Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2011
Happy Halloween everyone! Do you have any fun/scary Halloween plans today? What's lame about this year's Halloween is that it falls on a Monday and like most of you out there who have to go to work or school today, I too have to go to work today. So I have been trying to take advantage of the holiday season throughout the month of October (including drinking tons of Pumpkin Spice Lattes and my quest to find Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale in my city).  Here's what else I've been doing to get in the Halloween spirit:

This is my scary/angry pumpkin that I've named, Olivier, after the Project Runway season 9 contestant that turned out to be a huge complainer. My Olivier sports bloodshot eyes after staying up late countless nights trying to finish his garments, but he's also punk rock because he has a Mohawk. 

Last Friday, the Boy and I caught a local production of Evil Dead the Musical to get into the Halloween spirit and it was pretty awesome- just like the Evil Dead films. Since I wasn't able to capture a photo of the awesomeness of the musical instead, I decided to share with you a photo of my awesome drink, "The Boomstick" instead (it was awesomely delicious).

Then last Saturday the Boy and I attended a local screening of the original 1925 silent movie version of Phantom of the Opera with live organ music played on an 86 year old organ. I had never seen the original Phantom of the Opera all the way through, so I thought this was a great opportunity to check it out, but the Boy was a little disappointed that this version did not include any of the famous Phantom songs from the Andrew Lloyd Webber's version.

The Boy and I have also been trying to watch as many scary, Halloween inspired films as we can. Here's a list of the Halloween films that we have watched this season so far:
  1. My Name is Bruce
  2. The Craft
  3. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  4. Halloween: H20
  5. Troll 2 (I really wanted to dress up as Creedence Lenore Gielund this year)
  6. Dracula: Dead and Loving It
  7. Scream 4
  8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
My absolute favorite scary movie to watch is the original Halloween. Do you have any Halloween flicks that you would like to recommend? Do you have any fancy Halloween plans? Let me know in the comments below.


What I'm Listening To: Bjork Bibliophilia

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This week I picked up the latest Bjork album, Bibliophilia. Bjork is back in her soft  moonbeams and pixie dust experimental mode. It's softer, quieter album than Bjork's previous release, Volta and it reminded me most of Bjork's 2001 release Vespertine, which came out during my first year of college and Medula, which came out during my Junior year of college when I was studying art. This album took me back to those times in college where I would get hyped up on coffee, get together with my friends, and stay up all night trying to complete my drawing assignments for critique and made me wish I were drawing again with my face covered in charcoal. Goodtimes!


Thank You!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guess who got their Friendship Bracelet Swap bracelets in the mail? I did! If you don't recall, on October 12th I told you all that I was participating in Friendship Bracelet Swap 2.0 hosted by Chasing Davies and that my swap partner was the lovely Surinder aka. Miss Sassypants.

The cuff was made by Miss Sassypants but the bracelet's came from Mexico and were purchased from a young man on the beach. The other two bracelets were made by Miss Sassypants with beads given to Miss Sassypants by a friend. I couldn't be more thrilled with my bracelets and they are even nicer and more beautiful than I imagined.

In other news, I was also the winner of the GS Lillian Cuff giveaway by Chasing Davies (as seen above in an image from Chasing Davies) and I promptly slapped that baby on my wrist and wore it out to the Evil Dead Musical this weekend.

So I want to sent a big thank you out to Surinder of Miss Sassypants for the beautiful friendship bracelets, and a thank you out to Meg of Chasing Davies and GS Lillian for putting on the cuff contest and awarding me with the cuff. Look out for these bracelets and cuffs in future fashion posts.

Previously on Project Runway: Season 9, Episode 13

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Aka. Home Visits

This week on Project Runway, the final 4 designers (Viktor, Joshua, Kimberly and Anya) packed their bags and went back home to work on their final collections for Mercedes Benz fashion week. The designers were given $9000 and 5 weeks to complete their collections, and while the designers were busy sewing, they each received a very special visit from Tim Gunn. After 5 weeks, the designers brought their collections back to New York City where they were asked to present 3 looks to the Project Runway judges so that they could determine which 3 designers would show their collection on the main stage at Fashion Week. Let's take a look at the designs:


Of the final 4 designers, Vikor had the most finished collection which was the most ready-to-wear. Viktor told the judges that his collection was inspired by his recent trip to Mexico (where Vikor is from), and that his visit was inspired by Viktor's promise to his deceased brother to make his brother proud and to visit their hometown. Although the judges re-styled all of Viktor's looks for him on the judging panel, the judges decided that Vikor's collection was worthy of being presented on the main stage.

To me, Joshua's collection packed the most punch on the runway. During Tim Gunn's home visit with Joshua, Tim vetoed all but 2 of Joshua's designs for his collection, so Joshua almost had to start again from scratch. I agreed with the judges that the first look was fabulous, and I liked the second look even though Michael Kors did not approve of the LBD's "modesty tab". The judges and I also enjoyed Joshua's third look from the front, however we all agreed that the tight, black catsuit in the back was too revealing for most women. The judges agreed that they like more of Josh's collection than they disliked and decided to send him forward to the main stage at Fashion Week.


 The ladies appear to have struggled with their final collection looks. I agreed with Nina, that I wasn't too keen on Kimberly's color palette. Kim's styling needs a lot of work as the blue shoes with blue pants on the first look make the model appear to have a club foot, and the handbags on look 1 and 2 are over kill. And I really, Really, REALLY don't like Kimberly's pink "bubble butt" skirt. But, despite all of this, the judges liked that Kim has a clear vision and sense of style and decided to send her to the main state at Fashion Week.


When Tim Gunn visited Anya at her home in Trinidad, she had only just selected her fabrics, so it wasn't surprising that Anya had a whole lot of sewing left to do when she arrived in New York. I agreed with the judges that Anya's collection was very underwhelming and was lacking in Anya's signature flair for prints, flowiness, and interesting shapes. The judges liked Anya's first look which has the closest ties to her signature looks, however they felt that her swim suit looked like it was falling off, and that Anya's attempt at a "wow" look gown appeared tortured and flat. I thought after the judges comments that it was Anya's time to go, but the judges surprised everyone by announcing that Anya will also be presenting on the main stage at Fashion Week.

What do you think of the judges decision to let 4 designers present on the main stage this year? Do you agree with the judges decision, or do you think one of the designers should have been sent home? Let me know in the comments below.

Polyvore Contest Sets

Sunday, October 23, 2011
This week I created two new sets on Polyvore. The first set is for my entry to the contest called "Your Very Best of Versace for H&M". Hopefully by now you have heard that Versace is doing a collaborative collection for H&M (if only there were an H&M store within 100 miles of me). Well, right now you can preview the collection and if you create a set on Polyvore using at least one of the H&M pieces you can have a chance to win a Versace for H&M scarf and three complete looks. Here's my entry. *fingers crossed*
The Very Best of Versace for H&M: from glam to grunge

H M knee high dress
H M short jacket
H&M suede shoes
H&m shoes
H m bag
H M studded jewelry
The Very Best of Versace for H&M campaign logo

Fantastic Mrs. Fox Costume
Next is my entry for the Do It Yourself Costume Contest in which you can share your tips on how to turn your everyday wardrobe into a fun (or frightful!) costume. For my outfit, I created a DIY costume for Mrs. Fox of the film Fantastic Mr. Fox. Personally, I really want the moccasins and Betsy Johnson fox earring/ pin set.

Long print dress, $37
Dorothy Perkins tight, £8
Madewell flat heels, $40
Betsey Johnson sparkle jewelry, $35
Harlett:The American Red Fox Tail, Accessories for Unisex, $85
GAP ear flap hat, $23

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. And if you have a Polyvore account, please like my sets on Polyvore.

Paste Magazine: Eight Pumpkin Ales Ranked

In case you were unaware, I love Pumpkin beer (or pumpkin anything for that matter- pumpkin spice latte's, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie. Seriously. Anything. But only in the Fall). In fact, when I was on vacation in St. Louis I practically lived on Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (by "practically lived on" I mean I sampled a few bottles over the course of a few days. I did not actually live off of Pumpkin beer alone. I drink responsibly). Anyway, since returning from St. Louis I have not been able to locate any Schiafly Pumpkin Ale's in my hometown, so I've been on a mini-quest to find the perfect Pumpkin beer, or at least something that compares to my Schlafly's. And low and behold, this week Paste magazine online released an online List of the Day of Eight Pumpkin Ales Ranked. So far, I haven't been able to get my hands on any of the 8 ranked pumpkin ales in my hometown either. But have have gotten my hands on a Pumpkin Ale variety 6 pack and have slowly been sampling and ranking my favorites in comparison to my beloved Schlafly. So here is my mini-list my top 7 Pumpkin Ales thus far:

  1.  Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (perfect)
  2. O' Fallon's Pumpkin Ale (Good on spice and beer flavor. It's a good second to Schlafly)
  3. Arcadia's Jaw-Jacker (more beer taste than pumpkin)
  4. Shock Top Pumpkin Ale (even more beer taste, low on the pumpkin or spice)
  5. Lakefront Brewing Company Pumpkin Lager (this one tasted more like Worcestershire sauce than pumpkin)
  6. Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale (It taste like a Blue Moon and I hardly noticed the pumpkin)
  7. Buffalo Bill's America's Original Pumpkin Ale (too much raw pumpkin taste, not enough spice or beer)
Do you have a favorite Pumpkin beer that I've just got to try? Have you got a whole truck load of Schlafly Pumpkin Ale's that you want to send me (*fingers crossed*)? Let me know in the comments below.

Update: Last night I was able to track down and buy up the last 4 Schlafly Pumpkin Ales in my hometown. If I would have known they were going to be this hard to come by, I would have filled my car full of them when I had the chance in St. Louis.


    Smithsonian Day 2011

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    September 24, 2011 was Smithsonian Day- an annual even in which participating museums open there doors to anyone presenting a Smithsonian Day ticket for free. This year I took advantage by seeing 2 museums with The Boy. My choice was to visit the local art museum, and the boy's choice was to visit the dinosaur skeletons and mummies at the Museum of World Treasures. It was excellent!

    Previously on Project Runway: Seasion 9, Episode 12

    Monday, October 17, 2011
    Aka. The Final Challenge

    This week on Project Runway, the final 5 designers were whisked away to Governor's Island to seek inspiration for their final challenge. Their challenge was to create a mini-collection of 3 looks with only $500 and with a little help from some old friends- earlier season 9 cast-offs Burt, Anthony Ryan, Bryce, Olivier, and Becky. 


    Anya was inspired by the positive and negative spaces of the sculptures at Governors Island and wanted to again show the judges that she is not just "the print girl". She enlisted the help of Burt for her collection and they appeared to make a great pair with her eye for innovation and his sewing skills. Anya sent out the most interesting and fashion forward collection of the evening, and she will be making a collection for fashion week. 


    Joshua was inspired by the Battery and cathedral on Governor's Island and wanted to create a collection that reflected the combination of hard and soft. He enlisted the help of Bryce for his collection- which immediately made me think that Joshua might be in trouble. His gown made me think of a disco Statue of Liberty, his skirt/vest combo looked like a baton twirler and his white dress appeared to pucker strangely in the back and looked like it was ready for the Leather Bar. However, the judges liked that Joshua is never at a loss for ideas and has a clear point of view and decided to allow him to create a collection for fashion week.


    Kimberly drew her inspiration from a sculpture titled "New Beginning" as she felt it apropos to where she was as a person and where she was in the competition. Kimberly chose Becky to be her partner, so I expected to see a fancy pants suit in the mix because pants are her forte. But, Kim decided to create a collection that was very Kim complete with a short-short dress and gobs of odd textured fabric, but without the pants. What the heck!? The judges were also saddened by her collection's lack of pants, however they applauded Kim for her clear vision and point-of-view and told Kim that she will be creating a collection for fashion week.


    Viktor told the judges that he was inspired by the sculpture on Governors Island and the view of New York City from the Island. Viktor selected Olivier to assist him with his collection, however the only screen time Olivier got was when he was complaining about feeling like a slave. Viktor ended up creating the most wearable collection this week (heck, I'd buy and wear all of his pieces right now...okay maybe not the black dress) and obviously Viktor was selected to create a collection for fashion week.


    Laura was inspired by all of the circular shapes that she saw on Governors Island and decided to incorporate circles into her design. Laura, not surprisingly, selected the help of Anthony Ryan to create her mini-collection. While shopping at Mood, Laura fell head over heals in love with this circular lattice fabric and decided to incorporate it into each of her looks. I really liked Laura's lattice jacket, and I thought her gown could have been a show stopper had the gown been constructed better, but her day dress and last minute skirt were duds and cost her a spot in the finals. But don't be too sad for Laura Kathleen, word on the street is that her Project Runway decoy collection was one of the strongest. And on my vacation to St. Louis, I happened to spot a certain someone on the cover of St. Louis' Alive magazine. She was also hosting St. Louis' Fashion Week. See for yourself.
    Did you agree with the judges decision this week? Do you think someone else should have gotten the boot? Let me know in the comment's below.

    Halloween Costume Idea #1

    Sunday, October 16, 2011
    Earlier this week, a friend of mine shared on Facebook that her daughter wants to be " Jesse (Toy Story 2), Woody (Toy Story), Mrs. Incredible (the Incredibles), the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Sully (Monsters Inc.), Mike Wikowski (I have no idea), Cinderella, a Princess, a Fairy, Spiderman, Superman, Batman and a lion." So, in an effort to help my friend accommodate all of her daughter's Halloween costume wishes, I created this Halloween costume drawing to help them out. What do you think? Are your eyes bleeding yet? Yeah. I thought so.  

    Previously on Project Runway: Season 9 Episode 11

    Thursday, October 13, 2011
    AKA. For the Birds.

    This week on Project Runway the designers were placed into teams of 2 and instructed to design a look inspired by an assigned bird. In an added twist, the designers were told that they would be in direct competition with their assigned teammate. The designers were told that the winning look would be featured in an advertorial in Marie Claire magazine and the designer would receive $20,000. Later, Tim Gunn entered the workroom and told the designers that they needed to create a second look inspired by their bird, however the designers were told that they only had to send one look down the runway minutes before the final judging. Lets take a look at the looks.

    Team Raven


    For this challenge, the Team Raven girls both seemed determined to expand their horizons and show the judges something different. Anya decided to create an all black sculptural dress (which The Boy thought made the model's bum look big) without a zipper or entry point-requiring Anya to cut the model in and out of the dress. Laura decided to show the judges a pants look. The judges decided that Anya's look was the winner of Team Raven and also deemed Anya's look the winner of this challenge- giving her the $20,000 and the advetorial spread. Later, in the breakroom, Joshua appeared annoyed by the judges decision to give the win to a look that didn't have an entry point and refused to congradulate Anya for her win. I agreed with the judges decision to name Anya as the winner of Team Raven, however I also agreed with Joshua that the look was not worthy of the challenge win because it was poorly constructed without a zipper.
    Team Cockatiel

    Kimberly had a really hard time with this challenge after she brought back some silk charmouse from Mood and struggled with construction, found stains on her fabric, and accidently sewed her finger. By the end of day one, Kim was on the verge of a breakdown and back to square one as she scrapped her first dress (and totally freaked out and jumped on the worktable when a New York cockroach made a guest appearance before being squished by Anya and her boot). But Kim managed to pull a miricle and put together a beautiful dress with some leather, beaded trim and poly-lining fabric. Meanwhile, Viktor remained confident and focused on his original design throughout this challenge. I thought Viktor was the sure winner of team Cockatiel as surely the judges would notice Kim's rough edges, however the judges pulled a fast-one and deemed Kimberly the winner of Cockatiel, but kept Viktor safe from elimination.

    Team Amazonian Parrot


    Surprisingly, Joshua and Burt began the episode in a mutual love fest, thus showing the audience that past bygones be bygones. It was no surprise that Joshua would embrase the Amazonian Parrot as his muse, however Joshua ended up scrapping his original green and yellow look in favor of creating his draped orange dress. Burt, on the other hand, was not keen on embrasing the Amazonian Parrot as his muse for the challenge at all and it showed in his snake skin "Wonder Woman" dress with the green and yellow lining which the judges determined was the worst look of the challenge and Burt was sent packing. In my opinion, this team represented the best and worst looks of the episode, as I felt Joshua's look was the clear winner of this challege (however I would take brownie points away for the way Joshua un-gracefully snubbed Anya in the breakroom during the judgeing pannel) and Burt's look was clearly the ugliest.

    The judges pointed out that the top rated team looks were those that were "inspired" by their birds without being too literal, and those that were on the bottom were too birdy. What did you think about this weeks episode. Did you agree/disagree with the judges decisions? Did you agree/ disagree with my decisions? Have you picked your top 3 favoirites to be apart of Fashion Week (Right now I expect to see Anya, Viktor and Joshua during the final runway show)?  Let me know in the comments below.

    Friendship Bracelet Swap 2.0

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011
    Hey everyone! Last month I decided to participate in the Friendship Bracelet Swap 2.0 hosted by Chasing Davies to give myself an excuse to try my hand at creating some of the fabulous friendship bracelet's that I had been seeing on the blog-o-sphere.  Soon after signing up, I was assigned to my friendship bracelet swap partner, Miss Sassypants, and I got to work.

    After exploring Miss Sassypants' blog and conversing with Miss Sassypants herself in a few short e-mails, I learned that she is one hip, fashionable, and hilarious lady who happens to like the color purple and have an affinity for all things polka dot and stripes. So, for the friendship swap I decided to create 3 hip, fashionable and cool purple bracelets. For the top bracelet, I decided to create a traditional, woven, candy stripe bracelet using purple and black DMC floss (this tutorial and this tutorial were very helpful in creating this bracelet). For the middle bracelet, I used a tutorial from Honestly WTF except I omitted the DIY hex nut clasp and used a regular jewelry bracelet clasp instead. For my third (bottom) bracelet, I macramed purple leather cording into the bracelet (see a tutorial here). Did I mention that this was my first time macrame-ing!? Yeah.

    I really enjoyed making these bracelets and I'm really proud of how they turned out. In fact, I enjoyed making them so much that you can expect to see a few more friendship bracelet posts in the near future. It was really nice e-meeting Miss Sassypants and I really hope Miss Sassypants enjoys her new purple friendship bracelets. And I can't wait to receive my new friendship bracelet's in the mail and show them off to my readers.

    Previously On Project Runway: Season 9, Episode 10

    Monday, October 3, 2011
    AKA. back to the 70s
    AKA Viktor gets hosed

    This week on Project Runway the designers were asked to design a "sophisticated" and "modern" outfit inspired by the 70's for $100, but apparently the designers and judges had a different idea of sophisticated and modern than I do. The winning look would be re-created for Piperlime.com. In a Project Runway first, Anya lost her money at Mood and was forced to beg the other designers for some left over change to purchase some fabric or be forced to create her look entirely out of muslin. Anthony Ryan was nice enough to give Anya $11.50 which was enough for her to create a look. Then, Tim Gunn added an extra twist when he told the designers that they would be given an extra $50 to create a second look. Here are the results:


    When I first saw Kimberly's looks, I thought for sure she would be in the bottom this week. Although the pants on her jumpsuit were alright, I thought the top was poorly made and ill fitting, I couldn't tell if the key hole was done on purpose or not, and I really didn't like her fabric choice on the second look or feel that the shape of the "circle top" was flattering. However, the judges must have seen something good in this outfit as they decided Kim was safe this week.



    Out of all of the designs, I thought that Viktor's looks best met the description being "inspired by the 70s", "sophisticated", and "modern." When Viktor showed his looks to the judges, they all agreed that Viktor's looks were great and well-made and they all said that they wanted his snake skin t-shirt (even Michael Kors). So, I was completely shocked when the judges did not name Viktor the winner or pick any of his looks to be reproduced for Piperlime.com.


    This week, Burt began to unleash his naughty side, sharing several dirty jokes with fellow designers on camera which made it appear that "grouchy old Burt" may have a lighter side. Burt was able to draw from being the only designer left to have lived and been able to remember the 1970s and he created 2 outfits that looked like they could have been pulled from my mother's closet- which is an upgrade. I thought Burt's looks were safe at best, but the judges loved the top of his first outfit and the metal details on his second look. Although Burt wasn't the winner, the judges decided that they wanted to re-create his look for Piperlime.com (if you wanted to get your hands on one, it's already sold out).


    Anya pulled off a miracle, creating her first look with only some dyed muslin and $11.50 worth of fabric with the money given to her by Anthony Ryan, and she made it look expensive. Anya was able to hang on to her $50 to purchase fabric for her second look, and Anya proved once again that she is the master of prints, creating a wide legged jumpsuit that the judges determined was the winning look this week.



    This week, Tim Gunn spilled the beans that Nina Garcia has been questioning Laura's taste level. However, Laura made Project Runway mistake #1 when she didn't listen to Tim Gunn's recommendation to edit her first look because there was too much pattern going on, and proved that Nina is right to question Laura's taste as she landed in the bottom this week. I loved the chevron chiffon fabric that Laura picked out for her second look, but agreed with the judges that it wouldn't have much "wow" factor if put on the Piperlime website. After the judges deliberation, they kept Laura safe this week.


    When I saw Joshua's fabric choices at Mood I began to worry, and when I saw his ill fitted "long bottom" plaid pants come down the runway I thought for sure that he was a goner and was ready to kiss Joshua and his attitude good-bye. So, I was equally shocked when the judges decided to keep Joshua on for another week.

    Anthony Ryan

    This week, the judges decided to send Anthony Ryan home and said that his look reminded the Manson Family girls, and that they looked like they were in a cult. I agree that Anthony Ryan's clothes didn't pop off the runway, and I would not have placed his colors and patterns together, but I certainly didn't think that these were the worst looks to come down the runway. I'm surprised the judges kicked off the fan favorite so quickly and I'm going to miss his upbeat attitude.

    Did you watch this weeks episode? Did you agree with the judges? Do you agree or disagree with my comments? Do you think the judges have lost their minds? Let me know in the comments below.
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