2.27.2015

Vintage Goodies & More Available This Weekend!

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Hi y'all!! :)
If you live in the Chicago area and don't have anything to do this weekend, we're holding an open house to celebrate women who own local businesses! Jen and I will be setting up shop in Villa Park!
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I'll have Calamity Layne going full force! Vintage clothing housewares and even furniture for sale!
All of the pictured "new" items will be available for purchase as well!
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Are you interested in networking, shopping, and hanging out with some amazing ladies this weekend? Comment below if you want more info!

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne


Now Playing:
Foxy Lady - Jimi Hendrix

2.25.2015

#OnWednesdaysWeWearArt: Monochromatic

#OWWWA: Monochromatic
boots - BCBG via DSW / tights - We Love Colors / sweater skirt - DIY / shirt - Domino Dollhouse / jacket - Guess / sunglasses - Moschino via TJMaxx / lips - MAC NastyGal "Gunner"

Check me out - I've got two #OnWednesdayWeWearArt posts in a row! This is awesome! This week's theme is "monochromatic." I've gotta tell you guys, I worked REALLY hard to not make my monochromatic outfit all-black. It would be just too easy for me, right? So I challenged myself to find pieces in another color... and I came up with purple!

#OWWWA: Monochromatic

I love my purple winter coat. Can you see that it's missing a button on the top? I have the worst luck with coat buttons. Then I get sick of sewing them back on all of the time, so I just keep the button in my pocket, usually until the following winter when I forget that I did that.

My Domino Dollhouse "Edge" top in Amethyst is nearly the exact same color as my coat. I love this shirt, even though it's getting a little bit big on me. I may try to alter it so I can keep wearing it... that's how much I love it! I'm wearing it with a skirt here (to show off my tights), but I often wear this with leggings and it looks awesome and is super comfy! I absolutely love the asymmetrical hem and I wish I had more pieces like this.

#OWWWA: Monochromatic

I do own a lot of colorful tights. In fact, these tights are a tad bit more pink-ish than purple (my straight up purple ones were in the wash), but it's the same color family. So it works.

Something that is monochromatic is something that is all one color, or mostly one color. By "one color," that means the original hue, plus all of the lights and darks of that hue.

#OWWWA: Monochromatic
Sunflowers, Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

Van Gogh's Sunflowers painting is monochromatic yellow. There are many shades of yellow in this painting, and there are a few non-yellow colors, but overall it is mostly yellow. So this counts.

My DIY sweater skirt was first featured on the blog here.

#OWWWA: Monochromatic

Pablo Picasso went through a couple of monochromatic periods in his painting career. The Rose Period and the Blue Period are pretty well-known.

#OWWWA: Monochromatic
Seated Harlequin, Pablo Picasso, Rose Period
#OWWWA: Monochromatic
The Old Guitarist, Pablo Picasso, 1903-04, Blue Period

The Old Guitarist is part of the collection right here at the Art Institute of Chicago, so I've been lucky to see it in person several times.

As I was heading outside in the cold to take my outfit photos for today, I remembered my purplish sunglasses that I just purchased recently from TJMaxx. They're Moschino, so this made me excited as I've been obsessed with that damn dinosaur sweater I've mentioned before that also happens to be Moschino. Sunglasses do not = dinosaur sweater, but whatever.

#OWWWA: Monochromatic

I'm so freaking festive that I even made my makeup fit the theme. This was actually super easy because purple eyeshadow is my most favorite eyeshadow, and purple lipstick is my new favorite thing to buy. This one is "Gunner" from the MAC x NastyGal collaboration and it's sold out. You'll have to pay an exorbitant amount for it on eBay now, which is what suckers like myself did. Doh!

OWWWA logo

Be sure to stop by My Friend Court and Unbelievably Human (the originators of #OnWednesdayWeWearArt) to see what's happening in their #OWWWA worlds!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
now playing:

2.23.2015

Pop of Color

Pop of Color OOTD
boots - Target / tights - We Love Colors / necklace - Tarina Tarantino / dress - Target / cardigan - Forever 21

I found this blog post by Meagan Kerr a couple of weeks ago and I got really excited because I now have a name for myself: an "inbetweenie!"  Not only was that awesome because it has "weenie" in it (LOL I teach middle school) but I really identified with the description (from Meagan):
"Inbetweenie sizes are those on the smaller end of plus size (14-18) – an inbetweenie babe could shop at some plus size stores (these sometimes start from a size 12), and can usually find clothes in straight sized stores too."
Right now, this really fits me well, and I totally identify with it. In the past, I proudly proclaimed myself "plus size," but I've been feeling weird lately in that whole "hey, these plus-sized models aren't really plus sized" sort of way. I've always identified with my larger ladies. But since my surgery, I've started to question parts of my identity - can I still claim to be plus-sized if I can also buy some straight sizes? Am I not "plus" sized enough to belong? Would I be kicked out of the group? But what if I don't want to be in the other group! The plus sized ladies are MY PEOPLE and they are AWESOME! 

Enter the inbetweenie. I love the idea that I can hang in all the worlds and still be cool. Thank you Meagan!

Pop of Color OOTD

This day's outfit is yet another one of those "questioning my identity" things... I love all-black, but I've been craving tiny pops of color again. This day, I decided to experiment with some tights (which you also saw in purple last week!) and a black and white print in hearts (the day I wore this was prior to Valentine's day, so totally holiday festiveness vibes).

Pop of Color OOTD

I've had this Tarina Tarantino necklace for several years now. It was a Christmas present to myself at 40% off (a Black Friday sale, I seem to remember?) way back when Todd and I were still dating. I wore it a lot at first, then some of the crystals started to fall off! Oh no! I ended up contacting customer support at Tarina Tarantino and they repaired it and sent it back to me! How cool. This seems like the perfect time to re-debut it.

Pop of Color OOTD

My sweater was an impulse purchase from Forever 21. I was there looking for zipper pouches (ughh that's a whole other post - my collection is getting a little out of hand...) and I stumbled across it. I had a gray sweater with hearts on it back in the day (see here and here) and it's gotten too big, so I donated it probably a few months back. I was super excited to have this be one of my first "straight" size purchases since surgery.

Pop of Color OOTD

The patch-style pockets on this sweater are the best. I have so much love for pockets. By the way, did you notice my ratty black lace Target dress? I feel like it's been on the blog a million times. It's pretty big on me now, but I still refuse to let it go! (Evidence here, here, here, and here.)

Pop of Color OOTD

Close-up of the Tarina Tarantino goodness. It's a statement necklace, for sure.

Pop of Color OOTD

Blue tights. I buy all of my tights from We Love Colors. They have a terrific plus sized hosiery selection in a ton of colors! If you haven't bought from them, give it a try! Highly recommended.

I started a Pinterest board called "Not Black" for all of my non-all-black fashion interests as of late. If you're digging a possible new direction, check it out, including my new most favorite sweater if I had an extra $635 laying around.

Pop of Color OOTD

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
now playing:

2.21.2015

Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

Food: A Love Story

The last time I posted a book review, I chose an art book. This time around, I wanted something more light-hearted and funny that was easy to read. Enter Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan. My husband and I are huge fans of his stand-up acts, and we'll quote lines regularly to each other whenever there's an opening. We've even got Iggy saying "Hot Pockets!" every time the commercial comes on.

Also, crabs are the bugs of the sea. Crab meat = bug meat. :) 

As a fellow food lover, the topic of this book was also right up my alley. Although this book is meant to be humorous, I sadly (in that black-comedy way) kept finding bits of myself reflected within his jokes! Aww. Whomp whomp.

If you're a fan of Jim Gaffigan, definitely check this book out. If you haven't seen or heard any of Jim Gaffigan's stand up work, you can still read this book without having any background info and enjoy it - no prerequisites required! In fact, many of the jokes in this book come directly from his stand-up act, so if you're a really big fan and reciting quotes in your everyday life (um, too), you might find some of the book slightly repetitive. 

I found it repetitive only because I am so familiar with his work, but in the way that you keep watching reruns of The Office even though you know what's going to happen and it's still funny and you still enjoy it anyways.

Read this book when you have those tiny snippets of time (like waiting at the doctor's office) when you don't need to mentally prepare to get back into the story like an intense drama or suspense novel. This is an easy to pick up right where you left off kind of collection of short comedic stories. I very much enjoyed this book and recommend it!


*** I received this copy free for review purposes via Blogging For Books. All opinions are totally honest and 100% mine. ***

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
now playing:

2.20.2015

Curing the Winter Blues with Vintage & Cacti!

 photo Winterblues_zps7dbf0107.jpgHowdy!
It's FREEZING, gloomy, and some kind of water is coming from the sky constantly...WHY do we live here!? I always need to do something around this time of year to keep the winter blues at bay. This year, I decided that the cactus was my answer. They remind me of the southwest and it reminds me of the desert & warmth....a bunch of my favorite things...SO! I found a few ways to repurpose some vintage items I and laying around.  photo Photo-6_zps58501f75.jpg
Here I used an old clay pot I found in our garage when I moved in and a vintage teacup saucer as a water catcher. This cactus has lived here for a year now! It seems pretty happy! ;)
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You can find small cactuses at Home Depot for about $3.00 a piece. They are really affordable and easy to take care of. Succulents and cactuses are really the only house plants that stand a chance at my house. This vintage planter really isn't being "repurposed" I guess...I just thought it looked like a cute home for this little barrel cactus.
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This piece of scuffed yellow Daisy Pyrex is cheery, sunny, and is the perfect home for this little guy. Look around your house and see what unusual items you have lying around that may be the perfect home for a cactus!
 photo Photo-7_zpsf93839b0.jpg All you need to make a cactus feel at home is:
A pot, bowl, planter, cup...Whatever makes you happy!
Some dirt
Small pea gravel or rocks
A little bit of water
Oh! And some gardening gloves so you don't get poked
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  • Mix the dirt and rocks together...almost a 50/50 mix (that's what I've done with success at least). 
  • Make a hole large enough for all roots to be covered. 
  • Place your cactus (roots down obviously) in the hole and cover with rock dirt mixture. 
  • Lightly pat down and the give it a little drink (not a lot...they don't like a lot of water). 
And there you go! A happy little summery cactus for you to enjoy!
Stay warm, my friends!!!

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

Now Playing: 
El Paso - Marty Robbins

2.18.2015

#OnWednesdaysWeWearArt - Henri Rousseau

OWWWA Rousseau

I'm purposely forcing myself out of my all-black rut (have you noticed some slight changes lately?) just to shake things up by participating in a regular feature called "On Wednesdays We Wear Art," hosted by the blogs My Friend Court and Unbelievably Human.  I've been a fan of My Friend Court for a while now (a fellow art teacher - she teaches elementary art!) and I thought perhaps some of her joy might rub off on me!  She features a different artist every week, and styles an OOTD in her interpretation of the theme. This week's artist is Henri Rousseau.

OWWWA Rousseau
dress - Target (old) / sweater - Target (old) / tights - We Love Colors / boots - Target / earrings - Forever 21 (I think? Also old) / weird face - model's own

Henri Rousseau was a self-taught artist. He is considered a Post-Impressionist (along with Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat, and Van Gogh) in the fact that his work was created in the time period following the wave of Impressionist popularity. His style is considered native, or primitive because his style is not highly realistic, but instead has a kind of flat, cartoon-ish, children's book sort of look to it.

OWWWA Rousseau
The Dream / 1910 / MOMA

I was surprised to realize that I actually owned some pieces of clothing that were green! I had this forest-green cardigan (dug out from my pre-pregnancy days), and a pair of olive green tights from We Love Colors. I knew that if I was going to dress in something inspired by Henri Rousseau, I had to have green to emulate all of the plant life of his jungle scenes.

OWWWA Rousseau

OWWWA Rousseau
Exotic Landscape / 1908 / private collection

Henri Rousseau wasn't an artist as his regular job, he was a customs officer, or toll collector. He eventually retired at age 49 to work on his paintings full time. His artwork was often criticized for not being sophisticated enough.

I have a soft spot in my heart for underdogs. I think Henri Rousseau's paintings are fun.

OWWWA Rousseau

I chose to wear this floral dress (recently seen here) to emulate the plant life/pops of color in Rousseau's paintings. I forgot to mention that I'm standing outside in the freezing cold here. Todd graciously volunteered to be my photographer on this day. As usual, I stood there and made weird faces.

OWWWA Rousseau
The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope / 1905

Rousseau's paintings often follow a simple foreground/middle ground/background theme taught in elementary school art classes. Once I heard that Rousseau used his houseplants as "models" for the large jungle plants in his paintings. Not sure if that's true or not.

OWWWA Rousseau

OWWWA Rousseau

I wore these silver leaf earrings as a nod to the giant leaves in Rousseau's paintings. I didn't have to buy a single thing to do this particular #OnWednesdayWeWearArt topic! I was quite proud of myself.

I hope that you enjoyed this first installment of #OnWednesdayWeWearArt! Be sure to also stop by the hosts of #owwwa - My Friend Court and Unbelievably Human!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
now playing:

2.16.2015

Free Planner Printable!

PUT POST TOPIC HERE

A couple of Mondays ago I debuted my new Filofax and showed you my planner organization. My front page, or dashboard, is a quote from Instagram that I re-designed for myself using the PicCollage app. I thought that it would be fun to share with you, in case it made anyone else giggle as much as it does me.

This printable is a .pdf sized for A5 planners, but feel free to use your Photoshop magic to convert it for other sizes as well, if you like! I printed mine out on cardstock, with a clear "flyleaf" page in front of it. You could also print it on regular paper and/or laminate it.

Enjoy! Download your inspirational planner page here.

PUT POST TOPIC HERE
This is just the low-res version for the blog. Download the real A5 size here!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
now playing:

2.13.2015

Sweet Vintage Finds from Calamity Layne

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Hi everyone!
I found some GREAT stuff in Iowa while we were on our trip & I thought I'd share some of it with you! Eventually, most of this stuff will be up for sale at Vintage Garage & hopefully in my Etsy store (if I can get myself to sit down and post!!!). Above, I found a kick ass strawberry serving tray along with strawberry glasses to match. Also, six 50s tomato juice glassed and a hat.   photo unnamed-1_zps5c70f502.jpg
This is the "blue" collection ;). Plenty of Pyrex, a deco vase, aqua lotus rice bowl, paint by number ballet paintings, & an aqua ceramic dish.
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Vintage shot glass, Glassbake casserole dish with lid, Pink Pyrex mixing bowl, a plaid recipe box from 1957 & 2 mid century serving dishes.
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One of the coolest canister sets EVER! photo unnamed-2_zpsd4c63b6f.jpg
Thee more pieces of Pyrex & a gold chicken cheese ball platter. photo unnamed-6_zpse6e4c64a.jpg
Vintage "young" double sided salt & pepper shakers. photo unnamed-5_zpscc8f305b.jpg
Same salt & pepper shakers from above only...the "old" side, Ballerina platter, gravy boat & dish & a vintage ball pitcher.

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne
Now Playing:
Ray Charles - Early in the Morning

2.11.2015

Candy Shoes

Candy Shoes
shoes - DIY / tights - We Love Colors / skirt - Top Shop / sweater - hand-me-down from Megan

Today was another one of those days where I didn't wear 100% black, and people commented on it throughout the day. Sometimes I have to wonder if it's worth it to break out of your norm. Contrary to what one might think of someone who has a blog and posts pictures of herself, I'm not exactly comfortable IRL with people commenting on my appearance - I get so awkward. But anyways.

Comments mostly revolved around my purple tights. "Your purple tights!" "I like your tights!" "You're wearing purple!" 

I had to wear purple tights. I assembled the outfit around the shoes. Black tights wouldn't have made sense. In my brain (at least), it made so much sense.

Candy Shoes

See? Black tights would have been all black/white/gray, and the purple shoes would have stuck out more.

Candy Shoes

Lisa and I made our shoes a couple of weekends ago. We bought our shoes (via a BOGO sale!) at Payless, and used this tutorial to guide us. I ended up also spraying my shoes with clear spray paint to try and seal the sprinkles on. I still lost a few by the end of the day. I'm thinking that these shoes will probably need sporadic touch-ups every so often.

Candy Shoes

Here they are when I first finished them. I originally bought glow-in-the-dark purple puffy paint (it was all they had) and it dried way too transparent for my black shoes. I went over it with some regular puffy paint mixed with white that I found in the art studio. The longest part of this whole project is rolling and cutting enough "sprinkles" out of Sculpey clay for two pairs of shoes.

In case you're wondering, Lisa made her shoes with tan flats and light green frosting:

Candy Shoes

Pretty cute, huh?

When I'm working with clay or washing my hands constantly at school (which is really most days...) I've been wearing my wedding and engagement rings on this faux leather cording around my neck. Otherwise, I'm constantly taking them off, and I'm worried I'll leave them on the sink or on my desk. That would not be awesome. So, my necklace on this day was rings on a cord!

My sweater was a freebie hand-me-down from Megan (she's given me some pretty cute pieces before, like this jean jacket). I paired it with this skirt from Top Shop that I picked up in the city over winter break - it's made from that weird scuba-y material, so the nice part is that it always stays "fluffy" and I like how it lays.

Candy Shoes

I always wear spandex shorts under my skirts if I'm wearing tights. Is anyone else paranoid like that?

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
now playing:
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