12.31.2014

Art Studio Re-Design and Tour

Art Studio Redesign

In January 2011, I first gave you a brief tour of my art studio.  Over the summer, I posted some tips about organizing your art room space, but I haven't done a full-on studio tour since that original 2011 post. Over winter break, I did some major re-organizing and reworking of the furniture pieces in the studio, so (only THREE YEARS LATER) this seems like a good time to give you a tour of the space with fresh new eyes!

The biggest changes to the space are the removal of my large dark IKEA desk and four large bulletin boards on the wall. I replaced these with my vintage vanity (formerly shoved in the master bedroom, where there wasn't really space for it).  Now the floor plan is much more open!

Art Studio Redesign

My computer desk space has been moved 90 degrees to the left to the closet counter space. I painted and put up shelving in the closet nook a long time ago, but only now am I using the counter area to its fullest potential. I did a lot of purging of unused art supplies in order to condense the storage to the closet now that I've lost eight 12"x12" cube storage shelves, but it feels great!

Art Studio Redesign

I was able to re-use my existing desk chair and vintage lamp for my new desk area. I also ran a power strip into the closet nook to plug the computer into. My printer is on the lower right shelf, which is super convenient, and tucked out of the way just enough.

Art Studio Redesign

I have this cute flat file rolling chest from IKEA that used to be stored under the counter space. It fits really nicely under the window now, and I have room to stash all of my faux flowers until they're used. I also have to store all of my display pieces/craft show display items in my art studio, so some stay out (like these wrought iron stands) on display all the time.

Art Studio Redesign

The work desk area is relatively unchanged. I didn't move the position of the desk. It fits well in the space already, and the artichoke pendant lamp for task lighting works quite well. There is, however, a LOT more "stuff" on the shelf and walls! The art studio is one of the places in my house that I just hang pretty much anything and everything that inspires me.

Art Studio Redesign

Here's the vintage vanity I was talking about earlier. I love this piece, but it's just too big and bulky for our master bedroom. It took me a day and a half to get the bulletin boards down and patch/paint all of the holes in the wall, but it was worth it to get this beautiful piece of furniture in here!

I used some of the vanity drawers to stash display pieces, like those velvet necklace display stands, and for shipping/wrapping supplies. Some of my display pieces (like this blue two-tiered dessert stand) work well for storing supplies in-between shows.

Also, I now have more wall space for more stuff! Woo hoo! Speaking of stuff...

Art Studio Redesign

...so much stuff...

Art Studio Redesign

...a lot of dolls. I'm forcing myself to not buy anymore Monster High dolls, because it's getting borderline creepy Barbie collector. And we can't have that. Erp.

Art Studio Redesign

I still have two of my six original bulletin boards up in the art studio. It was hard at first to boil it all down (with my affinity for stuff and all), but I moved one board down to the basement where Todd gave me a little desk space (I'm going to make it my sewing/DIY fashion space), and the other three are going to school with Todd.

Art Studio Redesign

(above) Bulletin board button collection and faux flowers awaiting arts and craftiness.

Art Studio Redesign

I purchased a new large black cutting mat for my work space, so I'm pretty excited about the fresh look it gives to the work area. Above you can see some eyeballs in progress and lots of other supplies and tools on display.

Art Studio Redesign

I'm thinking that it's so nice in the studio now that I can invite people to come and visit here to shop directly!

Art Studio Redesign

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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12.29.2014

OOTD - Xmas Eve

Xmas OOTD
hooded cardigan - Domino Dollhouse (Science + Visions Collection) / boots - Target / leggings - Kohls / jewelry - see below

Does anyone else have mixed, melancholy feelings about Christmas? It's like, everyone else around me is OMG SOO EXCITED AND ITS SO GREAT AND CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!

...but I just feel kinda meh. I mean, I don't dislike Christmas? But I never quite feel the excitement that others seem to feel. Is something wrong with me? I try to get into the spirit. But I ended up getting really stressed and anxious. It's one of those holidays/life events where everyone else's expectations and desires seem to trump whatever I or my immediate family wants, and it just makes me frustrated and mad. I want to throw up my arms and yell "I quit!"

Xmas OOTD

Which I guess brings me to my grinchy attempt at a festive outfit for Christmas Eve at my mom and dad's house. My Biz Markie Yo Gabba Gabba t-shirt is from last year when I took Iggy to see the live Yo Gabba Gabba show with Todd, Lisa, Shane, and Gunnar.

I paired it with all black.

Xmas OOTD

I cannot recommend the Cloak Cardigan in Onyx from the Domino Dollhouse Science + Visions Collection enough. Have you noticed that I have a thing for giant drape-y clothing this season? Capes and cardigans and hoods, oh my.

The cardigan has pockets. Also, an awesome perforated faux leather trim all along the front edge and hood of the cardigan:

Xmas OOTD

Close up of Santa Biz. It's hard to tell that the shirt itself is actually dark green:

Xmas OOTD

I'm a little disappointed that my new white brick wall in the basement still didn't give me the details in my photos I desired of my black ensemble. I thought that the black/white contrast would help. My resolution for the new year is to master my DSLR capabilities and improve my photos for the blog. The bad lighting kills me.

I've been wearing lots of hand accessories lately. Here's the breakdown for those of you that are interested:

Xmas OOTD
 black midi ring - The Rogue + The Wolf / wedding band - custom / Ice Age ring - Alicia Hannah Naomi / bracelet - Forever 21 (old) / band (on thumb) - ASOS / small black midi - Hunter Gatherer Chicago / pentagram ring - ASOS / engagement ring - custom

You may have noticed the Ice Age ring in a previous Monday Love post. Merry Christmas to me! :)

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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12.26.2014

Day-After Christmas Survival Guide

 photo tiotlexmas_zps63cfda90.jpgThe presents are unwrapped, the holiday feast is over...it's time to relax!!!! Finally! Don't know how? Have no fear! Your Day-After Christmas Survival Guide is here!

It's easy! 
1) Stay in your PJs - It's ok to be lazy today. Stay comfy, my friends! 

2) Make a nice warm drink. Coffee, hot tea, OR the hot toddy is my favorite & (you're in luck) there's a recipe below!
 photo HotToddy_zps95e4429e.jpg
3) Put on some relaxing, home-style tunes. If you wanna make it super simple, check out my Down Home Day-After Xmas Playlist attached below!
 photo DownHomePlaylist_zps3781baf9.jpg

4) Unplug! Just for a little while. There's too much to investigate on the internet that can cause worry and stress. If you're home for the holidays talk with your friends and family for a few hours instead of watching TV. Read a magazine or book for a few hours. Draw, paint, create something. Turn off your brain a little and focus on the important things in life.  

Happy Lounging!!!!

Now Playing:
Down Home Day-After Xmas Playlist

12.24.2014

Basement Dweller

Basement Dweller
dress - Domino Dollhouse / combat boots - MooShoes / leggings - Target / scarf - Target / earrings - Etsy / gloves - Urban Outfitters (old)

Happy Christmas Eve! I love winter break because I can work on projects and hang out at home. Today I'll be at my parents' house, but hopefully there will be some free time for my own interests.

I'm in the process of renovating a space in the basement so that I can take outfit photos with a neutral background (translation: NOT at work or in my messy studio). The wall isn't ready yet, but I figured that even this wall made of studs > my previous backdrops.

Basement Dweller

This dress is the Wednesday dress from Domino Dollhouse that quickly sold out as part of their "Pagan Poetry" collection (I first featured the dress here). Even though you've only seen it here once before, I actually wear this dress a LOT, even if it never did quite get the collar fixed. Here, you can see that I had it on for the hearse show this summer, and in New York right before Lisa's wedding.

Basement Dweller

I've been very inspired by the television show Vikings lately. Well, maybe more of a goth viking. Dress warmly and in black. So, besides my dress, I have on leggings, my favorite chunky black infinity scarf, and fingerless gloves from long ago via Urban Outfitters. Yep, not black. I'm still working on that. Need a new pair.

My earrings are long sword-like pendants via Etsy. Very viking-ish.

Basement Dweller

...and of course, combat boots.

Basement Dweller

I like this concrete floor as a backdrop for photos. I've always had plans to put tile down in this part of the basement, but now I'm considering otherwise.

Basement Dweller

My hair isn't exactly a cool Viking style like Lagertha, but it's still braids. Need help doing a style like this? I used this pin to help get my braided crown looking just right.

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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12.22.2014

A Cheap Date

Low Cost OOTD
denim jacket - Levi's (via hand-me-down) / dress - thrifted / boots - Target / leggings - Torrid / socks - GoldToe / bracelet - handmade (custom) / rings - custom / earrings - Etsy
My outfit for today is very low cost; therefore, I am a "cheap" date. My dress was thrifted, and first made an appearance on the blog in early 2013 here. This is why stretchy dresses = awesome. They fit across all kinds of sizes!

Low Cost OOTD

My coat was a great deal, too. It was free from Megan (previously mentioned on the blog as she does my hair) as a hand-me down. My friends' "fat" clothes = my skinny clothes. I'm ok with it. For real.

Low Cost OOTD

At first glance, this dark denim coat looks kind of bedazzled and uncertain how it might incorporate into my wardrobe, but I've worn it twice now and it may even replace my blue denim jacket... you never know. I love it!

Low Cost OOTD

Close-up of my thrifted dress' pattern. Very cute all-over heart print that still adheres to my mostly all-black current aesthetic.

Low Cost OOTD

I love these boots. And I have awesome socks on today from Gold Toe. They're over-the-knee style, but I folded and scrunched them down so now they're knee socks that don't make my legs look all sausage-y, which is awesome.

Low Cost OOTD

I wore my bracelet from Todd today. I've been enjoying wearing more jewelry now - some new, some older pieces that have not been worn in a while. I did talk about this bracelet waaay back when in my "jewelry box" blog post.

Low Cost OOTD

I don't think I've ever talked about my wedding rings on the blog before. I've been enjoying wearing them lately because they actually FIT again! My engagement ring is a pink sapphire. It's from a jewelry store, but has been customized from the original setting.

My wedding band is made with black diamonds and the abstract/scroll design is modeled after the concept of my mom's wedding ring design, which has a tree branch. My wedding band is one-of-a-kind, and Todd had it made for me by a metalsmith artist friend of his from college.

I love that I have one traditional style of ring, and one non-traditional ring. They're not a set that's meant to be worn together, so I usually wear my wedding band on my left ring finger, and my engagement ring on my right.

Low Cost OOTD

I've spoken of these earrings before on the blog. Still love them. Similar here.

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
now playing:

12.19.2014

DIY Natural Molasses Cookie Sugar Scrub

 photo Title_zpsba6b68ef.jpg
Are you tired of spending ridiculous amounts of money on fancy store-brand scrubs and skincare? Next time, try out this recipe! It's easy on your wallet, smells wonderful, and keeps your skin healthy and hydrated. It's PREFECT for combatting dry winter-beaten skin.
 photo Photo-3_zps6f499bb2.jpg Brown sugar is a gentle exfoliant so it's fine for sensitive skin. It's also a humectant, so it absorbs moisture from the environment and transfers it to your skin. Honey has anti-aging and anti-bacterial qualities and olive oil fights inflammation and hydrates.

INGREDIENTS:
2 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cups Brown Sugar
5 Drops Clove Essential Oil

HARDWARE:
Cute Jar for storage
Small Mixing Bowl
Fork for Stirring
 photo Photo-3copy_zpse8c8352d.jpg
Step One:
Combine sugar, honey, and olive oil in mixing bowl and mix together with fork until blended.
 photo Photo-5_zps80bba2da.jpg Step Two:
Add a 3 to 5 drops of Clove Essential Oil and stir with fork.
 photo Photo-4_zps632f3f55.jpg
Step Three: 
Put mixture into an air-tight container (a mason jar or jelly jar works great).  photo Photo-7_zps19dea40f.jpg
Step Four: 
Enjoy! I use my scrub after soap int he shower and it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated...AND you smell like freshly baked molasses cookies...YUM! They also make great gifts!

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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12.17.2014

DIY Stamped Holiday Table Runner

DIY Holiday Table Runner

It should come as no surprise that I am not a fan of "traditional" Christmas decor - red and green and cartoon Santas and such. But I'm not a total Grinch. I just like to do things my own way, and unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of Christmas decorations for people like us. So I end up making a lot of my own things. Here's one example.

I tried to find a table runner that would a.) look good on our table, made from reclaimed wood, and b.) not be cutesy horrible red and green Christmas style. I decided that a black table runner with some sort of star-like motif would fit the bill. Before I make anything, I typically do a search online to see if anything already exists and is within my price range, because sometimes making something yourself can get a little pricey and/or time-consuming. But I had no luck in this case.

Enter the DIY: I would purchase a plain black burlap table runner (I found my Burlap Table Runner on Amazon for less than $15), and stamp it myself!

DIY Holiday Table Runner

Step one: You need a stamp in your desired design. Because this will be a very rough print (burlap is not a smooth fabric), you want to keep it simple. You could purchase a pre-made stamp, but I actually just cut my own stamp from a clear-plastic-y printmaking material (it was a sample of this stuff). You could easily go super thrifty and cut an actual potato stamp for this and call it a day! (Here's a quick potato stamp tutorial using a cookie cutter for the design.)

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I used white block printing ink to do my stamping. It's not as involved as you might think. Here are my materials:

  • My stamp
  • A piece of plexiglass to roll out ink (you can use any smooth surface, or an old cookie sheet even)
  • A brayer (the thing to roll out and apply ink)
  • A baren (used to press down the stamp evenly; not needed if you go the potato route)
  • Paintbrush (for touch-ups)
  • Block printing ink in white

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I decided to use block printing ink because it is thicker and stickier than paint. You could probably get away with using screenprinting ink if you wanted a more washable runner, but then you probably shouldn't use a burlap runner - get something cotton.

Here's how inking works:

DIY Holiday Table Runner


  1. Squirt out a small amount of ink (tablespoon or less) onto your smooth surface, and roll out until it has evenly coated your brayer. 
  2. Roll the brayer over your stamp until there is an even coating of ink
I actually allowed my ink to be a little bit thicker since I would be stamping onto a rough surface. I placed newspaper under my fabric runner to protect my work surface. I then "eyeballed" the placement of my stamp so that my pattern appeared more random, and printed each star individually like this:


DIY Holiday Table Runner


  1. Place the stamp ink-side down carefully onto the fabric. 
  2. Use the baren to evenly apply pressure to the stamp (don't wiggle it or your stamp might move!)
  3. Carefully lift up the baren and the stamp (my stamp actually kept sticking to the baren). 
  4. Admire your work. Touch up (if needed).
I actually re-stamped again on top of a couple of my stars, but the shape was so simple that re-aligning wasn't really an issue. Otherwise, I would not recommend doing that.


DIY Holiday Table Runner

Every half-dozen stars or so, I would wash off my stamp completely, re-roll some additional ink, and reapply before stamping some more. The whole printing process probably took less than 45 minutes. By the time I got to the end, the first stamps had pretty much dried.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I really like the rough texture of the prints on the burlap.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

Here's the completed (dried) table runner against my actual dining room table, for full effect.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I am very happy with the end result! My beaded Christmas trees look right at home on my new stamped table runner. (Did you miss that DIY? Check it out here.)

I especially love that I can now use this technique to create all sorts of motifs for different occasions, not just for Christmas. I might make an everyday version next!

*** This post contains some affiliate links, which helps to keep Betties N Brimstone up and running! ***

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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