April Ulta Haul

 

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My Fashion Mood of Today

 I accomplished a lot of things today. Errands, cleaning, organizing, doing my art, starting my first story, etc. and as a fun post, I wanted to share my outside look today and what I did when I got home.

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Sporting my “RedRum” lipstick, I didn’t have time to do my hair how I normally would’ve liked to because I was running late to an appointment, but I sported my cartoon “Beatles” tank that I first showed off in my “10 summer outfit” post last year with my black Peplum blazer, my dark denim jeans cuffed with my red and white bow high heels, and last but not least, my “AbbyNormal” (Young Frankenstein) necklace.

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When I got home, I washed my face, applied my favorite “Fresh” rose mask, and took a nice soak After I changed into one of my beautifully multi-colored kaftan that I had recently got that made me feel regal from the long flowing material. One of my projects today was organizing my closet wear I keep my wigs. I found one of my fun purple wigs that I never wear and decided to slip it in to get my “CREATIVE ORGANIZATIONAL” juices flowing. There was no way I was going to put my makeup back on but I applied my prismatic “Alien Tears” topper from Jeffree Star Cosmetics. I completed my fun at home look with one of my many crystal pieces, my adventurine cluster hair comb.

Today wasn’t the day that I thought it would be when I woke up. It was better. I felt more positive about the day when I was out and about than when I first woke up. It was a good day and I encourage you all to something fun and kooky, like running around in a crazy wig, if you want to change your mood. Thank you all for reading about my day. Sending lots of love to you all.

Chrissy (kittens) Blake Feature from Passion Pinups

   Here’s my girl who created and runs Passion Pinup Magazine. Chrissy and I have developed a wonderful friendship and make sure to look for both of us in the upcoming Spring Issue that comes out March 21st so stay tuned. I’ve written a few articles on Passion Pinups Magazine on here several times but I wanted to do a feature on the lady who created this fabulous magazine.

 Here’s her bio where she talks about her relationship with her guy Brett, how they started dating, her art background, (which by the way I think that’s magical because you all know I went to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco) how they started Passion Pinups, and a lot more.

…ok, here we go!

” I think much like what you see on the instagram posts and facebook page this whole thing was a collaboration between myself and Brett.
We’ve been together for 14 years and I met him when I, I guess you would say, looked a lot different than I do now.
When we started dating he was very into photography and was doing a lot of action sports stuff for BMX. He’d always want to take pictures of me as well but when I would look at the photos, I was not happy with what I was seeing.
So we never really pursued anything with it. I guess what I mean is I felt constantly sick and was not comfortable with the way my body looked. One day while getting ready to go to work, I took a spill on our deck and severely sprained my knee and I resolved after that happened to try to figure out exactly why I was having issues with the way I felt physically and to figure out why I was unable to control my weight even though I worked out daily and watched my calories. I had a friend who told me all of the problems they used to have and how they were able to fix them by going on an elimination diet. Taking out all the known food allergens and they had discovered they were gluten intolerant. I used to always have (and still have to an extent) lots of issues with my gut. I decided that I needed to try to figure out what was causing these issues and this seemed like a good place to start. So I cut out all these possible allergens and started to feel so much better. This also had the side effect of it helping me to lose weight and I started to feel a bit better about the way I looked. One evening I came into the bedroom and Brett said “gee you look…different”. (Guys are quick on the uptake sometimes, lol). At that point I had lost about 35 pounds and was feeling so much better physically. I used to always joke with him that “if I ever got to “x” weight, WATCH OUT, because I am going there. Well, I got pretty close to where I wanted to be and we started talking. Brett likes to do fairy and pinup type art in 3D and I told him, I would so rock crazy outfits like what those girls you render wear, what do you think? Since he was into photography as well, like I mentioned, we discussed doing photos and started to try some different stuff.
It was very nice to finally be able to feel comfortable and not physically ill anymore so we started experimenting. Even though Brett was good at photoing action sports, taking pinup photos was a whole different realm for him. LOL. After some trial and error and lots of photoshoots and outfit buying I said to him, put some of these out there and see what response we get.
So we did. I was a little trepidatious at first because I started doing this in my early 40’s and wasn’t sure how I’d be taken but I figured it’s now or never so I came up with the name Chrissy “Kittens” and posted some photos on Facebook pinup pages. At one point the magazine Delicious Dolls shared out one of my photos and to my surprise it got thousands of likes! I was overwhelmed! It was very cool that others could see what the end result of my hard work was. So we kept taking photos and I would post on pinup pages and the like but never really pursued it because, like for so many of us, it’s just a hobby that I enjoy doing. Brett would send out photos to some of the magazines but we only really got one or two hits back for photos. I was having fun but felt like Brett and I were doing a lot of pretty good stuff and it was hard to get recognition! 
I have a background in pen and ink art and told Brett we should just do our own pinup magazine, because, well, we’re artists and we realize how hard it is to get in these magazines!  LOL. He loved the idea but then said, I only have you and a friend of ours as models, that’s not a lot to do a magazine! Well, I said, we gotta start somewhere. Put us in it and do some issues and we’ll keep putting it out there. I got on twitter and instagram and started to follow and like different pinups and artists and just said, “love to have you in our magazine”. It took some time but eventually a very nice burlesque promoter from the UK, Lady May J, got back to me and asked how she could help. I said, do you have anyone who would like to be in my magazine. “Sure thing hun” and that basically started it rolling forward. From there it began to snowball and now it’s becoming much easier to get people into the magazine and I finally have people asking me to be in there as opposed to going all over trying to find contributors.
It’s been awesome having the magazine evolve and I love seeing all the different contributors! I’m hoping that other women seeing this magazine being run by a pinup and also having a wonderful partner who supports them in whatever they love (Brett does a lot of supporting…I am also an avid animal lover and have…chickens, turtles, tortoises, spiders, dogs, cats, fish, snakes…) (CHRISSY GIRL, YOU’D LOVE MY THREE SNAKE TATTOOS I HAVE, HEHE. MY MOM USED TO RAISE SNAKES WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG AND I LOVE THEM. HEHE) will inspire them to take charge and make happen any dreams or ideas they may have.
I know personally how hard it is sometimes to work up the courage to say, I’m gonna do this and see where it leads, so I hope that by getting new people involved in the magazine and getting them recognized we help others being to pursue their dreams whatever they may be!

Ugh, there’s so much little nuances here and there that I could go into but that is the gist of it, lol. Essentially this whole thing from me doing pinup to starting the magazine was a collaboration of love between two people who believe in each other and try to lift each other up every day to wherever their passions may bring them.”

I loved reading Chrissy and her journey and like I said earlier, I’m so glad her any I have become good friends. I’ll post her social media info at the bottom. Enjoy these lovely photos of her in her everyday life. She is so beautiful and such a kind lady.

witch hat!

the neighbors antique car

me and lily

midge on my head and lily in my arm

meds for milly!

crazy boots!

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Chrissy is so amazing and I know I’ve said this before but I’m very glad I met her. We have so much in common and just always seem to click. Here are her social media site info and stay tuned for the Spring Issue of Passion Pinups on March 21st!

INSTAGRAM: @chrissykittens, @passionpinups, @brettmiddaugh

WEBSITE: PASSIONPINUPS.COM/

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/passionpinupsmagazine/

TWITTER: @passionpinupmag 

 

 

 

 

Interview and Feature with Debra Shirley

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FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY, I got to interview and write a feature on the extremely talented hat and fascinator designer, Debra Shirley. You all know who she is from my Victorian photoshoot I did last year, my Burlesque shoot I did last year, my recent article on her with my latest hat from her in the, “BLACK VEILED BEAUTY” article, and more. If you haven’t seen all those posts, click on her tag here or type her name into SEARCH here to see all the posts I’ve done on her. 

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Here is my interview that I did with her. I absolutely am in love with Debra and her talent!!

1. How did you get into making these gorgeous hats, fascinators, and head pieces?
1).  Princess Diana inspired my love of hats at the age of 10, when I borrowed a book on her from the library. She was so stunningly beautiful in all of the hats that she wore that I’m certain she seared my 10 year old brain into linking beauty with hat wearing.  It did not occur to me that I could design hats until I was studying fashion design in my 20’s. Whatever class that I wanted to take during the summer was full and I did not want to remain idle so I ended up taking a Millinery class to keep busy.  I quickly became enamored with the art, and the skills involved in creating came oddly natural to me.
2. How long have you been designing your art?
2).  I first studied millinery in the 1990’s, and soon after was able to start a full time job as a Milliner in a high-end Bridal Salon in Chicago, designing wedding veils and headpieces. As can sometimes happen with trying to earn a living, I lost focus on my true passion for hats and playful headwear. It wasn’t until 2014 that I decided to devote time and energy into creating hats and fascinators and getting them out into the world.
3. Did you teach yourself or take a class when you were starting out?
3).  Veronica Chin, a very talented Milliner at Burning Bush Millinery was my millinery teacher when I first started out.  I took millinery 1, and 2 which is all that the school offered. The school ended up adding a 3rd level class to its curriculum, because of the interest of myself and a few other students at the time.  I learned classic techniques such as blocking, pattern making, wiring and embellishing.  I took what I learned and expanded as much as I could. Each time you make a new piece you can learn from it.
4. What are your favorite events to create your fascinators and hats for?
4).  I love to create hats and fascinators for any event that a woman wants to dress up for and feel fabulous. That could be a day at the horse races, a polo match, a ladies luncheon or even a special photo shoot!
5. What’s your main source of inspiration?
5).  Inspiration can strike in various ways. One of my favorite ways to be inspired is to work off of the colors or details in a dress or favorite outfit. I like to pull the concepts out of the print of a garment and bring them to “life” in headwear, as if the hat is an extension of the outfit.  Sometimes I am inspired by a separate component or embellishment such as a flower or feather.  One piece can get me excited and I start looking for other pieces to go along with it, until the next thing you know, its a finished hat!
6. What’s the best compliment that you have received from a client?
6).  The best compliment that I have ever received from a hat client?  It doesn’t get any better than  “I felt so beautiful wearing your creation” the key word is “felt”. I love when women “feel” beautiful  in addition to looking beautiful.
Debra and I have developed a great relationship and I’ve probably said this before but I’m so extremely happy that I met her and have become friends with her. I hope to see her soon. I hope you enjoy her beautiful photos to give you an idea of what she can create and make sure to check out all her sites.
P.S: Thank you Debra, my talented fellow artist friend!

Black-Veiled Beauty

Here is my latest millinery creation from Debra Shirley. She is so talented and I love owning and wearing her amazing hats and fascinators. I was wanting a black hat and something different than my other hats and the other pieces I have from her and what I got exceeded my demands.

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   This black hat has black feathers with hints of glitter that are just enough to add that extra glamorous flair without being too much or cheesy. The hat also has a fish-netted veil which I absolutely love. I’d always wanted a veiled hat and thought they were so classy and elegant when I would see them displayed in stores. I have an upcoming event which this hat will be perfect for.

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   Debra is so sweet and is a great communicator with her clients. She makes sure that what she is wanting to make you is exactly what you want. Debra always makes sure that her vision and your vision are the same. I’m very glad I met her and she has become a sweet friend to me. I know I’ve said this before in previous articles I’ve posted about her but I recommend her to anyone who wants a unique piece of art that you can wear. Stay tuned for my upcoming interview with her. If you haven’t seen my previous articles I’ve written on her or my photoshoots I’ve done with her hair pieces, definitely check them out. And of course check out her shop posted down below. You always feel beautiful the moment you put any of her fascinators and hats on.

 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/millineryetc

Glamorous and Rock and Roll Book Recommendations

I love going to book shops. I don’t like kindle very much. Especially for certain books of mine, I like to dog ear chapters or pages that I know will help me a lot. Anyways, I went through my book collection and I wanted to share some recommendations if you who want to get into burlesque, want to read on how to create vintage, besides, pinup looks, for beginners or even if you’re not a beginner, all these books have great writing, great tips and ideas, detailed instructions on how to create the different hair and makeup looks, get some Rock and Roll tips and stories, and more.

I have already reviewed Dita Von Teese’s,” Your Beauty Mark” in a huge article review on her book as well as a huge review on the book “Audrey Style” by Pamela Clarke Keogh. Please make sure to read the reviews I did on those two books and leave your likes and comments on it and follow my site if you haven’t already. 

Thank you and here are some of my top favorite books that I recommend for you. Hope you enjoy them and even if you only check out one of the books and read it, you’ll love it and will help you on your vintage, pinup, and glamour journey.

1. “It’s All That Glitters, Portraits of Burlesque Performers in Their Homes.” You’ll love this book, it’s the most stunning and glam households book I own.

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2. “The Burlesque Handbook” by Headmistress Jo Weldon. If you want to get into the gorgeous performing sisterhood, this is the book for you. It is the perfect book for beginners and it Jo teaches all her signature tricks and has some great anecdotes. This was the first book I bought when I want to start the art of Burlesque. Even if you have been performing burlesque, you might want to still check out this book for extra stunts, tips, tricks, and more from the stunning HeadMistress Jo Weldon.

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3. “Vintage Beauty Parlor” This is a great book to help you achieve flawless hair and make up in iconic and vintage styles.

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4. “Style Me Vintage” (Step by Step Retro Look Book) This is one of the best books for beginners in vintage and pinup.

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5. For the Rock and Roll chicks who want some extra wicked tips if they want to be in the music scene, dress like they are, and a lot more, check out “Cherry Bomb.” It’s an awesome book.

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HOPE YOU CHECK OUT THESE BOOKS AND ENJOY THEM. TAKE THE STORIES AND TIPS THAT YOU LIKE AND THAT ARE USEFUL, DISREGARD THE INFORMATION THAT DOESN’T NECESSARILY PERTAIN TO YOU, AND ENJOY THESE FABULOUS READS!!!!

 XOXO CARLIE MICHELLE