fashion

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Sculpted Evening Bags by Kathleen Dustin

Published December 19, 2012 by kurolace

I was searching for a snap purse I had seen at the store the other day – a cheap one, covered in purple rosebuds, when I came across Kathleen Dustin’s webpage (thanks to the search term “rosebud purse”). The “exquisite evening bags” on her website really are something unique, and lovely. Of course, seeing as they are works of art, they are a bit out of my price range ($700-800 for a wrist bag). But I still wanted to share some of the pictures from her site with you all, because the bags really are gorgeous…

The bag which came up in my search results is this rosebud bag.

The bag which came up in my search results is this rosebud bag.

There are some other interesting bags, including gourds, artichokes, and this "opening seed pod" bag.

There are some other interesting bags, including gourds, artichokes, and this “opening seed pod” bag.

And these stone bags are really neat.

And these stone bags are really neat.

On the mainpage, there’s a blurb about the artist:

Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading polymer clay artists, Kathleen Dustin has been a pioneer, an educator, and source of inspiration for those interested in this emerging medium. Her exquisite evening bags and polymer clay jewelry are celebrated for their translucent depth of surface and vibrant colors as well as attention to the details of the natural world that inspires her. Kathleen’s desire is to make wearable art that can enable anyone to embrace Oscar Wilde’s sentiment, “One must either be a work of art or wear a work of art”.

There’s also sculpture and jewelry listed on the page’s gallery, but for me its the handbags / purses which catch my eye most.

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Etsy Finds: Black Hearts

Published December 18, 2012 by kurolace

Hi! I have another set of good Etsy finds for you. This time the search term was one of my favorite accessory/decorations: Black Heart / Hearts.  I love simple black hearts, and also sometimes not so simple (like filigree). It think they are the perfect mix of cute, elegant, and sophisticated.

So here we go….

Silver Trumpet Jewelry

Silver Trumpet Jewelry

To start off the list is a nice charm bracelet with large black hearts from Silver Trumpet Jewelry. There are a few other nice charm bracelets in that store as well. $32 isn’t exactly cheap, but keep in mind that making charm bracelets takes time and lots of materials. I would prefer if this bracelet had either bright silver metal parts, black, or bright gold. These days I just am not a big fan of the aged-bronze/brass look. (Although at one point that’s all I liked)

CBDahlia

CBDahlia

The next item is a bit of a twist on “Black Heart”… Typically I’m not into these anatomically correct hearts, but I thought it was clever in this case, and the fact that these are carved is impressive. So if you like that sort of “sarcastic” type of thing, these black heart necklaces are for you! The shop is CBDahlia and each necklace costs $38.

fikashop

fikashop

Of course, we can always make our own custom items, embellished with these cute black heart studs! They’re on clearance too! Just $4.52, from fikashop. I’ve never used studs before, but I’m under the impression that they are relatively easy to use.

The Washi Shop

The Washi Shop

If you aren’t familiar with Washi tape, its similar to masking tape because of its paper feel. I love it. Mostly I use it for mailing / packaging items in a pretty way. So you know I just love this black heart, lacey washi tape! Its from The Washi Shop and costs $2.50.

ecofriendly notebook from thisisit

ecofriendly notebook from thisisit

For anyone who likes to horde collect notebooks like I do, check out this “ecofriendly” notebook from thisisit. Its 8.5″x5.5″ and costs $18. You can choose between lined and unlined pages too, which is nice. I love cute school supplies and stationary – even though I’m no longer in school, hehe. Seeing this notebook actually made me think about trying to do something similar by using fabric… hmm I’ll have to try it out and maybe make a tutorial! 😛

nurdanceyiz

nurdanceyiz

Oh, I came across this great throw pillow during my search. Its a little bit pricey, but really cute. I wish my room was a little bit more “in-theme” and that my bed was big enough to have another throw pillow on it! I think I might prefer it with lace instead of that leaf stuff… but still, this is very cute. $42 from nurdanceyiz.

GlitznGlass

GlitznGlass

Lastly I found this mug with pained on hearts. The hearts kinda look like they have eyes! I’m sort of a sucker for mugs.. lol, I think it might have something to do with my tea obsession… The mug is hand painted and costs $18 from GlitznGlass.

Well, thats it! Hope you enjoyed looking at the pretties and maybe you have gained some inspirations! See you next time! 🙂

Etsy Finds: Pastel Goth

Published November 1, 2012 by kurolace

Hiya 🙂 I hope you had a happy day of Haunting yesterday. Mine was lame. I stayed at home and watched the end of Tegami Bachi, ate frozen yogurt, and dreamed of happier Halloweens. 😦 But anyways…

I’ve been busy lately… Flu, job searching, a torn up / non-functional kitchen, and getting ready for my very first craft fair (Nov 17th!)… So I haven’t had time to do much in the way of photography, crafts, or anything for this blog. How sad :(…

Recently I’ve been doing a LOT of browsing Etsy. For various reasons… price comparison for my items that I’ll be selling in a few weeks, as well as just having fun on Etsy. I’ve been pretty much broke lately, which I think only adds to my desire to browse more than usual. I’m particularly obsessed with dreaming about hair-color-that-cannot-be…. Since I’m job hunting I have to keep it natural. That’s probably what got me started today on my “Pastel Goth” Etsy quest…

It all started with these amazing clip in extensions… I can’t tell you how much I wish that I could have my hair like this (other than job hunting, there’s the fact that my current hair is henna/auburn, so I’d have to do a fair amount of bleaching before the colors would look right, I just don’t like bleaching)….. The price is pretty good for a full set of custom dyed, clip in extensions, but sadly out of my budget:

  NinasCreativeCouture

Of course, the hair would be perfect when topped with this head band (seller has other colors too):

LockshopWigs

When it comes to pastel goth stuff, I particularly love pastel Bats… They are sooo cute! I found a few great items I’d love to have…. Including these adorable polymer cell phone charms:

QuernusCrafts

These bats aren’t pastel, but the stars have that candy plastic look to them:

LittleMizzKitty

I found this belt, which I love for being so weird / cute. (The seller also has a bat wing scarf):

CuteCandyClouds

An important detail, IMO, are fingernails. I adore fake/temporary nails (temporary thanks to awesome, one-day glue from Japan). So of course I want some that would fit in with a pastel goth outfit… I’d prefer them in blue or purple, but these pink ones are still cute:

castlecouture1

Lastly, although not pastel, this is very cute. I’m always a sucker for lace:

BloodCross

Needless to say, Etsy has tons of other items too… You can just search “pastel goth” and find a lot of good stuff. 🙂

Found and Want: Amazing Romantic Victorian-ish Liz Claiborne Shoes

Published July 17, 2012 by kurolace

I’ve been browsing ebay tonight, and I came across these amazing shoes:

I don’t know if these are really called “Cinderella” or not, or if the embellishments were added… all I know is, I wish I could wear them!

Sadly, they are a size 5.  And I wear a size 8-9. Ugh!

I suppose that perhaps if I were really clever, I could figure out how to make some shoes similar to them…. but I don’t know if I am that clever (or could find the piece for it).

One thing I love is the heel… I can’t do really high heels, so whenever I see something like this with a lower (and substantial) heel, I feel like I’ve struck gold – except of course when they’re the wrong size.

Needless to say, if you know where to find a larger size of these… let me know! Lol…

Check out my brand new…crocs?

Published April 28, 2012 by kurolace

The color here is pretty accurate...although perhaps a bit lighter than in real life.

The other day I was thinking about the jelly shoes I used to wear as a kid…. in my late elementary school – middle school era. You know, the ones with the glitter? Yeah, I was a 90’s kid, people 😛

Anyways, I decided to look around on the internet just to see what sort of jelly shoes might be available these days. Of course.. in the last 11+ years my tastes have changed dramatically, and the pink & silver clunkers that made me happy at age 9-11, just don’t cut it anymore. Fortunately, it turns out there are a few jelly shoe options out there for women too! On Zappos I found a few, but they all seemed over priced and were often the “thong style” which I’m not terribly keen on. Amazon had a few others that I liked better, not to mention they were at a more reasonable price.

I was kinda amazed to see that the style I liked best were actually a pair of crocs! Of course, I kinda knew crocs had moved on to more styles than those nasty, huge, stinky, clogs. But I hadn’t really paid much attention to the brand, as generally they aren’t really something that fits into my goth aesthetic.

The pair I ended up ordering yesterday  aren’t really very goth either, at least not by most people standards. But they are very ME.  Although I had chosen the 2-day shipping option thanks to my Amazon Prime account, that shipping is free), I was pleasantly surprised when the shoes arrived today. Occasionally this happens, if it ships from the right distribution center 😛 … Oh BTW, the style is called “Adrina”.

Anyways…. As for my thoughts on the shoes after having worn them for a few hours: They are definitely very comfy. The only gripe I have is that my heel tends to come out of them as a walk…. but I have that issue with pretty much all ballet-flat style shoes. The positive side of that problem is: with these crocs, the plastic/rubber/whatever-it-is is soft enough that it doesn’t hurt my heels. With other ballet shoes (actually any slip-on type) I usually have to wear a band-aide or tape on my heel to avoid a bloody heel.

The sizing is just about right on… I normally take anything from an 8 – 10, and the pair I bought was a 9 (they only come in whole sizes, BTW). (In my ideal world, shoes would come in quarter sizes, and then I’d like to have a 8.75)

“Adrina” is available in 8 colors… I thought about getting the black, but its actually kind of a charcoal. I decided to go with “Ultraviolet / Berry” which has a blue-purple body and a pinkish-purple sole. The picture on amazon is pretty much accurate in regards to color. I’m gonna wear these for a week and see if I feel tempted to buy another pair in a different color. $30/pair is cheap enough in my opinion to warrant 2 pairs 😛

Eh... taking pics while wearing them requires a better set-up than I had patience for... lol. So please excuse the not-so-great angle/focus... not to mention the chipped pedicure.

Henna Adventures…. or: How-to Dye Your Hair Naturally

Published April 26, 2012 by kurolace

Hello Again!

Yesterday I dyed my hair with henna for the second time. The first time was over 9 months ago. Back then I used a henna/cassia mix because I wasn’t sure how red I wanted the results. This time I used a henna/indigo mix because I wanted to darken my hair a bit. I sort of messed up and didn’t take a before picture… sorry :P… my hair was sort of a warm, slightly red, light brown, but with ashy-brown roots.

1 day after using a 2/3 henna, 1/3 indigo mix (picture taken with scanner - so that's why there's a weird light :p)

In high school I had a few crazy colors in my hair, and then started using boxed grocery-store hair dye… but in college I eventually developed a sensitive scalp and had to find a new way to dye my hair. I actually let my hair grow out for about 1 year, then last summer I decided to try henna…. (it wasn’t the first time I had tried henna.. but the really-first time was such a messy disaster without any results what so ever – That was the bought-at-co-op type henna that is all twiggy and leafy when you open it up)

After searching the web I found a great site about dying your hair with henna, called: Henna for Hair. That site links to one where they sell the pure henna, cassia, and indigo that you might want to dye your hair with. Its much higher quality henna than what you might buy even at the whole foods store. Its also extremely well powdered and certified by an independent pharmacy to be safe. The pricing isn’t too bad – its more expensive than the grocery store boxed dyes, of course… but it isn’t as expensive as a trip to Aveda. I bought about 200g of henna, and 100g indigo, for $36, and it turned out to be twice the amount I needed.

 

Steps for dying your hair:

1) (Optional) Do a test swatch by harvesting hair from your brush and preparing a small amount henna to dye it in. (I’ll admit, I always skip this step – but if you area really picky about what color your hair turns, then you should go ahead and do this) Try different strengths of solution and different lengths of time until you get what you want. Henna for Hair sells small sample amounts that you can use to find your ideal color.

2) Buy enough henna to cover your hair  – if you haven’t already. The Henna for Hair website claims you need about 100g per 3inches of hair, but in my case that wasn’t true. I have really fine hair, so although its long, it just doesn’t need a full 500g of dye (the amount that I bought the first time ). Even 300g was too much. BUT I think you’re best getting the full recommended amount the first time, so that you don’t run out. – Luckily henna can be frozen and stays good for a few months that way (so you can save left overs – just don’t forget about it!). Unfortunately I don’t think indigo can be saved.

3) Mix up your henna the night before, using something acidic like lemon juice. Let the henna develop for 12 hours.

4) The next day, section your hair carefully and wind the sections up into mini buns all over your head. The more sections, the better – it’ll be easier and faster to apply the henna. MAKE SURE to use plastic accessories / pins, because metal can react with henna and ruin it.

5) Clear the area where you’re going to work. If you want to, you can put down plastic or wear a garbage bag if you are worried about getting stuff on you or the floor. Definitely wear latex / rubber gloves – or else by the time you finish dying your hair, your hands will be dyed too.

6) If you are using any indigo… now is the time to mix it up with some water, then add it in with the henna and stir well. Don’t let it sit around, or it will loose its potency.

7) Apply henna to head. The instructions that came with my order said to “pack it on like a child making mud pies” lol… I used a salon highlighting brush to apply my mixture… you can easily buy one on amazon. It took me forever to apply the mixture… about 1.5 hours. But I am slow and have a hard time with the back of my head … plus my hair is long. The easiest (and fastest) way to dye your hair, of course, is to get someone else to apply the mixture to your hair – like your mom, sibling, girl/boyfriend or friend.

8) After you’ve gotten all of your hair covered in dye, wear a shower cap. You’ll need to leave the dye in for a long time…. at least 2 hours. You can blow dry your hair a little bit to speed up the process.

9) Rinse all of the dye out. Shampoo and condition if you want to. Henna darkens a little bit over the next 2 days.

Above the instructions, you may have noticed I mentioned both Cassia and Indigo. Cassia is sometimes called “blonde henna”… but its a different plant. Its a very lightly colored dye and wont show up much (or at all) if you have darker hair. But it makes a good “spacer” and a conditioner. That’s why I used it to dilute the henna for my attempt 9 months ago. Indigo is a plant which can dye your hair black. It only takes about 2-3 hours to become useless, so that’s why you don’t mix it up ahead of time like you would the henna or cassia.

Natural hair dyes can’t get you blue, green, or purple hair…but you can achieve dark auburn, red, or black hair… which are all good Goth hair colors in my book. 🙂 By mixing different amounts of henna, cassia, and indigo, as well as a adding a few herbs, you can really tweak your hair color to exactly what you want. For instance…. mixing henna and cassia together, and using it on light hair, can result in strawberry blonde hair. Pure henna will usually result in red or auburn hair. Henna mixed with indigo can result in auburn, dark auburn, or brown hair. And indigo, applied after rinsing out henna, can create a beautiful midnight / jet black.

 

 

 

Two Ways to Heat-Free Curls

Published March 4, 2012 by kurolace

Hiya! The other day while working, I was also on YouTube browsing through some beauty videos. I came across two really great videos about how to curl your hair without heat. I found both of these ideas really interesting, and although I have yet to try them, I wanted to share them here on my blog. I’m a big fan of “no-heat” or “little heat” hair styles. I personally don’t blow dry my hair unless I absolutely have to, and I prefer to use old-fashioned means for curling my hair (satin rollers are one of my favs!)…

The first video shows you how to use a head band to get curls. I actually went out to the store to buy a suitable head band to try this with… Then when I started trying to use it, I realized that I think my hair is a little too long for this method, so I’ll have to wait until after I cut my hair (which I’m planning to do soon).

The second video uses socks(!). This is genius and one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” sort of things. Actually, I was thinking that instead of socks I might go buy some terry cloth from the fabric store, cut it into strips, double them over and sew them, so that they are a little smaller and easier to take up high on the head. BTW, the girl in this video… I am SO jealous of her hair. I wish I could grow my hair out that long and have it look so full.

Well, there you go. 🙂 Hope you find these videos as interesting as I did 😛