January 31, 2012

Cary Grant Color Trip

I ran across this drool-worthy picture of Cary Grant from the mid 1940s on an autographed photo site and wanted to add a twisted color palette to it. Here's how I did it.

I used India ink to first draw the details and then watercolored over the drawing. If you try this technique, make sure to test out your particular India ink delivery system (I use an India ink pen) to make sure it doesn't smudge once wet.

Ladies, I take no responsibility for any pregnancy that results from staring into his gaze. You've been warned!

It's available here with others.

Original photo from leadinglightsautographs.com

Tomorrow's post: Beauty

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January 30, 2012

DIY Orange Lanterns

Recently I was so impressed to find out that you really can make a candle out of an orange and some cooking oil. No lyin'! I first saw it on Instructables and tried it myself, with a twist. Today I'll show you how to make little orange lanterns!

Step 1) Chop a citrus fruit in half. Oranges are recommended, but I used a mandarin.

Step 2) Slowly release the peel from the fruit, leaving the pith connected to the peel.


Step 3) Remove the green stem from the bottom so the peel sits flat on your surface.

Step 4) You may need to press down a bit to get it to sit flat. You don't want any rolling balls of burning oil on your hands!

Step 5) Fill the peel about half way up the side with olive oil or cooking oil, then trim the pith-wick about 1/4 inch above the top of the oil. You can now light the pith. This may take a bit as it needs to blacken first before it lights.

Step 6) Cut a small hole in the top of the other half of the peel (after removing the meat).

Step 7) Pop on the top.

Step 8) Turn off the lights! Spoooky!

Tomorrow's post: Cary Grant Color Trip Painting

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January 29, 2012

DIY Make-Up Remover

After figuring out this highly complicated recipe for myself, and feeling pretty proud of me, I realized that many women (for centuries) have been using this trick. The recipe? Simply, olive oil. I use it to remove stubborn eye makeup before I wash my face. No residue, plus it has lovely vitamins for your visage.

Quick tip: Save those containers ladies! We all buy cosemtics and lotions that come in containers that cost more than the product within them, so use what you're paying for! Reuse those containers for homemade beauty recipes! I use a night cream jar that I ran dry for my olive oil storage in the bathroom.

I'll share more homemade beauty tips soon. Do you have any kitchen beauty remedies?

Tomorrow's post: DIY Orange Lanterns

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January 26, 2012

Short Hair and Leather

No, I did not get a haircut. I was experimenting with some of the tutorials for pinning up long hair to make it look shorter and created my own with a more Marilyn twist.
It will be up next week.






I'm not sure if it was the short hair, or the shorter skirt, but I got quite a few compliments on my outfit today. I've never mixed this dress with a jacket, much less a leather jacket before, but I feel badass and lovely in it all at the same time. Love those days!

What I wore:

Shirtdress with belt – Paper Scissors
Lamb Leather Jacket – Husband's childhood jacket his father got for him in New Zealand
Boots – Unlisted by Kenneth Cole
Bag – Perlina
Glasses – Prada
Necklace – from Magpie's in Alexandria, MN

Have a great weekend!

Monday's post: Off to the park outfit.

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January 25, 2012

Elizabeth Taylor Color Trip

I ran across a beautiful picture of Elizabeth Taylor from 1952 this week on Life.com and wanted to add a twisted color palette to it. This is how I did it.

I used India ink to first draw the details and then watercolored over the drawing. If you try this technique, make sure to test out your particular India ink delivery system (I use an India ink pen) to make sure it doesn't smudge once wet.

I love how her eyes turned out.

It's available here along with other work.

Original image from Getty Images Archive.

Tomorrow's post: Outfit

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January 24, 2012

Charlize Headband Hair Tutorial

As promised in yesterday's post on how to make a Charlize Theron inspired headband, here is the hair tutorial to match.

Step 1) Good morning! Clean, brushed, ready to go.

Step 2) We need to create quite a bit of curl to get that pulled-back wave look. Here's how I do it without rollers. Starting at the top of my head I take a small section of hair, give it some hairspray, and back comb it a bit at the base.

Step 3) Roll that section up in your curling iron and let it sit from 8-12 seconds (you know your own hair's needs).

Step 4) Carefully pull the curling iron out of the rolled curl you just made, re-roll the curl up if you have to into that shape, and pin down.

Step 5) Continue to do this to sections of hair all over your head. The reason you want to pin down your curls is that you will get far more curl for far longer if you not only heat up the hair in a curled shape, but also let it cool down that way.

Step 6) Allow all your pinned down curls to cool in their position.

Step 7) Take out pins, unroll curls, and lightly comb through. Also, take a moment to pop a place-holder headband onto your head wear your tie-on headband will go eventually.

Step 8) Pull your hair to one side and create a tight ponytail. Make sure to get some of the volume back around your head by pulling some of the hair back up from the pony.

Step 9) Create a messy bun by first lightly back-combing the hair in your ponytail, then holding your ponytail up, securely pin the hair down above the base of the ponytail. You can then pin the hair that hangs down securely below the base of your ponytail.

Step 10) Lastly, tie on your shiny headband. You can do this over the small place-holder headband you put on earlier or not. It's up to you. It can give your do some extra support if you leave it on.

There! A Golden Globes-worthy look.

Tomorrow's post: Watercolor of Elizabeth Taylor

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January 23, 2012

DIY Charlize Theron Inspired Headband

Geez-a-louisa, Charlize Theron always looks fantastic. Not only that, I hear she's pretty cool in real life as well. Apparently, when she saw two young women holding a garage sale she stopped, found out they were struggling actresses selling there things to make their rent, and then signed and gave them her cutlets (look it up, fellas) to sell. That could be completely made up, but I'll believe it for now.

Today I'm going to give you a tutorial on making a Charlize Theron shiny headband inspired by the 1920's Cartier diamond headband she wore to the Golden Globes (photo care of the National Confidential).

Here's a sneak preview of the hair tutorial I'll do tomorrow showing off the finished product.

Annnnnnnnnnddddd, GO!

Here's what you'll need:
• Sparkle baby! I'm using glitter glue, some silver buttons, and some bronze studs I had leftover from another project, but you could use anything sparkly you have around. Glue on gems? Why not?! The point is just to make it look full.
• glue (the hot variety)
• enough fabric or felt or ribbon to make a tie-on headband
• sewing supplies
• scissors

Let's do this!

Step 1) The headband. You could just cut out some felt or a length of ribbon, but I simply sewed a length of fabric into a tube, flipped it right side out, and sewed the ends shut to make this one.

Step 2) I hot glued on these studs I yanked off an old purse and my buttons.


Step 3) Oh, glitter paint. You are far more paint than glitter, but I'll still use you since I'm too cheap to go buy more glitter. Good times. This took many, many, many layers.

I made sure the tying area of the headband would be free of stuff so it could tie freely.

Done and done. Tomorrow I'll style my hair with it and show you how too!

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January 22, 2012

Lazy Day Outfit

I'm off to run some errands around town and tower over the locals.

These new sandals are quickly becoming a fav in my book. They look obscenely tall, but the platform in the front makes up for the heel in the back, keeping my foot surprisingly even in comparison to other heeled sandals I have. They're the perfect cheat. It looks like I cared buckets about what I wore to run errands when I really only cared...like...half a bucket.




What I wore:

T-shirt – Target
Trouser Jean – Dean Kahn
Sandals – Michael Antonio
Bag – United Colors of Benetton
Glasses – Prada

Hope you had a great weekend!

Tomorrow's post: Sparkly headband รก la Charlize Theron at the Golden Globes


January 19, 2012

DIY Travel Bag to Clutch 2

As promised in my first travel bag makeover, here is another! This is how I made over another travel tote into a grape flavored, sparkling, bow clutch. Once again, I can't really go step by step with you on this one, but rather I'll inspire you with what I did and encourage you to view the potential in your everyday items.

Here's what it looked like before...

...and here's what it looks like now, along with the inspirational bags I found from Betsy Johnson (photos from Betseyjohnson.com).



Here's how I did it. First, I took off the Jet Star tag and painted the whole thing a darker grapey shade that would compliment the glitter color I brought.


I then made the bow, inspired by a tutorial posted by Julia at The World is My Oyster.

I took two pieces of fabric that matched the glitter color I picked out and had some texture that would hold the glitter.

I glued the two pieces together face together, leaving an unglued area that I used to flip it right side out again. Then, I glued the the last bit of the seam shut.

I then scrunched it in the middle,  wrapped another piece around the middle, and glued the sucker down.

Time for glitter! To keep it in place, and not look like a Tinker Bell wanna be, I mixed equal parts of glitter and a varnish type of medium. Think Mod Podge (but we don't have that in Australia). These amounts will let the texture show without leaving a trail of glitter behind me.

I used a brush to paint the mixture on in sections, and then sprinkling a little extra glitter on to the section before patting it in.

I wanted the darker purple bit of the clutch to have more pop, so I used the same glossy varnish medium to paint stripes onto the bag, adding texture and shine.

Finally, I covered the little zipper pull with the same fabric and glitter and then hot glued on my sparkly bow.

 I LOVE IT! Here's the back.


Everyone needs a bit a sparkle in their wardrobe, the trick is to sprinkle it in lightly. Let's see how I can style this in the future.

Have a great weekend kids!

Monday's post: Lazy day outfit.

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January 18, 2012

DIY Tea Dye For

Heh! Yeah, I came up with the name all by myself. Anyway! I decided to try to warm up some old tired white shirts by dying them in tea and thought I'd bring my blogarific friends along for the ride. By the way, this ride ends in two fails and a win. Let's do it!

To dye something with tea (a natural fiber or it doesn't want to stick) you'll need:
• about 10 bags of tea for every meter of fabric you're dying (this is what worked for me)
• pot big enough for your garments to be covered by the water or steel sink

These are the garments I wanted to warm-up. They're older, tired, and while they don't have "pit stains" they won't get completely white anymore. Because they were on the verge of being tossed anyway, I thought I'd try dying them first. Why not?



Steep your tea until the water is very very very dark.

Then, take out your tea bags! I didn't, and it's a mistake.

Pop in your dyeable wears and stir every half hour for as long as you want to dye your fabrics. Remember that your fabric will be end up lighter once you hand wash it in cold water after the dying and it will be even lighter once it dries. I wanted mine to get as dark as possible, so I left them in over night.

Here are the fails. Leaving the tea bags in was a bad idea! It causes an uneven dye job. Also, whatever causes discoloration apparently attracts tons of dye! Where there was no discoloration before there is a huge amount now. These shirts live at the dump now. Bye bye!

Here's the one win. This process worked much better with a pattern. Lessons learned!

At least one worked!

Tomorrow's post: Another travel bag makeover.

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