Wednesday, December 21, 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30, Item #1: Learn how to spin yarn

This one wasn't originally a part of my list, but I eventually decided to add this one on to replace a different goal, because I really HAVE always wanted to learn how to do this.

Today, my sister-in-law Jen and I set out for Yarndogs in Los Gatos to take a class on how to spin wool roving into yarn using a drop spindle:

Now why would anyone want to spin their own yarn, when you could totally buy yarn ready-made? Well, you're asking someone who wants to knit her own sweaters and hats even though I could totally buy them ready-made =P It's because you can't always find yarn like that. Or maybe you can, but it's not the weight you want it to be. Or maybe you just enjoy the feeling of making something with your own two hands. Maybe you just like the feel of something soft between your fingers.

At any rate, two years ago, I bought a "Learn to spin" kit that came with the above spindle and roving and a dvd that made no sense to me. I tried Youtube videos, and I just couldn't do it - spinning is something you need your hands for, and it's not always convenient to stop and browse for the next video if you need to be holding something. So I signed up Jen and myself for a lesson with Amy, who teaches the spinning classes at Yarndogs, so she could help us figure this stuff out.

I won't go into the details of how it's done here (because really, how can I explain it very well without just showing you?), but here are some photo highlights. I didn't get any pictures of myself spinning during the lesson because seriously, I had spinning to do. The amount of roving I had didn't produce very much, so I don't know what I'll be able to make with it, but I'm proud of myself nonetheless :)


As awesome as this photo looks, my arms right now cannot straight or lift things up without total soreness. I would shake my fist but it hurts!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Violet Delights

Using the Urban Decay's Mariposa palette...

- UDPP Original
- UD's Infamous all over the lid
- UD's Rockstar into the crease
- UD's Skimp to highlight/blend crease
- Sugarpill's Dollipop applied to the center of the lid
- UD's eye pencil in Rockstar along the upper lash line
- UD's eye pencil in Asphyxia along the lower lash line
- MAC Zoom Fast Lash mascara

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Open letter

Dear Pedestrian from This Morning,

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Please keep this in mind. When you walk a path that resembles a quadratic equation I would've learned about in high school math class, you're wasting my time.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30, Item #14 - Attend Dickens Fair

It should come as no shock to you that I am a lover of 19th century British literature. The Romantics and the Victorians were absolutely my favorite periods of literature, along with the corresponding American period of literature of transcendentalism. I LOVE it.

So of course, attending the annual Dickens Christmas Fair that is held up near San Francisco has been on my to-do list for a long time. It's like a pilgrimage to the holy land of Victorian nerdiness. It's like Ren Faire in that there are TONS of people decked out in full costume, appropriate food from the period, and shows and dancing. It's like stepping straight into the pages of a Dickens novel. Putting on my most Victorian piece of clothing (my cropped red waistcoat), I got ready to step back into 19th century London.

It's a beautiful life

See how it all began! PRG celebrates its first year of existence this month, and we couldn't be prouder of how far we've come. We're currently at about 50 members (and still growing!), we have bouted for the first time, and we have WON our first victory. And 2012 has SO much more in store...

Friday, December 9, 2011

This morning...

I ate a SAUSAGE McGRIDDLE for breakfast.

WTF is wrong with me?

PS - They forgot to put the peppermint in my peppermint hot chocolate. Jerkfaces.

Simple smoky with the Naked Palette 2

It's been a while since I've done a beauty post! I haven't stopped wearing makeup, I just haven't had much time to blog what I'm wearing. But I did definitely want to post something using Naked 2, since I'm pretty excited about having it :)

So here's a really basic smoky eye:

And here's what I used:

Pistol, Verve, and Blackout

The three colors I happen to use are not widely available - Pistol is exclusive to this palette; Verve is otherwise available only in the Rollergirl palette; and Blackout is otherwise available only in the 15th Anniversary palette. I will link you to Temptalia's review of Naked 2, as she has good swatches and is very thorough in identifying possible dupes. Otherwise, I would just recommend choosing a dark shade, a medium shade, and a light shade, in whatever color family you choose. Some people like silvers/grays, some like browns, some like crazy-colored smoky eyes in purple or green... it's up to you.

I'm going to outline the steps, since I get asked often about how to do a smoky eye. There are lots of tutorials out there, and not everyone does them the same way. I think it's valuable to have a variety of methods available because people have different eye shapes! I've never found a tutorial that suited my eyes and eventually just went and asked a makeup artist to do one on me in person.

- Apply a primer. I like UD Primer Potion

- Using a firm, flat eye shadow brush, pat on Blackout on the outer half of the lid. I use a light hand for this step, since I don't want it too dark right away. I also use the tip of the shadow brush (or you can use a small crease brush, not too big or fluffy) to pull the Blackout into and along the crease a bit. I also used a smudge brush (small and pointed) to pull Blackout along the outer corner of my eye and only slightly onto my lower lash line, just at the corner.
*Note: This is what I'm wearing to work, so I didn't do much with my lower lash line. If I were doing a special occasion smoky eye, I'd probably line my lower lash line too. Among other things.

- Wipe off the flat shadow brush and use it to apply Pistol to the other half of your eyelid, starting at the middle.

- Here's the important part - where the Pistol and Blackout meet, that's where you REALLY need to blend. There shouldn't be a defined line where one shadow ends and the other begins. That's why it's called a smoky eye.

- This is an optional step, but I like what it does - after I'm done blending the middle, I'll go back and apply the individual colors with a stronger hand at the respective outer and inner corners of my eye.

- To smooth out the crease a bit (because you don't want sharp lines in a smoky eye), I used a SMALL fluffy brush to apply Verve just above the crease.

- Finish off with black eyeliner and mascara (I used UD's 24/7 pencil in Perversion and BeneFit's They're Real! mascara).

That's it! I know that looks like a lot of steps, but that's because I'm wordy. Basically it's: Apply dark color, apply light color, then blend.

And as I said earlier, the blending is what makes the smoky effect. For good blending, you need good brushes, and you need good eye shadow that is smooth and easy to work with. (When I say you need "good eye shadow," that does not mean "expensive eye shadow." Wet 'n' Wild's Color Icon palettes and singles, for example, are SUUUUPER good. So are NYX's eyeshadows.)

I hope this helped someone out there :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011