weekend shopping trip.

This weekend I went on a little shopping trip by myself to the Old Orchard Mall in Skokie.  I used to go there about once a month with my friend Jen, who has since moved to San Francisco.  It made me miss her.  I visited a bunch of our favorite stores (mostly Sephora and the Mac counter at Macy's) and I found a few tiny new treasures.  The first is this week's nail polish.  It's called "Break a Leg-Warmer!" and is by OPI for Sephora from their Urban Ballerina collection.  While I was there, I also found a sweet light yellow shade on clearance for only $5, called "IM Beauty".  Maybe I'll try out this yellow next week...

I really like the combination of yellow and grey.  I have a dress in this color combination, and then I realized that my Bumblebee Puffy Heart Necklace is also yellow and grey.  Maybe I was subconsciously channeling the color combo of my dress when I made it?  Then I found a Yellow Dot Skully Hair Bow in the same colors that would go perfect with the necklace and the nail polish.  The best part?  This bow is on sale for $5!  I love his little asymmetrical eyes.  He's really cute.

While I was at Sephora, I also purchased a Tokidoki Gelato Lip Balm Stain.  This one is "Pink Martini," the hot pink color.  I love that it's a lip balm with a little bit of color.  As much as I love lipstick, I usually put it on in the morning and then forget about it.  I'm not exactly a reapply-er, unless I'm on a fancy date or at a wedding where I'll stop to primp in the ladies room.  But I do love to keep a tube of lip balm, like Lip Smackers, on hand.  I have one in my purse, one in my makeup drawer, one in my desk drawer at work... you get the idea.  

So, this lip balm stain is perfect for me because it's sheer - I don't need a mirror to reapply, I get the look of a sheer lipstick, and it keeps my lips moisturized.  The best of both worlds!  I paired my new Tokidoki lip balm with a Large Pink and Yellow Skull Hair Clip and Brooch since the color schemes were so similar.  I think they make a lovely pair.

My last purchase of the day was from a quick stop at Anthropologie.  I do love that store.  The displays are always full of creative ideas, and the clothing is fantastic.  I spent a lot of time examining some of the cotton dresses for spring in really amazing patterns.  They had a retro look to them that I really enjoyed.  Unfortunately, I don't really have the wallet resources to actually shop seriously, nor am I quite in the required size bracket to wear most of the items that they sell.  I mostly drool over things I wish I could have... but it makes for great window shopping.  I did find one item I could not leave the store without, and it's this tiny chair bottle opener!  I love the curved, antique lines and shape of the mini chair, and thought it would look really nice on a countertop or shelf alongside other decorative items, but with the added bonus of functionality as a bottle opener.  I photographed the opener with a pair of Hell Razor Skull Safety Pin Earrings, which have a similar old-timey charm about them.

Where are your favorite places to shop?

now playing:
Red Barchetta - Rush
Moving Pictures


Sound of Saturday

Todd came up with this post title for when I want to talk about music on the weekend.  Sure, Hell Razor is a jewelry, art & accessories brand, but we like other things, too!  Music is one of them.  Actually, music is a HUGE one of them.  We have it on almost 100% of the time at our house.  Mostly, upon entering our house, you will hear metal, because it's what we both agree on most.  

One band we totally agree on right now is The Damned Things.  They're not a new or underground band, in fact, you've probably already heard of them.  The band is made up of members of other successful bands:  Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy (I know, weird, right?)Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano of Anthrax, and Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die.  They also have a MySpace here (people still have those? hmm).

When Todd first told me about them, I kind of scoffed at the Fall Out Boy thing (yeah, I know, I'm being all elitist and I shouldn't do that).  But then he told me about the comic-book inspired video for "We've Got a Situation Here" and he played the single for me while we were driving in the car.  That seems to be our traditional new music testing location.  We've gotta sit there anyways, right?  Might as well make my ears happy.  And I liked Keith Buckley's voice when I heard him sing in Every Time I Die, so odds were that he'd be a good frontman here, too.

So, long story short(er), I really liked what I heard and it's been stuck in my brain radio for weeks now.  I watched the video, which was awesome, and now I'm totally sold.  Love this band!  The sound is nothing like Fall Out Boy, but instead more of a hard rock/metal/bluesy mix.  No poppy stuff here.

The latest news is that they're on tour right now opening up for Volbeat.  They come to my neck of the woods (Chicago, IL House of Blues) on March 27th and I reallyreallyreally want to go.  However, tickets are $34.51 each (that's including the outrageous service fees) and I just don't know if we can afford $70 for the two of us to go out right now.  Sad!  It'd be different if it was $20 per ticket, or even $25 per ticket.  Grrrr.

So, if you DO have money and can afford to go, I'd love to hear how they are live.  Or perhaps I'll just suck it up and buy the damned tickets to see the damned things.

now playing:
We've Got a Situation Here - The Damned Things


An outfit post.

If you know me personally, you know that I love to read fashion blogs.  It's become a recent obsession of mine.  I don't exactly fit the typical fashion-blogger profile, though.  Number one, I'm older... I'll be 32 years old this April, and most bloggers I read are between 19 - 28.  I am short, too - I'm not quite 5'2". Also, I'm not a size zero.  Heck, I'm not even a size eight.  But that's not what's important here.  I decided to go ahead and do an outfit post, a la fashion blogger-style, because I thought it would be helpful to show how you might wear Hell Razor pieces in an everyday way.

Oh yeah, sometimes (sometimes?!) I'm an awkward photo taker.  Once again, I did it anyways, even with a little dog named Motorhead getting angry at the self-timer:

See?  I told you he was getting angry.
Here is my dramatic serious outfit shot:

If you're interested in the actual clothes, the striped t-shirt and leggings are from Target.  I love stripes and wear them a lot, probably at least one thing I wear is stripey every day.  The black dress is actually an Anna Sui for Anthropologie (I swear I got it on clearance and still spent more than I typically would but I LOVE this dress and get a ton of wear out of it).  I can't remember where I got the boots, but I think I ordered them by mail... maybe Alloy.com?  I think so.  I'm wearing two Hell Razor accessories with this outfit: a Turquoise Zebra Skull Bow Clip and my Hand Painted Skull Charm Rosary Necklace.  My outfit this day was a pretty straightforward black-and-white basic color scheme, so it was easy to add a simple white necklace and a splash of color with the hair bow.

One of the things that I love about rosary necklaces is that they are easily layered with other necklaces, or can be worn alone.  This necklace is super special because the pendant was actually a vintage clip-on earring I cleaned up and painted with this skull motif.  One-of-a-kind!  I removed the clip and attached a jump ring to turn it into the fun pendant that you see in these photos.  It has a "day of the dead" kind of feel to it.  I like wearing a white necklace against a black dress (like in the photos above) so that the contrast really makes the jewelry pop!

The zebra bow clip is actually ON SALE!  Visit the sale section to find this bow and other great steals for only $5!  I love the bright blue of this graphic zebra-patterned ribbon.  It's the kind of ribbon color that looks good on everyone's hair: blond, black, brown, redhead, or even purple!  With my simple black-and-white outfit, it was easy to add a little color with this bow.  I'd also easily wear it with other blue items or cool colors.

The skull in the center is a hand-made, hand-drawn skull by me!  I use a special modeling compound to hand-form the skull shapes I use in all my flowers and bows.

So, I hope you like my very first outfit post!  I hope to add more in the future with more ideas for how to wear Hell Razor art pieces.  Got any suggestions?  Let me know!

now playing:
The Pot - Tool
10,000 Days


Spring Fever

We had a couple of warm days in a row.  Enough that I actually put my winter coat away into the front hall closet.  I refused to take it back out.  Then it got cold again.  Then it snowed.  Booooooo.  My coat is back out again from the front hall closet.  But I'm going to think about spring anyways.  So there.

I have some new designs and ideas for spring.  Like butterflies for your hair.  I thought, if people like flowers in their hair, then butterflies have gotta be pretty nifty too, huh?  So I attached some tiny feather butterflies onto bobby pins and tried it out.  I like 'em:

See how happy I am?  I think these would be especially pretty for a school dance in the spring, like for prom.  If I was back in high school (ah, good old 1997!), I'd have totally rocked a pair of these.  Well, provided they came in teal to match my velvet-topped dress and custom-dyed heels.  Yeah, dork.  Anyway...

Something else I've been experimenting with is vintage jewelry pieces and chain.  I like taking pieces apart that are "out of style" and re-using sections, recombining them into something that's a wearable and more modern design.  This necklace above is made from several other necklace chains and a pendant I've had for a while now, waiting to be a part of something special.  I really like how the chain is a different type on each side.  I am drawn to asymmetry, which is interesting because Todd is drawn to things that are symmetrical.  Maybe that's something only married art teachers discuss.  Do find that you have a preference?

This last piece was a prototype created from an idea for a custom headband I made for Jenn.  It's a tie-style headband, made from faux leather cord.  The embellishment is two peacock feathers and a vintage black button.  I love that the tie makes the headband more versatile: it can be worn tied under the hair, or worn around the head on top of the hair.  The wearer can also position the feather exactly where she wants it, as opposed to a traditional "plastic" headband.  I plan on making a few more headbands in this style, as I really like how this one turned out.

So, there you have a little spring preview from me of what's coming, Hell Razor-style.  Hopefully it makes you wish for warmer temperatures, too.  Or at least to consider what your leanings are when it comes to design and compositional balance... uh, see above regarding my symmetry/asymmetry comment if you didn't get that...

now playing:
My Dark Place Alone - Murderdolls
Women and Children Last


Mikey Kay Photography

I mentioned on our Facebook page a while ago that Mikey Kay had come over to take my portrait for a project he is working on.  He's planning to self-publish a photo book about people with unusual hair.  He wanted to take pictures of me that would show "who I am" as a person, so I figured that there was probably no better place than the studio!  I was really excited to show off my sweet new zebra print glue gun.  During the photo shoot, I worked on making butterfly bobby pins and some assorted flowers for hair clips.  Above, you can see two of my favorite shots from the shoot.

Mikey Kay is a talented young photographer, and you can check out his work on his website or via his Flickr photostream.  He does a lot of work with musicians, and frequently photographs over at Rock Razor Scissors Salon, which is where I get my purple hair dyed.

now playing:
It's Not You - Halestorm


Color Change

This seemed like a good week for a bright blue superhero type of color.  I used OPI's "Blue My Mind" to paint three coats on my nails last night.  If you didn't already catch it, I change my nail color every week on Sunday nights (or at least, I really try to!) as Todd and I chill out with some TV before heading back into our work week.  Thankfully, we have Monday (today) off for President's Day.

By Friday and Saturday, my nails are usually pretty chipped up from a week of cleaning paint brushes and digging through clay at work.  The OPI brands hold up pretty well, and I really enjoy unlikely bright colors.  Although this is a solid color this week, I also really like glitter polishes.  Does anyone know of any tricks for getting glitter polish off more easily?  That's the only downside.

The blog here has gotten a mini-facelift with a slight template change and some easy-to-navigate buttons along the side.  I also re-directed the Hell Razor home address (www.hellrazorart.com) to the blog, since this page makes a great "landing site" with everything one might need right here.  I think it looks more pleasing to the eye.  Hope you like!

now playing:
Kimdracula - Deftones
Saturday Night Wrist


More wedding fun!

I just found out that Stephanie and Dave's wedding has been featured on the "Ok, now what? Bride" wedding blog!  This is exciting for me because amongst the photos are some really excellent shots of the Hell Razor flowers I made for the bridesmaids!  Yayy!  Click here for the full blog post and more amazing photos.

Here's my favorite shot.  Photography for this wedding was done by Studio Finch.



I was reading an Etsy newsletter about promoting your online business (without being pushy & overbearing) and came across a really neat idea: make videos of your work so people can see them outside of the static photos on Etsy listings.

I used to do an awesome stop-motion video art project with my art students a few years back, so I thought I could probably make some pretty fun stop-motion "commercials" using Hell Razor items.  We had a couple of snow days this week, so I used the time to snap a whole mess of still photos using my digital camera and put them into a video using iStopMotion free trial software.  I think I'm going to have to go ahead and invest in the full version, because it's pretty darn cool and not too expensive for what I want to do.  Apparently I can also use iMovie 9, but I only have iMovie 8.  Boo.

Wouldn't it be fun to see your Hell Razor accessory dance across the table, or being worn by an action figure?  I know I'd enjoy that!

In any case, here's my first foray into video (it has no sound... should have added some, maybe next time):

Hope you like it!  Please subscribe to my YouTube channel I've created for Hell Razor!
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