12.12.2011

Field Trip: Benefit Boutique

Yeah, I'm lame for not posting more frequently... but have mercy on me.  I have been recently diagnosed with pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel in my right hand.  Um, yeah, I'm right-handed... staring down a whole bunch of baby shower thank-yous and holiday cards to be written and sent... sometime soon?  Typing isn't very helpful to the situation, either.

It hurts so freaking bad.

But I'm going to share a little post about a fun ladies night a little over a week ago.  One of my really good friends (you know, Stephanie of Calamity Layne Vintage) works at the Benefit Boutique in Evanston.  A group of three of us decided to go visit her at her store and have a Beauty Bash!  During a Beauty Bash, you get to choose from a few different services (along with a makeup application - yayy!) and I chose the eyelash tint!

An eyelash tinting is relatively simple.  A vegetable dye is applied to your top and bottom lashes, and left on for about 15 minutes.  You have to keep your eyes closed.  That's the hardest part.  They put little sticky protective pads on your eyes to keep from staining your upper & lower lids.  But when it's all done and rinsed, you look like you have mascara on all the time because your eyelashes are dyed darker!  It stays for about 2-4 weeks, depending on what kind of eye makeup remover you use.

eye makeup
eyes closed

Okay, full disclosure: these are NOT photos from my eyelash tint, or the makeup application I received.  I actually completely flaked out and forgot (!!!) to take photos.  Boo to me.  These are actually older photos of me, from earlier in the year, but I was pretty proud of my eye makeup job that day, and it went along with the story, so... yeah.

I bought a few products at the end of the evening: my favorite item, called "Stay, Don't Stray;" an eyebrow pencil; and "Some Kind-a Gorgeous" foundation.

The store is super cute and the girls were really friendly.  I had to practice some extreme self-restraint in order not to buy a whole bunch more, but it's time to save up for Christmas gifts for everyone!

Coming soon to the Hell Razor blog: an awesome preview of our baby nursery!  We've been really busy getting everything set up, and I can't wait to show you all!  We'll see how my hand is feeling over the next few days though...

now playing:
Curl of the Burl - Mastodon
The Hunter


12.02.2011

A new idea...

ribbon proofs

My friend Stephanie over at Calamity Layne Vintage was brainstorming with me many many months ago and she mentioned getting some Hell Razor labels for the backs of my flowers and hair bows.  I loved the idea, but had neither the funds or idea where to go to get this done.

Recently, I decided to really take some time to search out a solution.  I discovered TwillTape.com and although the home page is somewhat unassuming, the prices are decent (order 10 yards or more for a discount!), and even better - the customer service has been great!  I emailed them a design (the top one) and they came back with a photo proof of the design within 24 hours.  Nice!

I really love the top design proof.  Unfortunately, it's almost 4 inches long!  Too big for my hair accessories.  So sadly, I redesigned the layout sans stars and the (unnecessary) "www" to give me a new, smaller label around 1.5 inches.  Perfect!

So, I'm placing an order, and very soon, all of your Hell Razor designs will have a very special identifying label on them!  Yayy!

now playing:
Hollow Ground - The Haunted
Made Me Do It

11.28.2011

Dill Dip Awesomeness.

It's a little late to give you a recipe for Thanksgiving seeing as its already passed, but I can share my recipe with you for ANYTIME use!  Technically, this isn't "my" recipe... it's from my mother-in-law.

This year, we had Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house.  That was pretty awesome because I really enjoy her dinner, which always includes pasta.  However, I was missing one thing about dinner at my husband's uncle's house, which was my mother-in-laws Dill Dip appetizer.  She serves it with Beefsteak Rye bread cut into small chunky pieces, and it is fantastic.


...luckily, I have the recipe!

So, I made a double batch.  I took one container to my mom's house to share with everyone, and kept one for myself here at home, hee hee.  Now, I share it with you.  Super easy to make, and works especially well if you make it the night before and let it sit!

Mom's Dill Dip
Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise (I used "light," but mom usually uses the regular stuff)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (again, I used "light," but mom uses regular)
  • 1 Tbsp. dehydrated minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. dry parsley
  • 1 tsp. dill weed
  • 1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together all of the above ingredients.  Refrigerate several hours - better if it sets overnight!

Serve with something to dip: we like Beefsteak rye, but you could use any type of bread, or even use it for pretzels!  Yum!

now playing:
Born to Lose - The Devil Wears Prada
Dead Throne

11.21.2011

DIY: Super Awesome Hallway Display!

hallway

This is a DIY that Todd and I would enjoy whether or not we were having a baby... but we got into a discussion one night about childrens' artwork and photos and how we're going to want more display space soon..

We have a long hallway that was somewhat dark, and we never got around to putting up any artwork or decorations on the one large wall.  This sparked an idea: how about a wall of clipboards that we could use to easily rotate display items?  Immediately, we knew this was the right answer!  

The first step was to re-paint the hallway a lighter color.  We chose an almost imperceptible gray, called "Igloo."  It looks white, but I assure you it's not.  I think I'm idealistically opposed to any walls being pure white... or off-white, for that matter.  This is possibly the closest you'll ever see my walls to white. But it helped a lot to brighten up the space!

closeup

We then collected twelve clipboards (they're surprisingly inexpensive for the standard wood-and-metal kind) that were identical, but I could also see this design idea easily being used with a random collection of clipboards collected from thrift stores, resale shops, and garage sales as well.  Clipboards come in about a zillion different colors and materials now, so the options are pretty open here.

Above, you can see our choice in wall fasteners.  Todd used four screws on each clipboard, one on each corner.  Wood screws were prettied up with decorative metal washers... I think it gave the final look a more industrial chic touch!  The choice to screw the boards in (as opposed to hanging them on single nails by the supplied hanging clip) was to keep the boards steady and secure in the case of a kid running down the hallway!  Another option (besides either our method or the hanging clips) would be to adhere the boards with foam tape.

diptych

We chose a pattern of three rows of four, but depending on your wall space, I could also see this being done with three rows of three, or three rows of five, or even four rows of four... I could go on and on...

The best part is decorating when you're all done!  Enjoy!  Every time I walk by, it makes me smile.

now playing:
Die My Darling - Kittie
In The Black

11.14.2011

Harajuku Mini!!!

tag

Last Sunday was the release of Harajuku Mini for Target!  I scored a whole bunch of gear for the baby-to-be!  My mom and I had a baby shower to attend (not mine, for a different friend) earlier in the day, but I warned her ahead of time that we had a MISSION to attend to right after!  She's a good sport about all things baby (ok, I think she's even more excited than me!), and always up for an adventure.  I was prepared to go to several stores if need be, but we lucked out at our first stop!

tshirts

I bought items that I know the baby won't even be big enough to wear for a long long time.  These two t-shirts will probably be stored away (they're a size small, but for toddlers) for quite a bit, but I can't wait to see the little guy in these super sweet t-shirts!  The gray one with the long stripey sleeves is my favorite out of the two.  Todd said that he likes it because it has an Iron Maiden font.

shoes

Like most everything else from the collection... these shoes were too cute to pass up!  Apologies for the photo, the original was a little blurry, so the result you see is a bit over-processed... but you get the idea.

sox

Did I need to buy mini socks?  No.  Did I not have enough money to buy groceries this week because of this shopping spree?  Um, yeah... but come on!  Checkerboard print and a lion with a hair pick!!!

hoodie

This hoodie is my absolute favorite piece of everything that I purchased.  It has the same yellow and black stripes as the long-sleeve shirt that I love, but tiny little faux buttons!  And it looks like a biker jacket!  The plaid hat (shown below) was another guilty indulgence.  Don't even know if the little guy will allow me to put a hat on his head, but I'm going to give it a shot... even if just for a picture.

hat

onesie

And last but not least, a onesie outfit that I can actually use relatively soon!  It has several of my favorite things: bright colors, stripes, and a character that reminds me of vinyl toys from Rotofugi.  Just thinking about cute little baby butt with the lion on it is just too much...!

I have 10 weeks left to go, and the third trimester is officially kicking my butt, hardcore.  My joints ache, I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel that makes my right hand either fall asleep or tingle like needles and pins 90% of the day... Plantar fasciitis in both feet... a horrible pulling/pinching pain in my left hip that randomly will not allow me to bear any weight on that side... but don't worry - I went to the doctor yesterday and she assured me that ALL of it is a totally normal side affect of pregnancy...

Just keep telling myself that it'll all be worth it in the end...!!!

now playing:
Home Sweet Home - Motley Crue
Decade of Decadence

A little update...

mail

So, um, yeah... I'm STILL working on those free sticker offers from my brush with stupidity over the summer.  I'm a woman of her word, so they will all get out, eventually.

I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the requests were NOT regular (or even occasional, for that matter) readers of my blog, but that still doesn't mean that I'm not going to follow through.  It's just taking me longer - a lot longer - than I originally anticipated.  Between baby plans and paychecks that do not have a lot of extras (for things like stamps...), the going is sloooooow.

The good news is that I have enough letters written up and enough envelopes.  I may have to place a new order for stickers, but that's not so bad, since I'll be able to put our "official" web address on it: www.hellrazorart.com - these old ones still have my original me.com address!  The biggest holdup is stamps, and time to write out addresses and stuff the envelopes.  I can usually sit and do about 50 at a time, but the times are few & far between.  Maybe with some maternity leave on the horizon, I might finish them up???  Eh, not like I'll have anything else to do, right?... ha!

now playing:
Metal Health (Bang Your Head) - Quiet Riot
Metal Health

11.09.2011

Etsy Shop Feature: Wimsys

owl

A friend of mine (who also happens to be a parent of students I teach/have taught!) sent me the cutest baby gift, hand-made by her: a fleece owl plush that matches perfectly with our baby's room color scheme!  Did I mention before that it's black, white, gray, and red?  Well, now you know.  I'm not quite ready to show you photos of the room yet, but we did do some major painting work a couple of weekends ago.  It feels like there's still so much to do!  My biggest issue right now is finding a cute black, white, and red crib bedding set.  I have one in mind, but unfortunately it's not available through either of the places we've registered at... I think I'll have to save up some money and buy it on my own.

Anyhow, this cutey little owl can be purchased at the Wimsys shop on Etsy, along with a ton of other super cute plush creatures.  I really love how Claudia combines prints and colors into the most fun designs.  I actually own another one of her creations (a skull!) and my mom purchased one from her last year (a cicada), so members from my whole family are big fans of her work.  You can also "like" her page on Facebook here.

wimsys screenshot

Spread the love and share Wimsys with your friends!  Thanks!

now playing:
Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips
Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

11.07.2011

Halloween Party 2011

T as King Diamond

This is Todd in his Halloween costume.  He was King Diamond!  If you don't know who King Diamond is, check out his Wikipedia entry here, or a post I did on the King Diamond album, Them.  I even made Todd a cross out of fake bones, just like King Diamond's microphone in concert.  Todd was such a trooper, sitting for quite a while as I perfected his corpsepaint look.  I was most proud of his costume!

couple pic

...and here's our couples shot.  I'm dressed as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time.  She's a purple cloud... My apologies, the original photo was blurry, so I artistically altered it via Photoshop so you could enjoy my giant purple pregnant-ness.  My brother decided to call me Grimace all night, which sucked, since I already had been struggling with makeup difficulty (the purple cream face paint was WAY too runny and absorbed into my face, so I applied purple eyeshadow all over on top of the face paint), and my supposedly cartoon-like eyebrows kind of overpowered my face.  I don't think I've ever done a "non-pretty" Halloween costume like this before.  It was an interesting experience, especially when I'm already feeling blah with the pregnancy... but weird self-confidence issues aside, the party was a blast!

Check out all the costumes that stopped by our house!

couples 1
couples 2
couples 3

Above, (bottom row, center) you can see my mom (pirate) and my mother-in-law (hockey player) who also came and hung out!  They were big time help, supplying treats and clean-up assistance when needed.  I'm so lucky to have them.  In fact, most of these photos are courtesy of my mom, who actually remembered to bring her camera and photograph everyone!

One of the most entertaining moments of the night was when an impromptu Rock Band performance broke out in the middle of the party.  It was like a bizarre Halloween Village People: the scarecrow, the pirate, the death metal guy, and prince charming:

rock band 1

The guys had so much fun, it was hilarious to just sit and watch them!  Ha ha - pardon all of our beverage party garbage lying around... that's how you know it was a good party, right?

rock band 2

I didn't get any shots of the food, which is a shame since I did spend a lot of time on getting the spread to look just right.  I did, however, get a quick shot of one of the appetizers I made: mozzarella eyeballs! They were really easy to make, but labor-intensive.  I used pre-marinated mozzarella balls (found 'em at Target), green olives, and black olives.  I chopped the butt ends off of the green olives to make the iris, and used a drinking straw to punch out a hole for the pupil.  The drinking straw was then used to punch out a little circle of black olive to fill in the hole as the pupil.  I bought frilly toothpicks to hold all of the final eyes together.  The one you see below is my trial run, but looks just as good!

eyeball appetizer

I've had so much fun internet-stalking all the Halloween costumes from the rest of my blogger friends, so hopefully I've reciprocated and given you some fun treats in return!  Happy Halloween!

now playing:
Party Hard - Andrew W. K.
I Get Wet

11.05.2011

Field Trip: Harley-Davidson Museum

HD Museum

On the second day of our Milwaukee family trip, we visited the Harley-Davidson Museum.  They have motorcycles on display from every single year since they first started manufacturing bikes!  It was awesome.  I have way too many photos to share them all, so here's just a couple faves:

motorcycles
motorcycle

Besides motorcycles, there are other fun things to see and do.  Below, a cutout of Evel Knievel provided much entertainment.  Leather coats and other motorcycle paraphernalia were all over the place.  There were even little computer stations that you could sit at and custom design your own Harley Davidson bike!  I bought a sticker with my design on it.  It had charcoal grey glitter paint, a white seat, and white saddlebag.  Awesome.

Todd's Face
leather jacket

At the very end of the museum, there are a whole bunch of bikes bolted to the floor for visitors to sit on and try out.  It was a little dark in here, but I snapped this photo of Todd.  He, in turn, took this photo of me on a vintage Harley-Davidson scooter, looking angry and mean.  Get outta my way!!!

motorcycle ride 1
motorcycle ride 2

After the museum, we stopped at Motor bar and restaurant for dinner.  I had some super yummy mac and cheese with a virgin bloody mary.  Mmmm... anything cheese in Wisconsin always tastes better, right?

motor restaurant

now playing:
Public Enemy No. 1 - Megadeth
Th1rt3en

11.04.2011

Field Trip: Milwaukee Art Museum

motorhead in car

Over Columbus Day weekend, Todd and I decided to take a family vacation.  For real, a FAMILY vacation.  We stuffed Motorhead into the car along with us and a suitcase, and drove up to Milwaukee for a couple of nights.  Our plan was to visit the Milwaukee Art Museum, and to relax.  We'd figure out the rest once we got there.

us in the car

We did a little research beforehand and found a hotel that was pet-friendly.  Apparently, it was a pretty busy weekend for traveling, and our first couple of choices were booked.  But I was very happy with the Best Western Inn Towne Hotel.  The receptionist at the front desk decided that she loved Motorhead, and would give him a doggie treat every time we brought him into the building.  So he liked that part.  Thankfully there was a little office building park plaza across the street so we could take him out to potty (yes, our little blue bags in hand).  Otherwise, he hung out in the hotel room when we went out to explore for a few hours at the museum.  He's a good dog.

hotel building
motorhead on the bed

See?  There he is, hanging out on the bed.  I think that was his most favorite part of the trip.  We don't allow him on the bed at home, but the beds at the hotel were lower than ours at home.  He jumped up right away.  The first night he tried to sleep IN the bed with us, but on the second night he wisened up and took over the second bed, all to himself.

us by art museum

Here we are at the actual museum.  The roof of the Milwaukee Art Museum opens up, and we got there just in time to see it happen.  It was neat-o.  Below, some collages Todd assembled from the rest of the museum trip...

collage 1

1. The lobby of the museum.

2. We bought matching pencil bags at the gift shop.

3. Me on the bridge. The "sails" of the building are now open in the background.

4. A view of the courtyard from the bridge.

collage 2

5. Chinese Contemporary Warriors by artist Yue Minjun.

6. Here, I'm scolding a Cy Twombly.  If my students saw this, they would try to pass something like this off in class as a finished work, and I'd have to explain to them that they are NOT Cy Twombly.

7. Andy Warhol

8. Roy Lichtenstein

collage 3

9. "St. Dionysus" by Kehinde Wiley

10. Shadow box by Martha Glowacki

11. A cool sculpture but I forget the artist.

12. "Refrigerator Pies" by Wayne Thiebaud

In the next post, I'll tell you all about our second half of the trip: our stop at the Harley-Davidson museum!

now playing:
The House is Rockin' (With Domestic Problems) - Kyle Kinane
Death of the Party

11.02.2011

Etsy Shop Feature: Babies Rawk

A couple of weeks ago, Todd and I registered for our baby stuff.  We registered at two really traditional baby stores, Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby, but the sad part is that we're so limited by the choices we're presented with at these stores...  so, I've been having a lot of fun daydreaming about non-traditional baby items.

diaper bag

So I bought myself the PERFECT diaper bag!  It's from the Etsy shop Babies Rawk, and I really like a lot of the things in their shop.  The deluxe style diaper bags from the shop are really great... tons of pockets and spaces to stash everything, but with really fun and unusual fabrics on the flap.  I had this one with Our Lady of Guadalupe custom made by sending the seller a convo and asking if she could do one (there were other items she had with this fabric, but not the diaper bag at the time I was shopping) - and she did!  Yayy!

pillow metal hand

Other items I've "favorited" (and been hinting at to family members) from this shop include: a sugar skull "boppy" pillow cover, and an organic wood teether/toy in METAL HORNS!!!

I'm also currently on the hunt for the perfect mobile for the baby's room.  I'd love something with stars in red, black, and white... maybe nautical stars, or paper stars... nothing too cutesy.  This might end up being something I'll have to make, since I've had little success so far... and only 3 months left to go!  Eek!

now playing:
Mother - Danzig
Danzig

10.31.2011

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin 1

Happy Halloween!  It just occurred to me that I haven't, er, been writing here for a while.  I guess life got in the way... Anyhow, I do have a bunch of fun posts to share with you - starting with these photos of our pumpkins from this year.  My pumpkin was inspired by Todd's "King Diamond" halloween costume this year.  But photos from that (and the party last Saturday) are coming soon...!

pumpkin 2

There he is, all lit up and spooky-like!  ...and here's Todd's pumpkin creation:

pumpkin 3

SLAAAAAYEEERRRR!!!

now playing:
Angel of Death - Slayer
Reign in Blood

10.19.2011

If I wasn't trapped in maternity wear...

Winter Daydreaming


...I would be wearing this stuff.  Or, at least, less-expensive knockoffs of this stuff.  But I'm daydreaming, so I'll go BIG.  But, in a perfect world, this is my style.  Do you see a theme?  I'm not exactly typical fashion-blogger or vintage-wear material.  Inspired by, perhaps, but more metal, more goth... how would you describe it?


Anna Sui flower print dress, $158
Miss Sixty black jacket, $156
L A M b, €389
Opaque hosiery, $12
Ash black mid calf boots, $429
Betsey Johnson studded handbag, $279
Tarina tarantino jewelry, $35
Jo Gordon striped glove, $100
Tarina Tarantino sparkly hair accessory, $70
Betsey Johnson plastic shades, $95
FULL TILT Crochet Back Girls Wrap, $20
Grosgrain Ribbon Bow Anywhere Clip, $45



now playing:
How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths
Hatful of Hollow

10.17.2011

Manicure Monday: Pink Leopard

pink leopard 1 week

This week's "Manicure Monday" is actually last week's nails... got real busy last week, sorry 'bout that.  The incredible thing is that this polish has actually held up the best of all my recent looks so far.  These two top shots are from today - 1 week after I actually applied the polish.  Yeah, if you look closely, you can see how my nails have started to grow, and you can see some chipping at the tops, but not bad, huh?

Below are some shots from earlier in the week - I've been really enjoying the Hipstamatic iPhone app for photos, so I took these shots using my phone:

pink leopard hipstamatic

The look was surprisingly easy to achieve.  Now that I've mastered the concept of using a tiny brush (see flower tree nails), this was pretty simple: 

  • Two coats of OPI in La Paz-itively Hot (or any bright pink color, really!) 
  • Use the tiny brush to draw amoeba-like U and V shapes with your black polish (Rimmel Lasting Finish Pro 430 Black Satin). 
  • Clean the tiny brush, then to make dots of white inside the U and V shapes (OPI in Alpine Snow). 
  • After polish has dried, apply your favorite clear topcoat for durability! 
  • Show off your awesome new nails.


  • pink leopard polish

    now playing:
    Friday Night (Going Down in Flames) - The Damned Things
    Ironiclast
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