Makin' Stuff

Well, I've had some really good time to work during my spring break and I've come up with a new design for bows!  I'm so excited about the new design that I made a whole bunch yesterday.  Check out the haul of stuff I've been making in the pic above!

Although I haven't listed everything up on the Etsy page yet, it'll all be going up soon.  I have listed a couple of cute guys so far, like this Pink Pop Flower Pin and Hairclip (above) and the Red Felt Cupcake Bow Clip (below).  The Red Felt bow is a perfect example of my new bow design.  I've even been experimenting with making these bows from ribbon, and it's turning out pretty nice!

One of the first prototypes for the new bows I made was also out of red felt, but I attached it to a headband to wear.  Here's some photos of what it looks like below (ha - excuse my chipped nails!  This week's color didn't hold up as I had hoped... time to start planning for next week!).

And below is an excited photo of me wearing my new headband.  I'm mostly excited though for my new Cape Girardeau Roller Girls t-shirt sent to me by Bettie Bootheel!  Isn't this shirt awesome?  It's pink and black with a sugar skull and a gothic cameo-style frame.  Love it!  I secretly (well, now not-so-secretly) want to be a roller derby skater.  Don't know if I could hack it, but it sure looks like fun.

Other things I not-so-secretly want to be:
So, ...what do you want to be when you grow up?

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Etsy Shop Feature

I'd like to share one of my favorite Etsy shops with you (besides the Hell Razor shop, of course!).  It's called Mis Nopales Art, and has all kinds of really cool t-shirts and art prints inspired by day of the dead imagery.  I've bought a bunch of items from his, including t-shirts for both myself and Todd, stickers, and my most recent purchse: an art print!

The is the print that I purchased, entitled "La Virgen."  If you've seen the artwork and decorations that I have in my art studio, then it makes all kinds of sense that I would purchase this.  I bought the tiny 5x7 print for only $10, and then spent another $10 at Marshalls to buy a fancy gold frame.  Once matted, it looks super awesome:

This sticker pack makes a great addition to our collections.  We have sticker collections both at home and at work.  

Here's the latest t-shirt I bought, which was perfect since I'm an art teacher.  It's Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.  I also own a black t-shirt with two skeletons riding a bike.  The t-shirts are American Apparel, so it makes choosing a size easy since the brand is fairly common.  I like the XXL women's fit tee, and although he doesn't list it on the site, you can convo Mis Nopales Art and he'll get you that size.  Bonus awesomeness!

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Concert: The Damned Things

On Sunday night, Todd and I went to see The Damned Things and Volbeat at the House of Blues Chicago.  I'm so glad we went ahead and bought tickets, because the show was great!  We tried going up to the first balcony to see if the view was any better than our usual floor spots.  It was at first, until some Ed Hardy-looking dude stood in the way of everybody.  Boo.  But I caught a good 90% of The Damned Things set still with a view of the stage.  Ah, the perils of being short.  These shots are all from the balcony.

Since I've been listening to the Ironiclast album a whole bunch prior to the show, I was happy to hear all the songs I recognized.  The setlist included "Friday Night (Going Down in Flames)," "Handbook for the Recently Deceased," "Bad Blood," "Little Darlin'," "Graverobber," and "Black Heart."  The set ended with "We've Got a Situation Here," and an announcement from the band that they were going to be out by the merch booth after the set!  Score!

House of Blues is a general admission venue, so I think a lot of people didn't want to lose their spot before Volbeat to go back to the merch booth.  But we did!  We had originally purchased the album off of iTunes (due to a lack of decent record stores in the Chicagoland area), but we bought the physical CD from the booth and all the guys signed it.

I told the guys that we had bought the tickets specifically to see them, and that I hadn't even heard Volbeat before (but that I would in a matter of minutes, of course).  Scott Ian told me that if I liked the Misfits, Social Distortion, and Metallica, that I'd be into them.  He was right.

Thank god for Todd's forward-facing iPhone 4 camera, or we'd never have any shots of these moments!  Yeah, sure, they're crappy cell phone photos in low light, but it's something, right?

Here's a better shot of our CD after the signing.  Sweet!

p.s. On Monday morning, Todd went out on a mission to purchase the Volbeat album (Beyond Hell/Above Heaven) as well.  As it was my first time hearing them, it's hard to give a valid "review" of their set,  but I can tell you the Scott Ian was right, and I did indeed enjoy them very much!

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Color Change/Art-Filled Home

This week's nail color is called "Astra" and is by Zoya.  I used three coats to get an overall heavy glitter look.  The clear part of the polish is tinted reddish-pink, which helps to fill in between the pieces of glitter.  Very happy with this look so far - hope it holds up throughout the week just as well!

Because this is our Spring Break week, we get to do a lot of around-the-house work.  One of the first things we're in the process of tackling is artwork around our home.  We have a wide variety of the types of things we like to hang up.  Here are some of the newest:

I've started to tackle matting and framing of artwork that we've had around for a while, waiting to be finished and hung.  Above is my Logan Simplex Plus mat cutter and a Vote Yes art poster made by one of Todd's coworkers.  We plan to frame and hang it in our house, but first, we'll wait to make sure that the vote really DOES turn out to be "yes," and that Todd actually has a job next year.  Otherwise, it'll be too depressing to hang up in our house.  But we're optimistic and I plan to mat this piece for a spot in our home soon.

We bought an original print from Josh Howard at Chicago Tattoo, and I finally was able to frame and hang it up!  Right now it lives in the kitchen/dining room area.  I love this artwork.

This is a tour poster from the NIN/JA tour when Todd and I saw Nine Inch Nails at two shows in a row: Chicago and Indiana.  We won tickets and passes to the Indiana show via a Google Earth scavenger hunt and got to meet the band.  It was also two weeks before our wedding, so it was a super fun series of events!  Finally got around to framing this poster as well, and we still need to find a good place to hang it.

Last week, at C2E2, we bought two paintings by Chris Hamer of Urbnpop.  They're actually recycled images: photos, prints, or paintings from otherwise discarded art that he has re-drawn or painted on to create new work.  We bought two to hang above our bed in the bedroom.  The downside was that I discovered they're too small for the space.  Here's my fix:

Two awesome chunky frames I'm going to spray black and then mat the artworks to make them fit.  I held them up for size and they're perfect!  When I'm all done I'll post a photo.  My artwork matting skills are one of the useful art-teacher tricks that benefit me outside of work and save me lots of money because now I never take art to be framed - I just DIY it!

Tomorrow, I have a review of The Damned Things concert from last night, and on Wednesday, I have more art to share!  And also, don't forget about the Cannibal Kitchen/Hell Razor hairclips giveaway!

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Sound of Saturday: King Diamond

This week, I'm choosing to talk about an older album: Them by King Diamond.  As usual, this is an album Todd introduced me to.  It was originally released in 1988.  I only started listening to it this past summer, and I think it is fantastic.  

It's very classic hardcore 80's heavy metal with a horror bent.  In preparation to write up this Sound of Saturday post, I looked up some background info and found this plot summary of the album on Wikipedia that I (despite my repeated listenings) had only partly grasped from listening to the album.  It's pure 80's horror-movie awesomeness.  There's a King Diamond website you can check out for additional info, too, should you be interested - it seems to be a fanclub website, but it's the closest to an official site I could find.

But about this album: the thing that first drew me in about this album was the song "Welcome Home," when King sings "Grandmaaaaaaaaa!" because I thought to myself, "What could be better than a metal album about a grandmother and tea and her wheelchair?" - it was so opposite of what you'd typically think of, I knew I had to listen closer.  In my mind, there's something really fun and old-spookshow-kitschy about the lyrics.  It reminded me of something I would have been seriously afraid of in 5th and 6th grade: spooky old ladies with strange ailments and odd habits.

Kind Diamond has a crazy range of vocals in his songs, too.  He goes from singing really low and rough to a high, 1980's hair-metal style screaming lyric.  Those are some of my favorite parts.  I thought it would be fun to go an entire day singing in the style of King Diamond: HELLOOOOO! how are you doing?  I am FIIIIIIIINE!  Would you like to go OOOOOOUT SOMETIIIIIIME?

I even made an artwork ode to the album in my Sketchbook Project:

Grandma in her cup of tea.  Oh yeah.

The other thing that I particularly enjoy about this album is that no one I know (friends, family) except for Todd and I seem to know about this album.  So it's special to us.  Obviously, many many other people know about and enjoy this album, or we never would have found it in the first place, but in our little bubble, it's a fun album secret.  But I like you and now I'm sharing with you. 

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Mixing Patterns

This is my outfit from earlier this week.  I (once again) had to take a whole mess of photos due to Motor trying to get in on the shots.  My mom gave me a bag of hand-me-down clothes, and the only piece I kept was this short-sleeved long black sweater.  I think I wore it for three days straight because I liked it a lot.  Black sweaters are good for just about anything.

My dress is a surprisingly good find from JCPenney (if memory serves, it was a couple of years ago...) but it's sleeveless so I usually wear either a long-sleeved shirt under it, or a sweater over.  My favorite black Target leggings go under just about everything, and it's still so darn cold here so I had to!

I had a black & white stripey scarf from H&M I decided I wanted to wear even though I knew I would be mixing patterns... I don't know, maybe I was feeling daring.  I thought it was ok.

Here's a close-up of the peacock feather pattern of my dress.

I also wore my pink felt hairclip (from my DIY post a week or so ago) in my hair.  Super easy to make, or, even easier,  buy your own!

I bought these shoes from Target last week, and I actually lasted in them all day long.  Yeah, my feet hurt a little, but they're really darn cute.  And I work a long day as a teacher, walking around and standing a lot.  I tried to take a side view shot, but Motor especially didn't like the camera on the ground, so it didn't work out like I had hoped.  Maybe next time.

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