8.31.2011

Shop Update

Hello!  I figured I hadn't really written about Hell Razor items lately... so I'd do a little mini-feature of some new stuff I'm working on and have available (or will have available soon)!

rosary heart

The first item is a Heart Locket Pink Recycled Rosary Necklace.  I found this really cute pink rosary that has rose-shaped beads, and swapped out the usual cross for a heart-shaped locket.  The fact that it's a former rosary gives it an "edge," but the color and shape give it an overall sweetness that I find really fun.

rosary gun

This next recycled rosary necklace is not yet up for sale, but waiting to be listed.  The blue rosary beads are thrifted/vintage, and I swapped the cross for a holy bible locket and black plastic gun charm.  I think I'll call it something along the lines of "NRA Recycled Rosary Necklace."  Mostly because the idea just cracks me up.

butterflies

I made a bunch of these butterfly bobby pins, and they sell really well - might even be one of the most popular items in the shop.  So I should probably get around to listing this orange pair... I had fun photographing them next to my potted flowers on the porch for added realism.

earrings

This is a one-of-a-kind pair of earrings.  While on a rosary shopping spree, I stumbled across these tiny wooden religious charms, or icons.  Although not everyone's cup of tea, the idea of re-using religious iconography in an unusual way really fascinates me.  I love the imagery, but not always the literal meanings... so in this way, I make it my own.  Check out the Wooden Religious Icon Dangle Earrings here.

felt bow

Although I have several bows in the shop to purchase, I haven't gotten around to listing this one just yet. Maybe because I like it too much.  I experimented with using safety pins as crossbones in the skull design, and I really like how it turned out!

So, there you have it.  Be on the lookout at the Hell Razor shop for some of these as-yet-unlisted goodies to pop up soon, and get you some!

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8.27.2011

The Post Where I Rant to Get Something Off My Chest.

feathers

Most of you who read this blog are familiar with the fact that I'm an art teacher.  Most of you who read this blog already knew that I have purple hair.  Many of you remember me mentioning that I had a feather hair extension.  Like since last May, the end of last school year.  So, me and new, unusual things = not unusual at all.

A co-worker of mine, who I consider to be a pretty good friend, posted a comment on Facebook in reference to the number of middle school girls with feathers in their hair and how tired she was of it and how she can't wait for this "trend" to die.  Several other coworkers expressed their agreement in their liberal usage of the "like" button on her comment.  One even expressed concern about the "trouble" that feather hair extensions were causing to the fishing industry because of a lack of feathers for their lures (um, what?!  who cares about the sport-fishing industry?!  We're not talking about endangering panda bears or killing babies!  It's FISHING!).  Sigh.

Yes, we came back to school this year with LOTS of our students having a feather extension.  I thought it was cute, and kind of rad that we have so many supportive parents letting their daughters try out a form of self-expression that is seen by some as "radical" or "weird." (We smart people know it's not weird at all, but fun and harmless, but I won't go into that...)

I did feel weird that a trend being enjoyed by 11-13 year-old-girls was also something I was partaking in (and might actually make it "uncool" for them to see a teacher wearing the same thing as them - gasp!), so I actually cut my extension out last week - before the infamous Facebook status update by my coworker...

It bothers me that a.) she posted this, and b.) that so many other teachers jumped on the "yeah, me too!" bandwagon.  She KNOWS, and my coworkers KNOW that I had feathers in my hair.  They also KNOW that I'm on Facebook, too.  

It gives me one of those weird self-conscious moments, where I'm all "are they secretly talking about me, criticizing me behind my back?" to which my adult self says, "who cares what they think?"

...but these are (for the most part) people that I think of/thought of as my friends, so I do care what they think, to a certain degree.

And I bet, if I asked them, that they'd brush the whole incident off (if they even remembered it) as a "we were just referring to the students, not YOU Jen" kind of moment.  

That doesn't make it okay.  That's like stereotyping an entire gender or race, then turning to your friend who is a member of that gender or race and saying, "oh except for you."  

Not acceptable.  Not okay.

Yes, I'm hormonal and paranoid and weepy at the drop of a hat because of the pregnancy, but it still bugs me anyway, so I thought I'd come here and vent.

Done.

Thanks.

now playing:
Nowhere - Murderdolls
Women and Children Last

8.26.2011

My friends are awesome.

baby NIN

My super awesome friend Elaine sent Todd and I this baby onesie.  She made it herself.  Words cannot even adequately express how much I love this, and how perfect it was to receive this gift from her, of all people.  I love you Elaine!

now playing:
The Perfect Drug - Nine Inch Nails
Lost Highway Soundtrack

8.23.2011

Why don't they make this stuff for adults?!

spinbrush for kids

I was over at my nieces' house for a birthday party, and noticed these cool toothbrushes in their bathroom.  Of course, I immediately asked about where they got them, and did the stickers come with the toothbrush (or had they added them later on themselves)?

I found out this is sold at Target!  I also found out that the stickers come WITH the toothbrush.  And, when I went to purchase one for myself, I found out it was on sale for less than $5!  Whoa.

jewel spinbrush switch

This puzzles me.  Why wouldn't an adult want an electric toothbrush that is a) inexpensive, b) has a nifty jeweled on/off switch, and c) customizable with stickers?!

Um, HELL-O manufacturers... get on that, ok?  In the meantime, I will purchase myself a "Spinbrush for Kids" regardless of you labeling it for someone not in my age bracket.  By the way, did I mention that these stickers are special clear waterproof ones meant for staying power on the ol' toothbrush?  Nice.

spinbrush closeup

I briefly considered buying this brush primarily for the special stickers and putting them on an "adult" electric toothbrush, until I realized I wouldn't have a sweet jeweled on/off switch.  Boo.

(In case you're wondering, nothing about this post is sarcastic.  I'm being 100% dead serious that I love this toothbrush, and I'm frustrated that kids seem to get all the cool stuff while adults are forced into "serious" business.)

I'm sure that this post will very likely become a whole series of "Why don't they make this for adults?" related-posts very soon.

p.s. School has started, and not only am I super stressed about my full-time teaching job, I'm wearing a new "hat" as a union person in my district this year, and also handling my first pregnancy.  So apologies if my infrequent posting slows to a virtual crawl.  I'm not going anywhere... just moving a lot slower.  Thank you for your patience.

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8.17.2011

Fun with Fragrance

perfume collection

Today is the first day of school.  I decided to schedule this post in order to ease up my stress for the start of a new school year, and talk about something fun and enjoyable: perfume!

I picked out my favorite fragrances and photographed them in groups.  It's also a bit of a timeline, an evolution of my fragrance tastes over time.  Let's start with a classic: Chanel!

chanel

I will always always always love Chanel No. 5 - It's the signature scent of both my mother and my grandmother, and I always feel super fancy when I wear it.  It's also probably the most expensive of all of my fragrances, and why it isn't my everyday choice!  A second Chanel fragrance that I love is a limited edition scent, called Chanel Gardenia.  It used to be available only every 5 years, but to my surprise, I did a search for it, and apparently you can purchase it from the Chanel website, but boy, is it expensive!  I remember paying something like $55 for the bottle you see above, and I've saved it for YEARS.  Probably not a good idea, as I wonder how strong it is anymore...

anna sui kat von d

Oh how I love Anna Sui fragrance!  If you look closely, you can see that my bottle is starting to run out! Oh no!  I'm going to have to order it online, as I haven't seen it in any stores around here lately.  (Sidenote: the Anna Sui website is really frustrating, as it shows me all of these fabulous things, but I haven't found any physical stores in the Chicagoland area where I can purchase them!  Nor does she sell her fashion via her website.  I really want to see her items in person to touch the fabrics and try things on!  Any thoughts?)

The second bottle is "Saint" by Kat Von D for Sephora.  I bought this when her first two fragrances came out, and although I liked the "Sinner" packaging better, I liked the smell of "Saint" and therefore decided to purchase this one.  Since that time, she's also come out with two additional scents: "Adora," and "Poetica," both of which I can't really report on since I haven't sniffed 'em.

narciso tokidoki

Okay, now here are my two current favorite and most everyday fragrances.  Number one is Narciso Rodriguez.  Every single time I wear this fragrance, I get compliments!  I've been in stores shopping, and the salesgirls will say "oh something smells really good over here!" and I've learned to say, "Oh, it's me," even though it seems conceited... because it's true!  The salesgirl then walks over and sniffs me and says "yeah that's it!"

It's actually happened to me several times.  I think that's a pretty good testament to the success of this one, right?  The only problem is that finding it in the store (typically Sephora) is a toss up.  But you can order it online.

The last fragrance is my latest acquisition: Tokidoki!  Tokidoki has released a whole series of small roll-on fragrances inspired by their cartoon characters - and they're only $18 each!  Super affordable!  These are perfect for the little girl in your life, since they're roll-ons and can't really be over-applied (as opposed to a spray).  I chose to buy Adios - a light, citrusy scent.  There are six to choose from, and if you check the listings on Sephora, they give a short description of each on the website.  I've been wearing it every day this week so far, and although I don't get the overwhelming complements that Narciso grants me, I still love it!

What's your favorite scent?

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8.15.2011

Manicure Monday: Cool Colors

pastel nails

Okay, nerdy art-teacher trivia for you: all of the colors featured in this post are considered "cool" colors (as in, not "warm" and on the same side of the color wheel).  Hence the post title, and not just because I like these colors and therefore I consider them to be cool.  Although that is also true.  But anyway...

I used my two favorite shades on my fingernails: light blue and minty green.  They're OPI "What's With The Cat-itude?" (light blue) and OPI "Gargantuan Green Grape" (minty green).  All topped off with Sally Hansen clear coat (you know, the usual).  Lately, I've been having trouble deciding what colors to use, so I choose multiple and just go for it.  It's fun.

purple pedicure

BONUS NAILS!  I gave myself a pedicure!  Even though my mom told me I have terribly ugly feet (thanks mom), I took a photo of them anyway.  I used OPI "Purple With A Purpose" for my toes.  I've found that although I like to have fun with color choices in nail polish, the wrong color on my toes just makes them look sickly.  Darker bold colors tend to work better, so I usually stick to bright pinks and reds.  I've been known to do a deep metallic blue, so I tried out this purple.  I like it.  For our wedding, I actually had a pedicure with black nail polish on my toes!

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8.13.2011

Momiji + Hello Kitty

momiji hello kitty 1

These dolls are part of a design collaboration between Momiji and Hello Kitty.  Momiji dolls are small collectible dolls that have an opening in the bottom to write secret notes!  There are six dolls designed in the Hello Kitty collection, and I chose to buy the Gigi and Astrid dolls.

momiji hello kitty 2

I first heard about Momiji dolls in an article about Gwen Stefani's Harajuku-themed tea party fundraiser to benefit earthquake and tsunami aid efforts in Japan.  Although I do love heavy metal, I'm also a huge Gwen Stefani/No Doubt fan (yeah, weird mix, I know).  The style of these Momiji dolls remind me of the Harajuku Lovers cartoon characters.  When I saw that Hello Kitty had a collaboration with Momiji, I was sold!

momiji hello kitty 3

By the way, have you heard about the Harajuku Mini for Target line that Gwen is collaborating on?  I'm so excited for this, and I hope that it includes little boy baby clothes, especially because Gwen is a mom of little boys - give us something cool too, please!  It's set to launch in stores early November, but you can find the school supplies and backpacks right now.  Trying to decide if I can afford to buy one for this school year for me...

momiji hello kitty 4

Oh, but I got off track there.  Here's a close-up of the secret message spot on the bottom of the Momiji dolls.  I can't bear to write anything on the paper though... I just want to keep them nice on display!

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8.11.2011

Week 16: It's a Boy!

I want to try to make an effort to NOT overwhelm you with baby stuff, since this isn't a "mommy blog" per se, but it is a major part of my life right now, so you will get bits and pieces here and there.  Fair warning, this is one of those posts.

crib

We bought our crib!  We ended up purchasing this crib online from Target.  We looked at a lot of places, and most of what we saw was a) not black, b) ridiculously expensive, and/or c) huge and bulky, not our style!  I wanted simple, modern, without a lot of curves.  This was even before we knew the gender of the baby.  Oh yeah, this is the actual photo of the crib in the room.  I apologize because the photo was dark, and I over-processed it on Photoshop in my efforts to try to make it brighter.  Sorry bout that.

But oh yeah... it's a BOY!  Last week, we went to an ultrasound in Oak Park, called "First Peek," where you can see your baby in a 3-D ultrasound and they'll determine the gender starting at 15 weeks!  Some friends of ours had used the service, so the business came very highly recommended.  We had a wonderful time, we saw the baby in 3-D (I saw him move his teeny arms!) and the technician told us it was a boy!  Little baby wiener!

leopard toy

Another really fun service that this place provides is to record your baby's heartbeat and put it into a tiny teddy bear or other stuffed animal.  When you squeeze the animal's belly, you can hear the recorded heartbeat!  I chose this tiny leopard guy.

So, that's the latest in baby world.  In my next post I'll share a couple new non-baby-related items I picked up while shopping!

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8.10.2011

The Back Porch: After

Whoops, sorry guys, guess I was away a little longer than I intended here!  I tried to do some Wardrobe Wednesday shots for today but I wasn't feeling the pregnancy look today... hopefully soon.  It is my goal to let you see my roly-poly self sooner or later, just gotta get the motivation together.  And probably some help from Todd - my self-portraits tend to totally suck it.

But here!  To redeem myself, I am providing you with FINISHED photos of the back porch!  I first wrote about the plans to do this back at the beginning of summer, and even gave you some of the inspiration, idea, and supplies I had gathered.  Ta da!  Here are the final results:

porch overview

It doesn't even feel like you're outside when you're in here!  We used blue indoor/outdoor carpeting on the concrete slab, and then I layered a patterned outdoor rug in khaki and dark red to break up the space. The blue carpeting contrasts well with the orangey brick of the house, but the red in the carpet goes along with the warm tones in other areas.

The biggest warm toned area is the ceiling, check this out!

porch ceiling

Our porch ceiling was originally painted and horribly peeling plywood.  Todd scraped it, primed it, and we then used adhesive to attach these lightweight faux-tin ceiling tiles to the existing plywood.  I selected an antiqued copper finish, although the tiles come in (what seemed to me to be) a zillion colors and a variety of different patterns and textures.  It was probably the biggest expense of the project, but I love the final effect so so so so so much.  It's totally worth it.  (If you're really interested, I ended up ordering these tiles from this website.)  Just yesterday evening, Todd and our friend Dylan added the crown molding to finish off the edges of the ceiling and walls.

circle rug

Here's a close-up of the area rug.  I bought it on clearance at the end of the season last year from Target.  Although I hadn't originally planned it this way, our porch developed a theme of circles.  There are circles on the ceiling, circles on the rug...

circle curtains

...circles on the porch drapes!  I bought short (2 foot) rods for about $10 each, and installed one at each of the three corners of the screened area.  "Real" porch/outdoor curtains are expensive.  I bought these 100% cotton panels at Home Depot for $15 each.  They're part of the Martha Stewart collection, and I figured that I can take them down and machine wash them at the end of the season and probably be just fine.  If not, they're not so expensive that they can't be replaced!  Our porch doesn't get a lot of exposure to the elements because of large overhangs on two sides and its position on the southeast corner of the house.

I didn't figure the curtains to actually close, I just wanted to create a fabric column-like effect and give a teeny bit of extra privacy and coziness.  It feels like a fort!

cactus

Even my cactus is a circle shape!

porch chair

Eventually, I'd love to purchase some more substantial furniture, but these collapsible rocker chairs from Target are actually really comfy.  I bought the wood-framed mirror at HomeGoods on purpose because it matched our "circle" theme.  The whole porch design concept was actually inspired by the throw pillows Todd bought on super-clearance last season (Home Depot, I think?).

pillow

I love the color purple, so this deep-toned family of purples really appealed to my senses.  It felt...sophisticated.  I pulled purples especially for the wooden border along the ceiling and the back door paint colors (shoot, forgot to photograph it!  Maybe next time.).  The shapes of the circles obviously drove many of the other decisions, but I very consciously decided to NOT get too monochromatic overall, and I'm so happy with how all the colors complement each other in the end.

It's too bad we all live so far away - I'd love to have you over for a cold beverage and small talk on the porch! 

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8.03.2011

Vintage Shopping Finds!

deer bookends

When I was in Michigan with my mom, we bought so much stuff that we couldn't haul it all back on the bus.  So, we packed up a big box and had it shipped back to us here in the 'burbs!  The box arrived earlier this week, and I'm reminded of all the fun we had garage-saling and vintage/antique shopping.

The first fun find was this pair of deer bookends!  Although they were marked "Bambi," I like to think of them as a more generic deer design (eh, I'm not a huge Disney fan, to put it lightly...).  I thought they were super cute and I haven't decided where they'll call home just yet.  Could be the bookshelves in the living room, could be a spot in the new baby's room... oh, but the baby room plans are for another post!

melmac sugar creamer

I have always been in love with these plastic dishes, called Melmac.  Now that we're expecting a baby, it seems like the perfect time to start a collection of plastic dishes for our home.  I began with this sugar and creamer set in a beautiful pastel purple.  I used to admire sets of these dishes from afar, not knowing which color I would eventually like to have in my home one day.  I've decided to build my own set out of a variety of colors, creating my own rainbow-set of plastic Melmac dishes!  Then I can make our set as large as we need, and I can take the time to build it up over time, enjoying the hunt for new colorful pieces!

melmac logo stamp

Here's the Melmac stamp in the bottom of the dishes.  I love that pretty much all Melmac dishes are the same shapes and sizes, just different colors.  This will allow me to have all kinds of fun mixing & matching!  I love starting a new collection, and I'm very excited about this one!

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