Saturday, January 18, 2014

Inspire Me

This week at work I had to repair some floats and props that were going out for the Detroit Auto Show. There was only 2-4 of us, artists working on any given day so it was quite a contrast from Thanksgiving when there are about 17-20 artists. It was so quiet without all of the metal grinders, band saws, welding, fans, and classic rock blaring. It was a wonderful time to do some thinking and daydreaming.

I was in my own little nook repairing an old Humpty Dumpty sculpture. I played Arcade Fire, Portishead, Timber Timbre, and Broadcast & the Focus Group to help calm my nerves about airbrushing for the first time in a year. I fell back into the groove of it quickly and decided I love airbrushing and especially mixing colors for it. I get so attached to the colors I make, that I feel disappointed when I have to rinse them away.

I took my inspiration home where I started the process of turning my beloved vanity into an alter of all of my treasures. I bought the vanity this past summer at antique store. It has been an obsession of mine for as long as I can remember. I loved watching my grandma put her makeup on and do her hair at her vanity when I was little. She would give me her old makeup and perfume and let me wear whatever jewelery I desired. Every day in front of my vanity, I feel like a little girl playing dress up, and in my reflection I see my grandma. It's one of the most calming moments in my day. I can daydream while listening to ethereal music, drink tea or coffee, play with colors, and remember the story behind each piece of jewelery.

I still have a lot of ideas on how to make the vanity more special but it will take a while since I only have so much time after baby Mae is asleep. I bought some tiny clothespins that I want to hang on twine on the top of the vanity with pictures of my grandma, Mae, friends, and whatever else moves me. I need to find or make lighting since my room is very dark, it's a little hard to do my makeup there. I also want to make and buy some necklace holders. I hate seeing my necklaces and bracelets tangled in the drawers of my vanity. I have a pink glass poodle candy dish from my great grandma that I turned into a bracelet and earring holder and I found some jars of other sizes for rings and necklaces. I prettied them up with glitter. My favorite reoccurring colors right now are blush, coral, and gold. I was so excited about the progress of my project I got out my camera and shot pics with my macro lens. In the process of shooting the pics I also remembered how much I love doing photography. Enjoy the pics and I encourage everyone to make a special place dedicated to the things that make them tick and that keeps them inspired.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Snow Dazed

This has been the worst Michigan winter I can remember. In the last two weeks or so we ended up with about 15-18 inches of snow accumulative. With the snow came; a horrendous parking ticket for parking in the street during a snow emergency (I have no driveway), getting my car stuck in multiple snowbanks, dead car batteries (it was -5 to -24 for 3 days), hiking on foot to get baby supplies in town, and being bored out of my mind stuck inside with an equally bored 17 month old baby.

Last Tuesday, my boss called me back into work to do some repairs on floats. I work for The Parade Company in Detroit as a sculptor/artist for Detroit's Thanksgiving Parade aka "America's Thanksgiving Parade". It's nationally broadcasted, and in my opinion, better than Macy's parade. I've been laid off since Thanksgiving Day (we typically work 6-10 months a year). Anyhow, I was thrilled to be called back after being stuck at  home for months in our tiny loft. Mae, my daughter, was also thrilled to get out of our house and see her friends at school. It always feels so nice to walk back into the warehouse and get down to work. I am so lucky to have a job I love.

After time off, it's always an adjustment to get back into the swing of things like waking up on time, packing everything for the baby and also for myself, driving back and forth on unplowed roads, cooking dinner, cleaning, working out, and then feeling exhausted but having insomnia in bed at 2am. Then repeat. I only worked three days and I still caught myself saying, "thank god it's Friday" at least three times.

The weather finally started to warm up on Friday and the rain sped up the melting process of the snow. I went out with my friend Tracy on Friday night and again the following afternoon to the mall. The traffic was annoying since everyone else was apparently stir crazy too. I waited in line way too long at Victoria's Secret for just a plain white v-neck t-shirt because it was $5. Later that night, I ended up at a little pub in Berkley with another friend from work. It was so much fun to dress up and socialize for the first time since New Year's Eve.

Today I ran a zillion errands and realized I've waited way too long to get my brakes fixed. I'm sorry to everyone that has had to hear the awful screeching of my poor sickly car. When I got home it was sunny and beautiful so I insisted on taking everyone on a walk to town. It was kind of a pain since some of the sidewalks still aren't cleared so it was hard to push the stroller, and in other places the sidewalk was flooded with icky water I was forced to walk through.  One of my favorite stores in Royal Oak is closing so I bought some new "sensible" shoes that were mega cheap! And then coffee happened. Mmm. Coffee.
My new sensible shoes terrorizing a city.

Post-workout shadow in my spooky basement.

Hola sun!

Mae Montage in my work boots.

My work's parking lot.

These feet were made for walking.

Waiting in my car for my friend to show up.

Mae is up to it again.

Making the journey to town.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year, New Makeup

I am a self-proclaimed makeup addict. I loooove makeup. I usually tend to do more dramatic excessive looks like the kind every professional makeup artist tells you not to (smokey eye AND red lips). I bought a makeup kit that I adored leading up to the holiday party season which were flashy and sparkly and then I bought/received some post-holiday makeup which is drastically different but equally wonderful.

I had a really formal charity event before Thanksgiving through my work. I bought a lovely vintage gown in the summer that I was planning on wearing to this event. I wanted makeup that would accent the gown but I wanted to make it more modern with current trends so I wouldn't look like I was trying to be the "vintage girl". I got a smashbox holiday kit that came with 6 shades of bare, peach, gold, coral, bronze, and cocoa. Included in the kit was also a kohl eye liner and their Full Exposure Mascara. The eye shadows all blend beautiful and got me through every single holiday event up until New Year's Eve. It has a wide range of looks you can get with the colors. I am not a huge kohl eyeliner fan, so I didn't really try it much. I did however, love this mascara. It separated, lengthened,  and never flaked off. I always thought I knew when to shell out extra cash for the good stuff and where you can cut back and get cheap brands. I was always under the impression that mascara is mascara. I was wrong. It's not.

On my birthday, I went to Sephora to receive my free birthday gift from their beauty insiders club. I got a little Benefit sample box as my gift with Watt's Up and their new mascara They're Real! I love highlighters and was stoked about the Watt's Up, which I've been dying to try, and I was indifferent to the mascara at first because I already had the Smashbox one. The Watt's Up is beautiful and has a gold sheen to it which can be swept on the cheekbones and the arch of the eye brows and anywhere that your face could use a lift to open up and brighten your eyes. Then I tried the mascara and I am BLOWN away by it. It honestly made it look like I was wearing false lashes. Geez, how wrong I was all this time thinking you could skimp on mascara. The wand is a little different than I'm used to though, every time I've used it, I've jabbed myself in the eye. Maybe it's not the brush's fault but I'm so excited that I tremble when I use it.

Next product I have to gloat about is the Pixi brand carried at Target. It's called Fake Awake Kit No.1 PowerNap. This kit contains a lip/cheek stain in a strawberry flush color, a shimmery pink lip gloss (that isn't sticky), two eye correcting concealers, an eye brightening concealer, a high lighter, setting powder, and an eye shadow in a natural pink tone. I LOVE this kit. It is low maintenance and looks so fresh, glowy, and youthful. That's exactly what I need right now. The only thing I wear besides these kits in the following pictures is my tinted illuminating moisturizer also by Pixi, eye brow gel and mascara in brown, and a little liquid eyeliner by Wet and Wild.

Until next time, Jen B.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Hello, Happy Birthday, Happy New Year

My mother started labor when the ball dropped on January 1st, 1986. I was born at 1pm bright blue with the umbilical cord around my neck. After I finally drew breath, I was the loudest baby in the nursery. My mother said the first thing she thought when she looked at me was, "Oh my god, she's gonna be a bitch".

My dad called me his princess, and I took it literally. Growing up I ordered my brother and mother around declaring I was "daddy's princess". My title was quickly snatched from me and my dreams of crowns and castles came crumbling down with it.

One day a year though the whole world (or most of it) celebrates me, my birthday, aka New Year's Day. Honestly, my birthday has never been great between my dad going in an ambulance to the hospital, snow storms that cancelled my parties, most restaurants being closed, strep throat, and countless other little disappointments due to winter and or having a birthday on a holiday. Still, I sincerely enjoy pretending that all of the hoopla is for me and that I reclaim my throne as Queen of the New Year.
Happy Birthday, Happy New Year. 

These are pictures of me through the years on my birthday or sporting crowns. This year I made a flower crown that I wore all day on my birthday. It was really cute and more of a headband so it wasn't too weird to wear in public. I want to throw a crown-making party with some friends at some point this year. Until we meet again. Psst...I have some makeup reviews coming up soon ;)

Birthday flower crown I made
I wore it all day 1-1-14!