Friday, October 28, 2011

Fish Scales and Candy

Whew! Starting around this time of year it just seems like go go go go go, doesn't it? Well, in between a two part birthday party at two different locations and a trunk-or-treat extravaganza, I just have time to show you the Halloween costume I made for my daughter this year! There are two little known facts about me: #1- I used to work in costume design and #2- I am a licensed aesthetician (skin care/makeup artist) in the state of California since I was sixteen years old. These two things serve me well this time of year, and Halloween has long been a favorite simply because it's an excuse to let my inner drag queen out! I know ya'll know what I'm talking about...we all have that campy, feather boa wearin' side we gotta express every once in a while! Well this year I let her out vicariously, in the form of a mermaid, through my daughter. I wasn't much in the mood to make myself a costume, but I had a lot of fun making this one!

My daughter has been watching "H2O: Just Add Water" about three girls who are magically transformed into mermaids via the 'moon pool' and has been obsessed with all things mermaid ever since. Of  *course* she chose to be a mermaid for Halloween! I checked the fabric stores for a costume pattern, but didn't see anything I really liked. I'm not much of a pattern follower anyway, so instead used a method I like to call 'hack and slice' to piece together a tail and fins. I Picked up some shiny blue and green fabric that was something between a vinyl and a lame, some iridescent pailette trim, shells, glitter paint and a foam crown.

Now I had to figure out a way to put it all together. This is the fun part!



 The crown was the wrong color, but not to worry...glitter paint to the rescue! It was also too tall and 'princess' looking, so I cut it down to smaller points. Then I hot glued shells all over it.

This is what it looked like after many coats of glitter paint.


Next, the tail. The construction was easy, basically just a tube that tapers to a 'V' between the ankles and then heavily gathered fabric inset into the sides. A little elastic at the waist holds it up.
So far, so good, but it was looking a little plain to me. Mermaids *must* shimmer after all!



Out came the puff paint to make some scales. I used glow in the dark blue! I also used puff paint to make lines on the fins, like a real fish tail would look.

And this is what it looked like so far.....I liked it, but still not enough. So........

            ........I painted some more on the fins. I liked where it was going, but needed some sparkle.


I layered and layered and layered glitter paint in green and blue, to get a good fade from blue to green to yellow. Wish you could see how much this glistens in the light!



Finally, we were ready to pair the costume with the makeup and this really is my favorite part! I have been accused of being willing to paint just about anything, my children included! I can't argue.......

This was a test run of some makeup. It was my daughters idea to put the jewels on her eyelids....I wanted to put them over her eyebrows, but this works. After some final color tweaking, this is what I came up with:





The top was another tube of fabric, ruched at the sides, with a cowl neck that I cinched up and pulled around her shoulders. At that point the whole shell-bra-mermaid cliche seemed to, well, cliche. She begged me to let her show her belly. NO WAY!




I LOVE IT!! SHE LOVES IT!! I was secretly a little jealous that I can no longer pull this off.......well there is always next year. Thanks for visiting, have a safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Time Warp and an Artist Crush

Holy Hibiscus Batman!! Has it really been three weeks since my last post?! Inconceivable! The only explanation I can offer is that I was sucked into a time-warp. What I *thought* was yesterday actually occurred 20 days ago. Come to think of it, it did seem like I was tackling a lot of different projects, among them a table makeover, a china cabinet/hutch makeover, a roadside rescue of four chairs including makeovers, back to school prep (we live in a year round school district, so we get three weeks off beginning Sept 26th).flipping through many magazines and making one fabulous Mermaid Halloween costume, all in one day, and that was the best run-on sentence I have ever concocted! Turns out it wasn't all in one day, but rather 20 days ago. Ah well, it was at least a productive time warp! Now back to real time.....

I will be back shortly with a slew of posts regarding the above mentioned time warp project-palooza, but first I wanted to share a recently re-visited artist crush I have going on. I had heard of this artist several years ago and was duly impressed with her work. While 'researching' shelter mags recently, I came across her name again and remembered how much I loved her process. Her style is so fluid, full of movement, color, shape, whimsey, exploding with energy! Enough of my blabbing, see for yourself. Behold the art of Beatriz Milhazes:

This is a screenshot of a google image search I did, and as you can see, there are hundreds of images on view there. It's exceedingly difficult to choose which might be a favorite, but it sure is a visual delight in trying!

One or two that caught my eye.....make it three!

"Batucada" 2009
"Acorde, Mamãe (Wake, Mom)" 1995
"O Moderno" 2002
You can see for yourself why I am so smitten. Alas, with price tags in the millions column, it is a love affair I will feed from afar.

Meanwhile here is something my daughter drew with the 'paint' program on my laptop:

I dig it! Perhaps it will one day fetch millions......

Thanks so much for visiting today and I would love to hear what artists inspire YOU!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Merci & Adieu Monsieur

Steve Jobs 1955- 2011

You changed the world......
 “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” - Steve Jobs
"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."-Steve Jobs

Travel Well................
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