has already sold) and 3 new headbands to the shop in the past two days. I’ve got some pins in process and will be steadily adding more items to get ready for the holiday season. If there is anything you are looking for in particular please let me know!


I fully admit to being Pinterest addicted. I am either on the app on my phone or on the website at home but for as much as I’m on it, I’m also getting project ideas and then getting them done. I love crafting, as evidenced by the Etsy shop, and having a place to get all new inspiration is awesome for me.

Take for example these bracelets from Delighted Momma.

I am not sure when I saw them on Pinterest (or even where, sometimes I tend to fall down a rabbit hole) but I know it was within the last day or two and yet here I am today turning some ridiculously cheap bangles into something cute.

I didn’t have hemp cord lying around but I usually have embroidery thread so I used that instead.

The first one I did similar to hers with just wrapping the thread around the bangle

And then I drew upon my past of making friendship bracelets and hemp necklaces and switched it up a bit

The yellow and orange one is made in the hemp necklace method and midway through I flipped the primary color.

The red one is called a “Chinese Ladder” technique from making friendship bracelets and it’s still in process so you can get another glimpse of the MEGA cheapie bracelet that is going on underneath there. I still have two more bracelets left to cover and decide what I want to do with them but they turned out so cute!

I love spray paint

I bought a pair of lamps at TJ Maxx many, many moons ago and have never done anything with them other than plunk them down on a flat surface and turn them on (and off of course, must save energy!). One of the bases started to crack about a year or so ago, you have to love humidity and its effects on wood, so I just painted over the gap and turned that ugly bit to the wall and went on with my life.

When my husband and I re-organized the office so I would have a dedicated work space for the shop, I decided it was time to do something more with that particular lamp.

Lamp 1 of the pair, the one that is still this way.
(This isn’t the cracked lamp, but the other of the pair that is still original)

I knew I was going to paint it and during a shopping trip to Home Depot, I grabbed a deep turquoise/peacock blue spray paint. I repaired the crack with wood putty. I figured that would be about it for the lamp until I found a new shade on clearance at Target for $13.

Now the lamp looks like this

Lamp 2 of the pair after paint and new shade (light on)
Light on
Lamp two (light off)
Light off

Christina has the same shade and has had it on a red base and now on a yellow base. I love that it’s so versatile!

Oh and you may notice on the original lamp it has a different style of shade which is held on by a little ball at the top? All I did to convert the lamp is remove the ball, the shade and then the harp that was holding it up. It’s very simple, the harp just pops right out of the slots on either side of the socket.

The whole project cost under $20 for the shade and the spray paint, I already had the wood putty and sand paper.

hitting the bricks

One of the things about this house, that has always bothered me, is the fireplace. It’s off center (as is everything else) it has some messed up “detail” in the front that I’m sure was supposed to be hip in the 80’s but to me just looks like hillbilly teeth badly in need of braces and has a super odd mantle that seems to have been just slapped on there to compensate for possibly running out of brick. Plus, it was made of the exact same brick as the outside of the house so the word Mexico is randomly stamped in some of them AND it’s like they used all the ones that were just too effed up and damaged to have on the outside of the house on the inside.

Wall before
See? It’s ugly! It’s ORANGE and mottled white in places. It’s WAY TOO CLOSE to that oddly placed window, the mantle is just weird. UGH.

Before I got a wild hair (thanks to Pinterest-I swear, it’s both a time suck and a total motivator) it looked like this

At first I decided to try white washing. I figured half of the bricks already had a bunch of white crap on them anyway, maybe it would look not so bad and save me a bit of work. That turned out like this

Which didn’t feel quite right to me and the husband admitted he thought looked pink. Once he said the words, I had flash backs of living in Az with all the pink washed furniture in the southwest style and OMG NO.

So another few hours of hand-cramping painting with two different sized brushes and now it looks like this

I still need to do something about that mantle, most likely adding some trim pieces to make it look less like some slabs of plywood, but at least the orange is gone and I hope it looks somewhat better.

And even though that “detail” looks even MORE like teeth now that it’s white, it’s like muppet teeth, like Dr. Teeth, right? RIGHT? Please FTLOG tell me it’s not still screaming hillbilly teeth.

New Canvas Print

Y’all know that this:
Sprog @ Lover's Point Monterey
is one of our favorite pictures of Sprog that I have ever taken. It’s just such a seriously awesome moment in our travel history (even though it gave me total heart palpitations at the time) and it’s something special that I thought needed a little more than just a print from Walgreen’s slapped into a frame.

I was thrilled when contacted me about working with them to get a canvas of my own printed. Obviously, I knew exactly which picture I wanted to use which made the whole process insanely easy for me, but if you don’t, they have an idea gallery at the ready to help! Their website is incredibly user friendly and explains each step of the process (there really aren’t many at all) in a clear and concise manner, with helpful visuals, previews and image processing if you need it. It’s even easy to go back and make changes if you make a mistake, like I did. When I initially selected my canvas size, I automatically picked 8×10 not really thinking about what that would mean for the layout of my picture. When I got to the preview and I discovered my mistake, I was able to correct it in two clicks of a mouse. SO SIMPLE!

My canvas arrived in record time and looks fantastic.
I love that none of the detail of the photo was lost in the printing process and the texture of the canvas even adds to the drama of the print.

Knowing exactly where I wanted to hang it, I selected a printed gallery wrap
so when you walk by it, the picture continues along the edges of the canvas. I love that I don’t have to frame it and yet it still looks great.

Reasonable prices, easy process, great quality and fast results, I couldn’t be happier with my experience!

The final installation of the canvas print in our bedroom includes a small old-timey map of Monterey Bay and a Monterey Bay smashed penny, since I had some leftover and loved yesterday’s project so much.

It makes me smile every time I walk into my bedroom.

I was compensated for this review with my canvas print, however, my opinions are my own and had I been unhappy with the process in any way, I would’ve shared that with you.