4.29.2015

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec
dress - vintage via Calamity Layne / shoes - Dr Scholl's via Zappos / crinoline - Domino Dollhouse / belt - Betsey Johnson / fitbit bracelet - Target / sweater (pictured below) - JCPenney (w/my own felt customization added)

Welcome to the triumphant return of #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt! Last week was craaaaazy busy for me (eh, as are most weeks lately...) and I wasn't able to snag the #OWWWA topics ahead of time from Court. However, she has a whole page about it now, and YOU are invited to join in! You don't need to blog (although that's pretty sweet), but you can participate via Instagram simply by hash-tagging your photos #OWWWA or #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt (if you do participate, tag me so I can be sure to see your photo!).

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

This week's artist topic is Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a French artist from the Post-Impressionist movement. He was a painter, printer, and illustrator. He's pretty well-known for his paintings and posters from the Moulin Rouge, as well as images of other Parisian nightclubs and cabarets.

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

So, my outfit doesn't look very French at all, nor have I stuck to the color palette of Toulouse-Lautrec, which is where I usually go to for my outfit inspiration. Today, I have decided to go with a big flouncy skirt with a crinoline to mimic the dancing cabaret girls of Toulouse-Lautrec's nightclub paintings.

My sweater, by the way, is a super super old (like before Todd and I were married) black cardigan that I dug back up from the ashes of my smaller clothing boxes recently. I embroidered the skull on some felt and sewed it by hand onto the back of this sweater. It was a labor of love. Made way before the popularity of Hell Bunny cardigans and such. It has seen better days (the felt is pilling), but I can't bear to let it go when I remember how much work I put into it originally!

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

Check it out, I'm a can-can girl! Am I the only one who thinks of Bugs Bunny in a dress dancing in a French cabaret when looking at these pictures?

Dun-dun-dun-da-da-da-dun-dun-dun-da-da-da!

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec had a unique disability where he had a full-sized adult torso, but child-sized legs (attributed to a variety of theories, one being inbreeding!), which resulted in him only reaching 4 feet 8 inches tall. (Hmm, that's only 5 inches shorter than me...!)

Because he was unable to participate in many other activities due to his size, he immersed himself in his art. Unfortunately, he also immersed himself in alcohol and prostitutes. Whomp whomp.

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

This dress is from Steph! I've been dying to find a piece from her shop, Calamity Layne Vintage, that's just right, and I finally found it! Once I put my black crinoline underneath and cinched it all with a stretchy black belt, the look was complete! I had been mourning over the loss of my two favorite Hell Bunny pinup style dresses (way too big for me, I sold them off), and was considering buying myself a new retro/rockabilly style dress, but now I don't have to because this one is pretty freaking adorable. :)

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

Jane Avril, French can-can dancer, and I both love showing off our fluffy skirts!

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

The buttons all the way down this dress are one of the things that drew me to it.

Oh - I put my hair up on purpose, too, because it seemed more appropriate to the period, even though I did not have a fancy feathered hat to wear. People already looked at me weird or made comments just for the puffy skirt. Giant feathers unnecessary.

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

Toulouse-Lautrec trivia: He died from complications with alcoholism and syphilis at the age of 36. That's exactly how old I am here... hmm, awkward... But seeing as how I don't engage in alcoholism or prostitutes, I'm probably (hopefully) pretty safe for at least a few years.

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

This belt is a Betsey Johnson, and I got it from Marshall's. I've had it for a long time: proof here (whoa 2011 blog post!).

#OWWWA: Toulouse-Lautrec

My shoes were from a mini Zappo's spree where I made it my mission to find comfortable ballet flats for the summer. These are a total WIN. Dr. Scholl's with black-on-black stripes? Yes please!

#OnWednesdaysWeWearArt is a feature originally created by Courtney over at My Friend Court. Please be sure to stop by to see what's going on in her #OWWWA world!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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4.27.2015

Cute glasses! Where to buy...

Glasses Collection

I wear contacts. That's my standard. Most people who only see me sporadically don't even know that I've needed glasses since the second grade. But I love glasses, actually. They're super fun to shop for, but the cute ones can end up costing you a pretty penny... not necessarily anymore!

In the last couple of years, I've acquired a tiny collection of cute prescription glasses, which I thought I'd share with you, along with my sources. I have a REALLY strong prescription, and even when my lenses are "compressed," they still stick out of the frames. Wire rims are usually not even an option for me, but luckily I love plastic frames!

Let's get started with my all-time favorite frames:

Glasses Collection

These are my Derek Cardigan 7005 black frames. They sell out, and sometimes if you're lucky, they come back into stock - which is what happened to me when I bought them. I was so excited when these became available, I snapped them up RIGHT AWAY. Worth it.

You've seen these frames in many a blog post over the years: here, here, and here, for example.

Glasses Collection

The Derek Cardigan frames are sold through Coastal.com. They have awesome deals and coupons (just do a Google search for Coastal coupon code, they have super great first-time order deals, but also great deals for repeat customers... like me...!)

Ooh I just noticed that they're available now in a brown/aqua combo, a white/clear style, or purple! (Full confession: I may have just purchased these purple frames as I was researching this post...!) I also love these fuchsia frames, also from Derek Cardigan. So many awesome choices!

I was able to score the 7005 frames WITH prescription lenses for under $100. Seriously. That's an amazing deal for cute glasses!

The key thing to know when buying glasses online is your prescription. Ask your eye doc for your glasses prescription on paper the next time you have an exam, and then you can use it anytime you want to order glasses online. Since my prescription is at a point where it doesn't really change, I can buy several pairs and mix them up for different looks.

Glasses Collection

Derek Cardigan aren't the only style I've purchased through Coastal. I also snagged these "Love" frames - I couldn't resist the hearts on the temples - in a L740 style (currently only shown on the site as a sunglasses version).

Glasses Collection

I was hesitant to buy these originally because they are smaller than the styles I typically prefer. But I got a really good deal, and snapped them up. They were my second pair I purchased out of the four shown here.

So, Coastal is my first choice for inexpensive, but cute frames. Another great option I've found is BonLook. When I saw that blogger Keiko Lynn was coming out with a retro cat-eye style, I bought a pair - again, for only around $100! I chose the "Miku Mint" color, but they're also available in a light pink, black, tortoiseshell, or pearlescent white!

Glasses Collection

You would have seen these glasses before in this blog post. They're definitely not as "everyday wear"-ish as my black cat-eye frames, but they're still super fun, and I usually get compliments when I do wear them out. This year, they were great for my all-green St. Pat's day outfit!

Glasses Collection

BonLook also has a whole bunch of other cute frames, like these "Bombshell" pink cosmo cat-eye frames!

This next pair of glasses I think I spotted on Pinterest, which sent me into a treasure hunt style search to find them IRL:

Glasses Collection

They're Valentino V2659 black/white combo. If I recall correctly, these originally came in an all-black version, too, but I went for the black/white style just to justify another pair of glasses that were different "enough" from my Derek Cardigans. You know what sold me on these? The damn pyramid studs on the temples. They were too heavy metal to NOT own.

Glasses Collection

I think that I bought these from LensesRx.com, only because I get emails from them occasionally. These frames were the most expensive, just because they're Valentino. But I splurged. So they were about twice the price of the others... but if you're going to wear glasses, I firmly believe that it's worth it to buy ones that you really like so that you don't mind wearing them out and feel cute when you do it!

After this blog post, I will own five pairs of cute glasses (the four shown here + the purple Derek Cardigan 7005s I just ordered, LOL). If you haven't ordered glasses online before, I strongly suggest that you take the plunge and go for it! I'm so glad that I did!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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4.24.2015

Easy Healthy Spring Salad with Quinoa, Edamame, and Peas

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Howdy, y'all!
Ok, I know it doesn't FEEL like spring outside, but they say it's happening...Regardless, I've been on the look out for healthy & refreshing Spring recipes...Mostly, to make myself feel better about 30 degree temps AND because I'm still on my successful weightless journey! ;)
 photo unnamed-2_zps7acqirjw.jpg Anyway, I found this recipe on the Magnolia Homes Blog (...I LOVE Fixer Upper...They make me want to somewhat "grown up" decorate my house). ;) It is delicious! I had to share it! The best part is that it's packed with greens and super foods that keep you healthy and fit. 
 photo unnamed-3_zpsy3sip5vv.jpg Spring Quinoa Salad with Edamame and Peas

Ingredients:
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
1 cup of green peas
1 cup of shelled edamame
1 green onion, thinly sliced (red onion would also be tasty and add a little pop of color)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt & pepper
Optional: 1/4 cup thinly sliced fennel (it's pretty!)
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What to do:
  • Cook quinoa according to package directions
  • Heat up your peas and edamame and set aside to cool
  • In a small bowl mix together oil, lemon and lime juice, salt and pepper
  • Mix together quinoa, diced onion, edamame, peas and fennel 
  • Drizzle dressing over salad then, toss and serve!
This salad is refreshing, tasty, and easy to make. Great for a last minute pot luck or BBQ dish and works well as a regular side dish.

Stay healthy, my friends! ;)

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne



Now Playing:
Bob Wills 

4.22.2015

Bucket List: Pin-Up Photoshoot

Pin Up Portraits
photo credit: Grinkie Girls Photography

About a month ago, Steph and I went to a pin-up photo shoot event with Grinkie Girls Photography. They were holding a special Chicago event (they're originally based in Minneapolis), and Steph asked me if I wanted to go. A pin-up photo shoot is something that I had always wanted to do, but was never feeling comfortable enough with myself to follow through with it. (The first time a group a friends went to go do this, I was super pregnant and feeling really lousy. Ever since, I've always thought about it.)

Pin Up Portraits

The timing this time around was pretty perfect, actually. I'm feeling pretty accomplished right now with my success surrounding my weight loss surgery, so I thought that this would be a good way to celebrate, document, and reward my progress.

We were told to bring some wardrobe options, so I packed my black Hell Bunny bats dress (from our Las Vegas wedding vow renewal... it was a little bit big at this point, but we clamped it in the back!), and my roller skates. I wanted to be comfortable, so I wore leggings and my Gypsy Warrior x Pacific Sunwear dress (it was from the 2014 collection) that looks very Wednesday Addams-esque. I hadn't planned on wearing it for the shoot...

Steph and I drove over an hour away to an unknown house where the event was being held, which was weird at first, until we walked in and saw a whole group of awesome girls that immediately made us feel really comfortable.

Pin Up Portraits

Hair and makeup was done in the house, while the actual photoshoot took place in the garage! You'd never know that's where we are in these photos. The big blue backdrop and good lighting works wonders!

While I was getting my hair set, Christi (aka "Grinkie") asked if I was wearing my Wednesday Addams dress for the photoshoot, and I told her that I hadn't planned on it, but I wasn't necessarily against it. She immediately replied, "Oh yes, you have to wear it! We're going to do a Wednesday Addams pin-up shoot!" which made me giggle because although she didn't know me yet, it was EXACTLY my aesthetic. I was for it!

So, the top two photos are the result of the "Wednesday Addams pin-up" concept. They're kind of my favorite. Also, they're really great photos of my Hell Razor flowers in action!

Pin Up Portraits

How could I do a pin-up photo shoot without my roller skates? We had fun with these, like "how would a derby girl pose for a photo?" Hence, skater stance.

I took a bunch in the traditional lying down, legs-in-the-air pose, too. They're actually my most favorite. I didn't post them here because sometimes I feel like they're a little too risque for me to post in public? But I did put one of them way back in my instagram feed, if you're super curious. :)

Also, try not to let my pasty white white white legs blind you!

Pin Up Portraits

It was so much fun to do this photoshoot, and it made me feel really good about myself. I highly recommend this experience to any and every lady - especially if you're hurting in the "feeling good about yourself" arena... having done it now, I wish I hadn't waited, and that I had just gone for it back when I was pregnant. It's amazing what a good photographer can do!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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4.20.2015

DIY Watercolor Tags: Two Ways!

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

Happy Monday! Today I'm going to share a SUPER simple DIY to make your own super cute watercolor tags for use on gifts, as part of a pocket letter project, scrapbooking embellishment or for your planner as a decoration or bookmark!

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

I was inspired by the Target "dollar spot" watercolor collection to create these tags. It can be really difficult to find specific items that you see online via the dollar spot (just search instagram for #dollarspot or #targetdollarspot and you'll discover that there are cute things that YOUR TARGET NEVER HAS!), so I created this simple DIY to make a cute item that's similar to things you would see in your local dollar spot, if they actually had everything in stock! :)

Here's what you'll need:

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

Grab some plain shipping tags. You can get these in the office supply section of most stores. I bought these larger-sized ones, but you could really do any size you like!

You'll also need some watercolor paint and a brush:

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

  1. I'm not a huge Crayola fan, but this set of mixing colors was recommended by a fellow art teacher, and the color payoff is really vivid! It's worth hunting this set down if you can.
  2. This super inexpensive watercolor set came from Michael's - I think it was like $10 originally, and I used a 40% off coupon to pick it up - I'm really happy with it so far!
  3. A medium-sized fluffy paintbrush. If you'd like to treat yourself to some nice brushes, these are pretty spiffy.
  4. My new favorite paintbrush - the Pentel Aquash Water Brush! I scored one in my latest ArtSnacks box, and it's so cool - you fill the handle with water, and lightly squeeze to add water when painting.

Ok, now you're ready to begin. The first tag design is really really straight-forward:

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways
DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

You literally brush a straight line onto the dry tag, and fill in all of the space below the line that you drew. When the first side is dry, flip the tag, and repeat on the other side. Don't be too concerned about getting your line super straight. The slight wavy-ness is what gives it that charm of handmade-ness.

Tag design #2 is slightly trickier by one step, which will create the "bleed" effect of the watercolor paint on your tag, like this:

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

The secret is to first "paint" your tag with plain water, to wet the surface:

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

Then, add some watercolor to the bottom section of the tag, and let it sit:

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

The watered-down wet tag will "wick" some of the color up, to create that bleeded, faded effect. You can play around with the amounts of water and paint to achieve different effects. If you don't think that you have enough color after it's dry, you can still add more water + paint later on.

DIY Watercolor Tags 2 Ways

After one side is dry, flip the tag and repeat on the other side. Easy peasy! This is a super fun and super simple crafty project, great for kids, too!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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4.15.2015

#OWWWA: David Hockney

OWWWA: David Hockney
sweater - Target / dress - thrifted / tights - We Love Colors / shoes - Kenneth Cole via Zappos / tank - JCPenney / necklace - Charming Charlie

It's Wednesday... so that means it's yet again time for #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt! Today's artist of inspiration is David Hockney. David Hockney is a British artist who has been working since the 1960's, when he first gained recognition as a Pop artist. For this blog post, I'm choosing to focus on some of his later career landscape paintings.

OWWWA: David Hockney
Winter Timber, 2009 

The above painting, Winter Timber, is comprised of 15 smaller canvases, gridded together to form the large final image. It's kind of a genius idea for creating large works of art when you don't have the space to store gigantic paintings! I mean, I'm sure that's not the case with David Hockney, but it sure is an idea that I could use!

I've noticed that Court likes to pick artists who have some kind of very bright and colorful works in their portfolio. The painting above is almost neon-like. With this in mind, I chose a lime green dress that I thrifted several weeks back while I was out with Steph. I had this red-violet cardigan in my closet already... a very old Target purchase. So I combined these with a pair of my trusty colorful tights from We Love Colors, and I was set!

OWWWA: David Hockney

David Hockney is not only known as a painter,but as a photographer. In the 1980's, he created photo collages, which he dubbed "joiners:" polaroids and photo prints that were combined patchwork-style to make a larger image... so it makes sense to me that his later paintings would be comprised of several smaller paintings, too.

OWWWA: David Hockney
Garrowby Hill, 1998
One of the most fun facts I learned about David Hockney is his interest in using technology tools to create artworks. In 1985 he used a computer program that allowed him to draw directly on the screen, and at present, he regularly uses his iPhone and iPad in conjunction with the Brushes app to create artworks.

OWWWA: David Hockney

You know, when I look at my outfit photos next to these paintings, I really did a pretty good job on the colors! The red-violet is pretty darn close!

OWWWA: David Hockney
The Arrival of Spring, 2011
The Arrival of Spring is made up of 32 canvases. It's HUGE.

OWWWA: David Hockney

I added this necklace to my outfit because it felt really plain otherwise, and the flowers echoed the nature/landscape theme of these selected Hockney paintings.

OWWWA: David Hockney

I've been on the hunt for some cute spring/summer flats that are super comfy, so I went on a mini Zappo's spree and picked up a couple of pairs of shoes. These are from Kenneth Cole, and I love the elastics on the ankles that make them look like ballet shoes. I'm still not convinced that they're completely comfortable (there seems to be some rubbing on the outside edges)... but we'll see.

In conclusion, I am still quite impressed that I have managed to create colorful outfits for #OWWWA with a closet that is (seriously) mostly black. :)

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
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4.13.2015

Custom Art Journals + FREE Download!

Digital Scrapbook and Custom Art Journals

A while back, I posted an ode to my Filofax planner, and showed you all of the cool things I had in it, and how I organized all of the parts. Well... then I found out about traveler's notebooks, aka the Midori. And I fell in LOVE. Mostly because this system doesn't have rings, so I can write on the whole page - both pages - without having to maneuver against the binder rings, or spiral rings (if you're an Erin Condren person). And I can cram as few or as many separate notebooks as I want in it.

The best overview of the traveler's notebook system and why it's so awesome can be found in this video by TheResetGirl. She also lists some great resources for inserts and covers!

So far, I already have one "faux" dori (the term given to any traveler's notebook cover that is not the actual Midori brand) devoted to my daily planner/calendar, and one specifically for my art journal(s). I'll save all the gory details of my actual notebooks for another post though. Today I'd like to talk about customizing your art journals using some of the techniques I've learned.

Cori (aka TheResetGirl) has another YouTube video that I loved that detailed how to customize your traveler's notebook inserts that coincidentally work AMAZINGLY well for Moleskine journals, too. In fact, I used her technique to customize my Moleskine (Cahier Journal/plain) in the top photo of this post. I used a couple of Loteria cards for the front & back, and a cutout from a greeting card I had saved as an embellishment on the front.

After customizing my Moleskine, I kind of became addicted to making cute art journal covers using fun scrapbook paper and embellishments. I went to a bunch of different stores and searched online for the perfect designs... as tends to happen to me, I had specific designs in mind and was UNABLE to find them anywhere. Hrm. For instance, glasses paper. I had seen some cute glasses paper examples all over instagram, but couldn't find any to save my life (still can't).

What do I do in this case? I DIY it! One lino cutter + some EZ cut material later = custom eyeglasses stamp:

Digital Scrapbook and Custom Art Journals

I used a stamped eyeglasses print as an embellishment for one of my notebook inserts, which you can see below. My next mission is to print this as an all-over design on paper to cover another notebook.

The next design on my wish list was donut paper. Again, no luck... until I discovered digital scrapbook paper on Etsy. You buy a "pack" of designs (usually .jpg files) and can print out your own paper! Of course, you should have a decent printer and a supply of ink on hand, which can be a drag, but I was able to get something almost exactly like I had in mind!

Digital Scrapbook and Custom Art Journals
Sushi notebook = bought pre-made like this via YellowPaperHouse on Etsy

This donut paper came from the shop LilyGirlPaper on Etsy. I then bought another donut-themed pack from another shop in order to get this sprinkle design (seen below) - via PrintableSupplies on Etsy.

I like the idea that digital scrapbook paper give me the ability to find exactly the design I want. I don't like that (even if the file is 12"x12") I'm limited to 8.5"x11" size (most store-bought papers are 12"x12") - because of my printer limitations. And of course, ink. Why is ink so dang expensive and why does it disappear so quickly?

Digital Scrapbook and Custom Art Journals

The art-themed embellishments on these notebooks came from a local scrapbooking store that I visited while on my hunt for glasses paper. Sadly, they were going out of business. Where am I supposed to get scrapbook supplies now that's NOT Michael's? Argh.

The last notebook below was decorated using digital scrapbook paper that I printed out, too, but it's NOT from Etsy. I made it myself! I knew I wanted black hearts on white background, but I wanted something that looked hand-drawn. All of the papers to purchase had perfectly shaped and lined up hearts. I pulled out my iPad and drew these hearts myself with a stylus!

I took the iPad file into Adobe Photoshop and tweaked the design into a 12"x12" format (because that's how they come on Etsy). I printed it out, and used the afore-mentioned technique that I learned from TheResetGirl to cover the front and back.

Digital Scrapbook and Custom Art Journals

Would you like to print some awesome hand-drawn black and white hearts paper for yourself? Well, guess what? - I'm giving away my digital file for FREE! For personal use only, please, and if you would like to feature any projects that use this design on your blog, instagram, or social media channels, go right ahead, but please credit back to the source. (Link to download below the image.)

Digital Scrapbook and Custom Art Journals

Download your FREE heart pattern digital scrapbook paper here!

I just love the imperfect-ness of the hand-drawn hearts, and a black and white scheme goes with so many other designs! Bonus: less printer ink to be drained, since it's black and white... :)

Digital Scrapbook and Custom Art Journals

I'd love to see what you come up with using my free digital scrapbook paper file! Will you cover some of your own art journals or traveler's notebooks? Make a greeting card? Use it for actual scrapbooking? The possibilities are endless!

Please tag me or comment if you do use this heart pattern in your next project!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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