Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Inktober 2017

Dale (black), Minnie (tabby), & Chip (black & white) at 5 days and again at 8 weeks.
We tried (and failed) at taking a cute autumn photo. It was like herding cats... 

Hey, all!

It's been ages since I've posted. (Checks posts.) Yeah...it's been since last Halloween. I'm almost embarrassed. Almost. I've not been in a blogging mood, but I'm still creating. I've been watercolor painting and crocheting. I made my husband's and my dog's Halloween costume and the backdrop for our Trunk or Treat. I'll post all of that tomorrow. Probably. Check back just in case.

In the meantime I thought I'd try out Inktober this year. Inktober is the brain child of Mr. Jake Parker. He is an artist and came up with this idea in order to improve his inking skills. My ink skills are nearly non-existent, so it's a perfect challenge for me. I paint with acrylics, oils, and watercolors, I do digital art, and I draw with colored pencils. Inks are terrifying to me. I wanted to make this as simple as possible so I'd actually finish it. I used Jake's prompt list for the ideas. I packed a small art journal with a felt tip pen, a mechanical pencil, a white gel pen, a ruler, and an eraser (that weird yellow thing at the bottom of the picture below). If I had complicated anything at all, it would not have gotten done. Period. I know me well enough to say that with confidence.

I read up on tips and tricks to finishing Inktober. The one tip that really stuck out to me was "Pick a theme and stick with it!" I picked cats. I've had cats on the brain since rescuing the three babies in the first picture. Someone had dropped them at the bottom of my father's driveway. Their eyes were still closed and infected and they were crawling out in the middle of the road. Whoever did that to them had no intention of them living. They were in such terrible shape I didn't think they'd live the night, but they're now almost eight weeks and are thriving. That brings our cat total up to six. Six cats. I have six cats. (That's something I have to keep repeating to myself to try to make me believe it. I don't believe it.)

I thought I'd give a run-down of all of the pictures I've drawn. If you want to check them out individually, go see my Instagram. They're all there. Some were more successful than others and some are destined to end up as watercolors. 

1. Swift - This is of Minnie climbing so quickly up my pajama pants. I'm okay with how it turned out. It's alright. Not my fave. Not the worst. Just alright.

2. Divided - We had given the kittens their first bath and had them wrapped up in hand towels. My daughter started calling them purr-ritos and I shamelessly stole that word from her. It's not stolen if I give her credit, though, right? This one will be my first watercolor from this series.

3. Poison - An upturned bottle of poison with a cat-headed skull and crossbones. So inspired! (Sarcasm font needed.)

4. Underwater - Minnie getting a bath.

5. Long - It's nearly impossible to have yarn out near cats.

6. Sword - This one was entirely my daughter's idea. I think I could have done a better job if I had been allowed pencils, but I'm not mad at it.

7. Shy - Minnie hiding behind a curtain.

8. Crooked - I'm pretty pleased with this one. I'm loving those crooked whiskers!

9. Screech - Minnie yelling her head off at me. She's a yeller.

10. Gigantic - This is Minnie playing with Caius's tail. I really love this one.

11. Run - Minnie chasing a ball.

12. Shattered - Caius surveying the damage he caused. I love the attitude of the cat in this one. Caius never actually did this (as far as I can remember), I just really love drawing striped cats.

13. Teeming - A box teeming with cats (like my house currently). This is another one I might try again in watercolor. I do like how it turned out in ink, though.

14. Fierce - These kittens are so rough with each other. This is Minnie bullying Chip.

15. Mysterious - Chip hiding under a blanket.

16. Fat - Minnie's full belly. I really like this one.

17. Graceful - A cat on a garden fence. I think this would be beautiful in watercolor.

18. Filthy - The kittens used to practically bathe in the wet food when they first started eating it, which is why they had to have so many baths. I like this one, but I'm not thrilled with the eyes. They're not as cute as I was going for.

19. Cloud - A cat shaped cloud. Going to do a watercolor of this one.

20. Deep - I was aiming for galaxy eyes. Was very unsuccessful. Definitely going to try to paint this one, too.

21. Furious - Dunno why that one cat is wet, but he's blaming the other one. I straight-up don't like how this one turned out. At all. Not one bit.

22. Trail - I love this one and will probably be doing a painting based on this.

23. Juicy - These kittens will eat anything.

24. Blind - Cats are pretty destructive. I was happy with this one.

25. Ship - The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea in a beautiful pea-green boat...you know the rest. I love this one.

26. Squeak - I thought this one was adorable, if I do say so myself.

27. Climb - Kittens are excellent climbers. No place is safe.

28. Fall - I love, love, love the idea of this and will be painting this one soon.

29. United - Ever notice how cats sleep in a yin-yang configuration? It's adorable. I think I should have drawn this bigger in order to see the details a bit better.

30. Found - She's not great at hide-and-seek.

31. Mask - I made it all the way through! I feel like I deserve a trophy or a cookie or something for following through. (Preferably a cookie.)

This was a lot of fun and I'm so glad I did it. I don't feel like I'm any more skilled at ink than I was before, but I am more confident. That first picture took me forever to work up the nerve to start. That last one was barely a fully formed thought before it was finished. So...that's progress, right?!?


Friday, October 7, 2016

Hey, all!
Turns out nothing kills my creativity faster than grief. I had the worst summer. Thank goodness it's over. I'm starting to feel a bit better, just in time for Halloween. I whipped up these two wreaths in no time at all using things I got from the Dollar Tree. The only thing that didn't come from the Dollar Tree was the gold skull ribbon on the one below. That came from Michael's last year.

There's no real tutorial needed for this. It's all held together with chenille stems and the feathery wreath took two Halloween boas to cover it. The feathery wreath uses a styrofoam form. If you have any questions you can leave a comment or send me an email.

 Also, this crow is pretty judgmental. It's rating your costume, just so you know.

Have you created anything for Halloween? Please share! I'd love to see it.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hot Summer Nights: July's ipsy glam bag

Hey, all!
How's your summer going so far? Mine, not so good. But let's not talk about sad things today. There's enough of that already. Let's talk about pretty things like this month's ipsy bag. I was happy with everything I received, so in no particular order here's what I got and what I thought.

1. BelláPierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder - I have no idea how ipsy knows the contents of my vanity drawers, but they must be spying on me. I was just about to run out of banana powder when, lo and behold, this came! I'm in love with BelláPierre Cosmetics at this point. They do fabulous liners and, apparently, fabulous banana powder.

It's so finely milled and the perfect shade for me. My skin is so fair that a lot of banana powders are too dark for me. I love using this to set the concealer under my eyes. This lady has some dark circles!
(Value $35.00)

2. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in No Filter - This is the second polish from Trust Fund Beauty that I've received and I've been impressed both times.

The formula is thick (but not goopy), so you get full coverage in two coats. Really, if one and a half coats was a thing, then that would get it done. This shade is a fabulous greyed-out nude. Ignore the terrible application in the photo. It was late and I said to myself that I need to go to sleep. Instead I painted my nails poorly. Same thing, right?
(Value $15.00)

3. ModelLauncher Cosmetics Felt Tip Eyeliner in Emerald Isle - I've never heard of this company before, but they certainly got my attention with this awesome eyeliner.

It has a superfine felt tip and is so easy to use.

This shade is gorgeous and totally unlike anything I already own. It is smudge proof and water resistant. I have watery eyes and this stayed all. Day. Long! After taking the photo below I tried smudging it with my finger. I rubbed so hard I made my hand a little sore. It didn't budge. I want every color they make.
(Value $13.00)

4. MAKE UP FOR EVER Excessive Lash Mascara - This is a good mascara. It gives good volume. It builds easily. I like the brush. There was no flaking and no smudging. I like it.
(Full size value $25.00. Sample size value $7.27)

5. Nunzio Saviano Anti-Frizz Sheets - I really enjoyed this one. It looks so strange, but since I tend to frizz  I gave it a shot. This dealt with my fly-aways beautifully, has a very light clean scent, and didn't leave my hair oily at all. The others will be living in my purse this summer.
(Full size value $18.00. Sample size value $4.80)

The bag - 90's me would have been so into this. It's holographic and has a print of (what looks like to me) an aerial view of beach umbrellas. It's so cute.

Grand total - $75.07

 If you're interested in signing up, ipsy is a $10/month customizable beauty subscription service. Click here for my referral link (I get points) or just go to ipsy.com to check it out.

Did you get the same things I did? I'm always interested in what everyone else got.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Destination Chic: ipsy's May glam bag

Always Running Out Of Time - Motion City Soundtrack

Hey, all!

Play the song above if you haven't heard it before. I'll wait....okay, you're back? Awesome. That's the soundtrack of my life in Spring. I'm always running out of time. Things are starting to slow back down and I can finally take a breath and do my ipsy review.

In a previous post I mentioned how I subscribed to a couple of other beauty boxes. I did get my Play! by Sephora box, so that review will be coming up. My BeautyCon box...well...it mostly came. It was shipped on April 19th. As of May 26th (today) I still have not received my nail wraps. I'm thinking about cancelling that subscription. The customer service has been less than satisfactory. I emailed them twice. The second time I got a form letter saying that there was a manufacturing defect in the wraps and they're being remade. Does it really take more than a month to remake some wraps? Are they being painted by hand?!?! If you want a review on what I did get, let me know in the comments below. (Hehe! I rhymed!)

Anyway, rant over. Now on to this month's ipsy glam bag, which has a travel theme. I was very happy with this month's bag, so in no particular order here's what I got.

1. BelláPierre Cosmetics Gel Lip Liner Pencil in Nude - BelláPierre makes my favorite black eyeliner pencil, which I received in my May 2015 glam bag. It's amazing, so I was so excited to get a lip pencil in my bag.

It's a wonderful, flattering mauvey nude that lasts all day. I've worn it so many times since getting it, which is saying a lot. I don't do lip liner on a daily basis.
(Value $18.00)

2. Slmissglam Small Contour W07 Brush - This brush was created for contouring the nose. It does that exceptionally well. I've also used it to contour my cheeks, my temples, and to highlight the bridge of my nose, the tops of my cheekbones, and my cupid's bow.

The bristles are very soft and densely packed. The brush itself is just darling. It's a pearly wooden handle with a golden ferrule that has two rhinestones set into it. The bristles are white with a pink tip. I would love to have a full set, however that's probably never going to happen. They're a bit more costly than I tend to go for. (And that was a major understatement!) Unfortunately the only way to buy this brush right now is to buy the entire set.
(Full set $325. Sample value $15.00)

3. Smashbox X-Rated Mascara - When I found out that this mascara has fibers in it, I mentally screeched. I wear contacts and am so fearful of anything getting in my eyes. If you've ever had something stuck in your eye while you're wearing contacts, you know what I mean. I got brave and tried this out. You know what I discovered? It's totally fine. I didn't have a problem at all. No irritation. No itchiness. It was all good. I love the brush. I'm into the traditional brushes as opposed to the plastic spiky ones that never fail to poke my eyes out. I wasn't able to actually see individual fibers in the formula. It gave me volume and was buildable. This was a good one.
(Full size value $22.00. Sample size value $7.33)

4. Hanalei Lip Treatment - To be honest, the first time I tried the Hanalei Lip Treatment I wasn't blown away. It just seemed like a nicer version of Vaseline. However, the more I use it the more I like it. It definitely smells better than Vaseline.

There's antioxidants and moisturizers in there that improves the condition of my lips. I use this at night before bed and wake up with super soft lips in the morning.
(Full size value $25.00. Sample size value $8.33)

5. Épicé International Hydrating Mask - Confession time. I haven't tried this mask. My skin is going nuts and I'm afraid to try anything new until it calms back down. I'm pretty sure it's all stress (see above) and hormone related, but I don't want to risk it. I love the idea of it. It's a clay based mask that still hydrates. It sounds like a complete oxymoron, so naturally I'm intrigued.
(Value $12.50)

Bonus - ModelCo  LIP LACQUER Lip Gloss in Socialite - I had some rewards points, so I went for this teensy tube of lip gloss.

It smells like candy, is sheer but gives off a beautiful color, and is comfortable to wear. It's delightful.
(Full size value $24.00. Sample size value $3.55)

The bag - This is the first envelope bag I've received from ipsy, so that's a welcome change. The pattern is adorable with major landmarks. I see you, Easter Island heads!

The grand total this month is $61.16 (plus the bonus gloss plus the bag {FREE} is $64.71). It's hard to complain about that, isn't it?

 If you're interested in signing up, ipsy is a $10/month customizable beauty subscription service. Click here for my referral link (I get points) or just go to ipsy.com to check it out.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Lip Gloss for a Cause

Hey, all!

I have something a bit different for you today. It's a lip gloss that you can feel great about buying (many, many tubes). Half of the money made from these gorgeous glosses goes to Mountaineer Autism Project. This helps MAP to cover the costs of education and safety products to address elopement and safety. 

They are $6 (US) each or you can have two for $10 (or four for $20)

If you're local, I'm happy to meet up somewhere to deliver your order. If you're not local, I can ship these but will have to charge shipping.

Notoriously Morbid Cosmetics from Beckley, WV is the creator of this Everyday Heroes Cosmic Gloss and according to Notoriously Morbid's website they're vegan.

Now for the fun bits...

Everyday Heroes is a pearly gloss with a rainbow micro shimmer that leans a bit toward a blue shift. It basically looks like you're applying an opal or mother of pearl to your lips. It's sheer, not sticky at all, and the scent is Sugared Strawberry. The scent is not overly strong and after applied I can't smell it at all. 

My favorite way to use Everyday Heroes is as a topper over other lip products. It changes the base color into something a bit magical. Above I have it swatched over NudeStix in Mystic, NARS in Cruella, Rituel De Fille in Against Nature, and Lipstick Queen in Frog Prince.

It's a full sized lip gloss at 10 mL and comes with a doe foot applicator.

Ingredients: Hydrogenated Polyisobutene (and) Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer (and) Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Carmine, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Silica, Tin Oxide, Synthetic Fluorophylogopite.

Above I have it applied over BelláPierre's lip liner in Nude and below I'm wearing Everyday Heroes by itself.

Let me know if you have any further questions. To order comment below or email me at tabbiecat77@gmail.com.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Star Wars Birthday Party

Come to the Dark Side. We have cake!

Hey, all!
May the fourth be with you! (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

My daughter turned eight a couple of months ago and wanted a Star Wars party. (Yaaasssss!!! That's my girl!)

I had a lot of fun with this theme, but honestly there's only a few things I made myself. I did the photo backdrop, designed her invitations, and I made light sabers.

I bought a black plastic table cloth from the Dollar Tree, printed off about a million and a half yellow stars and the Star Wars logo. I just used tape to adhere the stars and logo. I bought the props from a party store.

My husband inserted a photo of Zara roller skating into this photo. I then tweaked it a bit and created the invitation using The Gimp using downloaded Star Wars fonts.

The lightsabers were easy to construct, but they took a bit of time to do. I finished them over two evenings and had twenty total. They're made from a pool noodle cut in half, some duct tape, and some electrical tape. The kids loved these. As a party game I blew up some balloons and had intended the children to try to keep the balloons up in the air as long as possible using the lightsabers and to have them pass the balloons back and forth. In reality, they pounded the balloons into the ground had burst all of them within thirty seconds. No exaggeration.

Zara has always wanted a pinata at her party, but we tend to rent places for her parties. This is the first one we've had at home since she was two. She really, really, REALLY loved destroying that pinata.

The cake and cupcakes were made by Traci's Cakery, the cookies were by Artistic Cookie Creations, and the entertainment was provided by Greg Goode.

We really enjoyed putting together this party. It's up there as one of my faves. What have been your favorite party themes over the years?



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