9.30.2015

Circle Skirts: I Made a Thing!

DIY Circle Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog
skirt - DIY / belt - thrifted / shoes - Kenneth Cole via Zappos / shirt - Target / necklace - Luxulite

Hey, guess what? I made my own circle skirt! And it turned out ok! You won't see any close-ups of the zipper in the back, or where the waistband didn't overlap nicely so I could add a button (I went with hooks instead, because they fit)... but it actually turned out wearable... dare I say... pretty good!

DIY Circle Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I found this fabric at Joann, and it was on sale and super cute, so I bought a few yards. I figured that it was worth a shot to try and make myself a skirt after watching a tutorial on YouTube and thinking that it might not be so bad:



So, with this video, and this website, I sketched out a pattern, and got to work! I ended up making the waistband too big, which I discovered at the very end, and then took it in by sewing up the side. It's not the most professional job ever, but it did the trick.

DIY Circle Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

Another challenging aspect of this skirt was the pattern. It can only go in one direction, and I had to try to keep the cars from driving crazy-style, so the skirt had to be constructed from several patterns to try to keep the lines of cars as horizontal as possible.

DIY Circle Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I do really love the hot rod racers in a Halloween theme! I paired this skirt with my black boatneck Target skirt and new Luxulite black and white skull cherries necklace. Also, my trusty Kenneth Cole ballet flats and thrifted patent belt.

DIY Circle Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

Today was another day for the half-beehive hairdo. Full details on this post from last week.

DIY Circle Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I think after all is said and done, I definitely have a new appreciation for handmade circle skirts! It took me an entire day to make this one skirt! I probably won't continue to make my own just yet... especially when there are so many awesome people out there available to make super nice quality skirts for you!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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9.28.2015

Deadly Dames Monster Print

Deadly Dames Monster Print!
skirt - Pin Up Girl Clothing / shoes - unknown (old) / shirt - Target / brooch - Luxulite / bracelets - Kate Spade / earrings - Wal-Mart (seriously!) / belt - thrifted

So, my outfit on this day was very fun, because I had been WAITING for this skirt to become available on the Pin Up Girl Clothing website for what felt like for-ev-er. But it finally came in and I got one! This skirt looks like the Jenny skirts, but it has POCKETS and it's slightly shorter, which is AMAZING because it means that I got to wear it straight out of the package - no hemming! And yes, I'm using a lot of ALL CAPS, but it's serious how excited I am over this skirt. Oh yeah, it's called the "Deadly Dames" skirt.

I've talked about how I keep wearing the same two pairs of black shoes with all of my outfits, so I'm making a very concerted attempt to get some others and put them into the rotation, too. So hey new shoes - well, not new... but new to you, perhaps? I've worn them here before. Feels like a lifetime ago!

Deadly Dames Monster Print!

My Luxulite skull cherries brooch was the perfect accessory for this skirt, as it picked up the green from the skirt, and kept the Halloween theme going. I'm actually super excited for all of these new pieces that seem festive now, but to become year-round pieces after Halloween is over. I mean, this is green and red - therefore, could TOTALLY double as a Christmas skirt, no? Yes!

Also, I super love this $2 thrifted patent belt from Savers. If you haven't gone belt shopping at the thrift store, start now! You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can find (and the array of colors!) for not too much change!

Deadly Dames Monster Print!

So I'm almost embarrassed to admit that my earrings are totally from Wal-Mart and I probably paid like $3 for them (and contributed to a culture of underpaid and undervalued workers - I feel like such a schmuck when I go in there)... but I was enamored by tiny dangly coffins with cutout crosses (I think the best pic is in the top photo), and I bought them and I wear them anyways.

Deadly Dames Monster Print!

Also, this day was yet another failed attempt at a wet set. Sometimes I get it to look really cute, actually, but then I go out and it falls completely flat! Whomp whomp. So, I ordered some setting lotion on Amazon which I will try out soon - since that is what I see other pin-up-style ladies using when I researched the matter. Also, I think I'm gonna hack off a bunch of length on my hair to see if it's maybe the fact that it's ridiculously long and heavy that's contributing to my difficulty.

Deadly Dames Monster Print!

So, I did some research on these shoes, since I always get questions about them when I wear them. They're actually "dance" shoes from a brand called JB Steel, and I can find hardly a trace about them online anymore. However, I did find a brand, called Aris Allen (here), that sells official "dance" shoes - which is my world simply translates to "comfy," and they have some similar styles as well as some other cute spectators that I now want to buy. Oh internet, I just can't quit you.

Deadly Dames Monster Print!

Bracelets are by Kate Spade - one via the outlet mall, and the other via an eBay splurge. The splurge bracelet? Why, the glasses, of course! I'm such a sucker for certain motifs like that.

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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9.25.2015

Easy (but Thrifty) Home Update

 photo 1_zpswn3gi8ax.jpg

Hello!

Are you looking for a thrifty way to add some curb appeal to your home? Try painting your front door! Nothing says "Welcome!" like a pop of color and some great accent pieces. Also, painting your front door is much easier (and faster) than resurfacing your entire house. SO....Here's a quick and thrifty way to add a little personality to the outside of your home!

Step 1 - Clean your Ugly Front Door 

 photo 2_zpsbm7lrkks.jpg

First of all, you will want to do this project when you are home alone OR no one needs to use the front door area to leave the house....I put the dogs out back and went to work. ;) Then, make sure to clean your door and prepare it for paint. As you can see...My front door started out a "lovely" dark brown... I just used Windex and some paper towels to clean it...waited a few minutes and then got started!

Step 2 - Grab the Essentials

 photo 3_zps2fexymgq.jpg

You will need:

  • Exterior paint (color of your choice)
  • Roller
  • Brush
  • Tray
  • Tape
  • Trash bags
  • Cleaning supplies

I got everything I needed at Home Depot for under $50.

Step 3 - Prepare Work Area 

 photo 4_zps30ymjioc.jpg

Tape off your door and work area. Once you start taping you will probably notice that you will not only need to paint the door, but also the door jam. Happy taping, my friends....Oh! I also cut up a trash bag and taped it to the floor inside and outside of my house to catch any drips from my roller or brush.

Step 4 - Paint!...and PAINT....and paint....

 photo 5_zpsevasqohw.jpg

Depending on what color your door was originally, you will need to slap on a few coats of paint. I painted my door about 5 times just to cover that gross brown color...Then I painted on a sixth coat just to be safe!

 photo mat_zpsfoo73lw6.jpg

Once your door is dry you can accessorize it with a wreath or....a vintage jello mold...if you wanna get fancy like me. ;) I was also lucky enough to find a $13 welcome mat at Target that MATCHED my door color (bonus!). Just accessorize with a few items that speak to you and feel 10 times better walking into your house after a long day of work.

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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9.24.2015

October Events! Come and Shop, Halloween Style!

October is DEFINITELY my busy season! I have four events coming up, almost one every weekend this month! Are you in the Chicago area? I'd love to see you! Check out one (or more) of these upcoming events (all on Saturdays!), where I'll be with my Hell Razor goods:

October 2015 HellRazor Events

In just two days, I'll be set up at the Brookfield Fine Arts Festival with my big 10'x10' tent - and I'm bringing the whole family! I think the weather will be nice this year, too!

October 2015 HellRazor Events

On October 10th, I'll have a table at the REP CHI Grand Re-Opening Mega Big Party with my special guest Lisa! Did you know that you can actually buy Hell Razor flowers at REP CHI all the time? They're in stock, and you can pick them up in person in-store even if you can't make the event on the 10th! Awesome!

October 2015 HellRazor Events

The week after that, October 17th, I'll be back at Friendly's Lounge for the monthly Craft + Vintage Market... this time with a Halloween-y theme! Grab a coffee or "adult" beverage, hang out with cool people, and snag a snazzy handmade Halloween accessory!

October 2015 HellRazor Events

Lastly, after a hiatus (due to the super fun Halloween wedding of Lisa + Shane) last year, I'm excited to say that I'll be BACK at Nightmare on Chicago Street 2015 on Saturday, October 24th! This adult-oriented evening event is a GIANT zombie-themed night out, filled with amazing sights and things to do!

Did you know that Betties N Brimstone has a Google Calendar with all of our events? Check it out here and add us to your calendar!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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9.23.2015

Let There Be Light!

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I decided to start off with this super nerdy excited photo of myself in celebration of my new PHOTO LIGHTS! I had an unexpected Amazon credit to spend, so I decided to pull the trigger on a set of photo lights that had been sitting on my wish list for months now.

Amazing! I can now get decent lighting at any time when I shoot indoors! I'm not an expert by any means, but I can tell that even this tiny tweak has made a difference in quality already.

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog
skirt - thrifted / cardigan - thrifted / Melvins tee - @ Melvins concert / spiderweb brooch - Luxulite / belt - Pin Up Girl Clothing / shoes - Target / earrings - Claire's (old)

So, I've been rocking Halloween pieces for days now. Most people just don't even bother to comment anymore, as Jenny wearing Halloween stuff = Jenny wearing "regular" clothes, which is super fine by me. If someone ever DOES comment on my clothes, I actually get super self-conscious and awkward. Here on the blog I can be all "blahblahblah" about my outfits and junk, but in real life I feel like such a mess sometimes in normal human conversation. It is something that I am always working on.

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I am pretty proud of the thrifty-ness of this outfit today, though. My Melvins shirt is an old fave from like 2007 (?) and my skirt and cardigan are both thrift store scores via Savers. The cardigan might be from Express originally (?), and the skirt is for sure vintage-y old. I actually have to pull it over my head and shoulders to get it on, as it has no zipper or closure on the waistband. And, I am so short that I utilize the old rolled-waistband trick to shorten it a bit, but you can't tell because I belted it. Good ol' Catholic school uniform fashion tricks, LOL.

Some people tell me that they can't find good stuff at thrift stores, but my trick is that I go EVERY Sunday and browse. Sometimes I score a big haul of cool stuff, sometimes I walk out with nothing. It's very hit or miss. Also, if you go in with an idea of what you're looking for, it helps you narrow down your search area. Otherwise, it can be very overwhelming. I go past the area where Pyrex is typically put out, but I have found NOTHING for months now. That sucks, but I have been pretty successful in my belts and cardigan searches though! I'm also pretty good at scoring single pillow cases in fun cartoon themes for Iggy.

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I bought the black skirt not only because it was inexpensive, but I figured it would be a good substitute for a more expensive black circle skirt, like the Jenny from Pin Up Girl Clothing. A black skirt is one of those staple pieces every girl should have, but no one wants to spend the money on it (especially when you could get an awesome novelty printed one instead for the same price)!

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I've started to acquire a small group of patterned cardigans in different animal prints (ok, ok, just pretty much leopard print, but in different colors and pattern sizes...) and at first I am leery because I'm not sure what to pair them with, but then I'll put on a pretty plain dress or skirt/shirt combo, like here, and a patterned cardigan is just the thing to bump it up! And in this case, the black/white theme is maintained, too. Leopard is like a neutral, right?

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I have this super old pair of skull and crossbone earrings I purchased at Claire's WAY back when, like over ten years ago. There really isn't anything special about them at first glance, but every time I wear them, I feel like it's just the tiny touch of jewelry that my ears need without overwhelming my accessories game. It's hard to put into words why I love these so much, but I'll probably never give them up!

My brooch is one of my Luxulite designs from my brooch collection, which I detailed last week. I can't wait to wear all of them! The Luxulite Halloween designs this year are amazing!

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I kept this picture of my shoes in because I thought it was funny how dirty and dusty they are, but I am not willing to give them up! If I can work sneakers into my outfit for the day, my feet are so so happy by the end of the evening! Evidence here.

My point here is that I'm not dressing up these OOTD shoots for the photos. I actually wear/wore these combos. Keeping it totes real. :)

Let There Be Light: OOTD Post on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I don't think I've ever taken so many different poses for an OOTD shoot before. The excitement over these photo lights is real.

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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9.21.2015

Half Beehives, and Skirts with Glasses

Half Beehives and Skirts with Glasses
skirt - eShakti / shirt - Target / belt - thrifted / shoes - Dr. Scholl's via Zappos / necklace - vintage (gift from Steph)

Today's OOTD is pretty momentous, as it marks the last set of photos I have without my fancy new photo lights... to be seen later this week! So, I feel the need to apologize for the quality of these. They all shot REALLY dark for no particular reason (I even kept switching shooting modes to see if it helped), and I did my best to fix the exposure prior to posting. Eh.

Half Beehives and Skirts with Glasses

There was a long period of time in high school and college where I absolutely would NOT wear black and blue together in the same outfit. I thought that they were "too close" in color and would look like I didn't know how to match. We're so weird when we're younger.

I bought this skirt from eShakti and had it made in full custom mode - it is perfect! I just can't say enough good things about eShakti's customization options. They're amazing!

I bought this circle skirt with embroidered glasses on it just prior to my switch to longer skirts and preference for the circle skirt style, so it's been a good transition piece for me. It's shorter than most of my other circle skirts, but not by much. When I pair it with a striped top, people tell me that I am channeling a "French" look. Ooh la la.

Half Beehives and Skirts with Glasses

This post also marks the beginning of my obsession with the half-beehive. I decided that I really need to step up my hair game, and after experimenting (and still not quite succeeding) with wet sets, I'd give the beehive-ish look a go. To my surprise, this technique has quickly found its way into my regular hair rotation! Here's the tutorial that helped me:



Pretty simple, huh? I think that I might be ready for some other, more advanced looks soon. Maybe even some proper victory rolls? Hmm...

The quality of these detail photos below are super bad, but I wanted you to get a closer look at the dress pattern and the sweet vintage necklace Steph gave me (also seen here):

Half Beehives and Skirts with Glasses

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor

P.S. I am in FULL HALLOWEEN mode after this weekend. I took out all of our decorations and set up the house. Listened to my favorite Halloween playlist of goth goodness. Lit pumpkin candles. Life is good.

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9.16.2015

Harlequin Skirt: An OOTD Post

Harlequin Jenny Skirt by Pin Up Girl Clothing on Betties N Brimstone Blog
skirt - Pin Up Girl Clothing / shirt - Target / shoes - Dr. Scholl's via Zappos / necklace - Baccurelli Etsy shop / belt - thrifted / Ice Age Ring - Alicia Hannah Naomi

So... I know it's Wednesday, and I know I haven't done an "OnWednesdaysWeWearArt" post, and I just saw (eh, I'm a little slow) that Courtney actually did one during my OWWWA hiatus, and I feel really bad that I've slacked! So, to be 100% honest, I'm not sure when I'll get back into the swing of it - those posts take way more planning than just snapping some pictures of what outfit I'm wearing. But I love Court's blog and I love participating in the challenge! So TBA... I haven't given up yet...

Today's outfit features another awesome harlequin print from Pin Up Girl Clothing. I was really excited to see it pop up on the swap and sell Facebook group - already hemmed! Might have turned some people off, but for me it was a total score!

Harlequin Jenny Skirt by Pin Up Girl Clothing on Betties N Brimstone Blog

Target makes the best boatneck tops in several different colors, so I've been snagging them in my size when I can find them because they go so well with circle skirts! Also, yet another thrift store belt score. I've become a pretty good thrifter, I've gotta say.

Harlequin Jenny Skirt by Pin Up Girl Clothing on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I love my harlequin skirt, but I also totally love this necklace! It's Lily Munster by Baccurelli. She makes really cool brooches (uh oh, more brooches?) and pendants - particularly of cool ladies, like Lily Munster, Marilyn Monroe, and Rosie the Riveter. Her cartoon style represents the ladies in a super cute but accurate depiction!

Harlequin Jenny Skirt by Pin Up Girl Clothing on Betties N Brimstone Blog

It seems to me that I wear the same shoes (well, the same two pair) over and over again, and I'm a little worried about the fall - I mean, I typically LOVE me some fall boots, but I'm not so sure how they'll mesh with my new retro-style dresses.

Harlequin Jenny Skirt by Pin Up Girl Clothing on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I've been doing some investigating, and apparently B.A.I.T. Footwear is the "thing" to wear with your retro style dresses. Like these, which I snagged on the Swap & Sell page (to be shown soon in a future blog post...). But what about fall?

I'm kind of in love with these Remmy Oxford Heels. I think I'm going to be on the lookout for a pair in all-black for the winter months. But I do love the black/white spectator, as well as the green/white version. I WISH that they came in a purple/white version!

Harlequin Jenny Skirt by Pin Up Girl Clothing on Betties N Brimstone Blog

As much as I love these comfy ballet flat shoes, as soon as it starts to snow I'm gonna be swearing at my bare exposed tops of feet! So I'd better start getting prepared now!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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9.14.2015

Brooch Shopping Guide!

Brooch Shopping Guide: Betties N Brimstone Blog

Something about me that you may have caught on to is that I become kind of an obsessive collector. I latch on to a new "thing," and then I have to get ALL THE THINGS and it becomes a hunt. Past examples include: Monster High dolls, Anna Sui for Target clothing, planners and Target dollar spot items, Nine Inch Nails on vinyl, Pin Up Girl Clothing dresses and skirts, Lego minifigs, cardigans in a rainbow of colors, funky/retro glasses, religious art, Pyrex, plastic Halloween decorations... and probably more I'm forgetting right now!

So, here's the latest collector obsession: brooches! Maybe because I started collecting cardigans, I feel like it's a great accessory to complete an outfit. And so many of my brooch pieces are handmade and/or help support small businesses, so that's a plus! I'd like to show you a bunch from my collection today, and give some love to some of my favorite shops.

Brooch Shopping Guide: Betties N Brimstone Blog

I thought I'd start with the shop I talk about the MOST here on the blog: Heidi and Gretel! You can see from the picture above that I've acquired a sweet venus flytrap brooch since the last time I formally discussed Donna's shop, and to be perfectly honest, I have a big order for more coming in, now that the Halloween line has been announced! So... once that comes in, my collection of Heidi and Gretel is due to double in size! I'm sure to show you when that happens. :)

Brooch Shopping Guide: Betties N Brimstone Blog

Another shop that is pretty popular is Erstwilder. I do love the designs in this line, but I held off on buying any for a while. I currently own these two brooches, above, with one more in transit. On my wishlist is Cara the Halloween Kitty, but this one is darn near impossible to find...!

Brooch Shopping Guide: Betties N Brimstone Blog

A newer (to me) shop is For The Love of Vintage, which is where I got this sweet goth black 666 "conversation heart" style brooch. It's from her Outcast Collection, which also has a heart that says "Goth." It was sold out when I bought my 666 one, but I may need to go back and snag it along with a donut brooch as well!

Brooch Shopping Guide: Betties N Brimstone Blog

Another one of my all-time favorite brooch makers is Luxulite! I've worn her brooches for about a year now... in fact, the pumpkin brooch is from last year's Halloween collection! When this year's collection was made available for pre-order, I kind of went crazy and ordered a whole bunch of pieces. I had the purple/skulls brooch on order, and THEN saw the spiderweb version! So, of course, I went back and ordered more. I'm a good customer like that, LOL!

Brooch Shopping Guide: Betties N Brimstone Blog

Lastly, another new-er-to-me shop is Creep Heart. Ella Mobbs makes super cool illustrations that can be purchased as prints, phone cases, or the most amazing jewelry! This brooch has a mirrored layer, but some of her brooches have a clear acrylic layer that creates a "ghost" effect on her designs. So I am sure that I'll have to go back and place another order, specifically this spider brooch. Love!

I have come across a bunch of other awesome shops online that I'd love to purchase from in the future, but these are my current faves and I think you'll love them, too! Recommendations for other shops? Let me know!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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9.10.2015

5 Ways to Sneak Kale Into Your Every Day Diet

As you know, I've been hard at work and still losing the flab! It's hasn't been easy, but I'm sticking to my high in veggie, lean meats, lots of water and low calorie dairy diet. With that in mind, I've been experimenting with Kale...It's SO good for you because it helps lower cholesterol, is a great detoxifier, and has been linked to lowering your risk for some cancers. However, many many people hate kale...I personally hate the texture, but I want the benefits..SO, I've come up with a few sneaky solutions to incorporate kale into my diet!
 photo pesto_zpsqvo8ntud.jpg1. Pesto
I make my own pesto at home and freeze it, which is super easy if you have a food processor (or a hand-pump food processor...like me). Anyway, I loved the idea of incorporating kale into pesto because you don't notice the texture and if you add enough garlic and fresh basil you can't tell a huge difference! Here is a recipe from Epicurious that I really like to use!
 photo Kale_zpsc2xmgtqe.jpg2. Stir-Fry
I've noticed, if I sauté kale along with pea pods and other crunchy stir-fry items...I don't notice the texture as much.
 photo Soup_zpsr0kudrwi.jpg3. Soup
Fall is on its way and my favorite food to eat in fall is soup! It warms me up, it's cheap and east to make. I've noticed if I throw some kale in my food processor, chop it into tiny pieces, and add it at the end of making a veggie soup (or any soup in general) it tastes great and you don't even notice you're eating kale!
 photo black-bean-burger14_zpso2xkrvrm.jpg
Photo and recipe from Mamatoga 
4. Burgers
Seriously, this is probably the easiest one... Grind up some kale in your food processor (blender...whatever device you want...) and add it to your ground turkey, veggie burger, ground beef...what-have-you. You can't even tell it's in there! This is a great veggie burger option! 

5. Tortilla
If you are one of those lucky people who are not a food texture person...You can use kale leaves as a tortilla for your tacos or burritos! Think lettuce wrap, but not as difficult to eat. I have tried it...it's good...but the texture is still there. :)

Try out these recipes or come up with your own!

Until next time!

~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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