I love making jewelry whether I use beads or paper and acrylic resin or lately wire (still trying to make bangles that aren’t bendy! Haven’t invested in a rock tumbler yet, but that’s coming because hammering ain’t doing it!) but I am one of those people who is promiscuously creative – I just gotta be making something or playing with stuff.
I believe I got this from my mother who is also quite creative. She’s always working on some project or another and has been since I was very small. She has sewed – making clothes for my siblings, me, dolls, and herself. Carol B has also crocheted, embroidered, attempted quilling, has gotten into stamping and making greeting cards, made felt Christmas ornaments, decoupage, really took to counted-cross stitch and is now getting into quilting. Phew! I’m sure I left a few things out inadvertently. Naturally, this had some impact on me as a kid, I remember using her fabric scraps to hand-sew clothes for my stuffed animals. She also attempted to teach me how to embroider (which I can still do, but the mood rarely strikes) and also do counted cross-stitch for which I lack patience.
So, besides making jewelry, what do I do?
Embroidery — I totally love Sublime Stitching. I found Jenny Hart’s ad in the back of BUST Magazine in the early 2000’s and was swooning over the tattoo-style designs in it and when I went online, I fell in LOVE. Since then she’s added all kind of patterns of her own design but also of other fun artists. I’ve stitched mermaids onto pillowcase hems and french poodles and electric guitars on a dish towel. This was way before Etsy, so I still consider Sublime Stitching my go-to spot for all my embroidery desires – she’s even started selling tools and floss!
Crochet — There are **SO** many places online to find free crochet patterns. My favorite is The Crochet Dude. First because I love a dude that crochets! Secondly his patterns are modern/funky/cool stuff I’d actually use/wear. I’ve also picked up some great books about crochet and ransack tag sales for old craft magazines, especially where granny squares are concerned. I’m working on making an obnoxiously bright afghan but I’m still in the granny square phase. This time of year I don’t really want a pile of yarn on me, but granny squares are a great “take along” project if I’m meeting the girls or going to Book Club and would like to be occupied while shooting the shit.
Hair and Makeup — I graduated from the Aveda Institute of New York back in 2001 with a certificate of completion for 1,000 hours in Cosmetology. Sadly, I moved back to CT from NY before getting my license, and CT requires 1,500 hours. I also didn’t love doing hair enough to spend another $3,000 to get those 500 hours so I’ve let the whole thing slide. That doesn’t mean I don’t use what I’ve learned from cosmetology school in real life, though.
I don’t wear a ton of makeup every day — there’s some days where it’s more appropriate to be dramatic, and there are some days when I wear the bare minimum just so I don’t look like a corpse. However, it is one of the MOST FUN things about being a girl or a drag queen, so I do love to be creative. I am not one of those women who have a small makeup bag with just essentials and wear the same face every day. AND DON’T LET ANYBODY TELL YOU doing your makeup isn’t an act of creativity when you can totally change your whole face, just read anything by Kevyn Aucoin, the man was an ARTIST.
Lately I’m inspired by the Retro Pin-up Girl/Rockabilly look. I have modified it significantly so it doesn’t look “costume-y” since my clothes are more corporate for the office. The Retro look really works for my features – they are NOT delicate or subtle and this look gives me a certain polish that I like.
I think good skin is the best thing one can wear, so I’m pretty meticulous about making sure I never go to sleep without taking off my makeup and I religiously exfoliate and moisturize.
So here I am today! I used Revlon Color Stay Whipped Creme Makeup in Buff. I colored in my brows with Maybelline Eye Studio Mastershape Eyebrow pencil in Blonde. I laugh that my eyebrows have gotten so light, I feel like my Grandma Brenner who had to draw her eyebrows on every morning. She was faithful to the original Maybelline eyebrow pencil. The key is to use light strokes in and just under the natural brows, and to BLEND. The funky brush on the other end of this eyebrow pencil helps feather and soften the lines and really helps the brows look natural rather than drawn on. I keep the brows locked in place with Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Eyebrow Gel. This stuff is the BOMB – I received it as a sample from my monthly bag I receive from ipsy.com — only $10 a month and I get some pretty fun samples and sometimes some full sized stuff. It’s awesome for a makeup FIEND like myself. I will totally buy this when my sample runs out, it doesn’t flake and it is ON until I take it off. I usually put on Elf Essential Eyelid Primer and let it dry while I do the rest of my face. I’ve used Urban Decay’s Primer Potion which costs 3-4 times as much as Elf, and the only difference I’ve seen is that Urban Decay’s primer comes in fancier colors – the shadow lasts just as long with either, so my wallet makes me choose Elf.
I sweep a fluffy brush on the lighter side of Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer and start at my temples and make a “3” shape (backwards 3 on the LEFT, obviously!) to hit my temples, just under my cheekbones and my jawline. It’s light enough for this pale-face. I’ll mix it with the darker half in the summer after I have some color, but I use the lighter side year round. I’m currently using the blush from my Pixi Petite Palette on the apples of my cheeks. This palette (which is currently only $12.95 on Amazon.com – I paid about $24 for it at Target) ROCKS. I love Pixi – very highly pigmented. The highlighter in this palette is also really great, but I don’t highlight for work.
By the time I’m done with the face, the primer is dry and since I’ve been wearing glasses lately, I go easy on the eyeshadow. I’m so myopic my lenses shrink my eyes, so I want to open them up. The brows help. So does a pale frosty champagne/beige eyeshadow. I really like Sonia Kashuk Eye Shadow Quads in Showstoppers it’s very sparkly, and I’ll use a fluffy eyeshadow brush to sweep it from lash line to the browline. It catches the light even through my glasses. Too much and I end up with shimmer on my cheeks, but that’s okay! This Quad is definitely more of a holiday party eyeshadow but I like it for regular daytime because of the colors here – white, beige, brown, and charcoal. I use JK Jemma Kidd I-Conic Eyeliner Pencil in Supermodel (which I bought at Target but can’t seem to find online) starting at the outer edge of my pupil and wing it up a little. I learned this trick watching the Pixiwoo Angelina Jolie Makeup Tutorial. It gives a more feline quality to my round eyes, plus it’s got that pin-up girl factor without the full dramatic liner. I will dip an eyeliner brush in the brown eyeshadow in the Showstoppers Quad and will smudge it across my whole upper lashline and over the brown eyeliner. I curl my eyelashes – my blonde eyelashes stick straight down – and use a ton of Maybelline Full and Soft Mascara in black.
I like a red lip and have all different shades of red, but for day I don’t want it too bright or matte — I line my lips and lightly fill it in with Aveda Nourish-Mint Tarragona lip liner and use Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet which is dark but kind of sheer and very moisturizing over the lip liner. One of my go-to’s is MAC’s Ruby Woo, and I also like L’Oreal’s British Red. Sometimes I switch it up to BRIGHT hot pink and use MAC Lickable – but trust me, it’s bright!
I didn’t set my hair today, I just twisted up the sides and threw a black gerbera daisy hair clip on the left.
My hair-idol is Adele right now, I love her big gorgeous hair and am going to have to find out how they set it so I can do it to my hair when I have a little time to play.
Music: I moved to New York City in 1993 because I wanted to be a rock star. That didn’t quite happen, but it’s where I wrote a lot of songs and honed my performance chops and guitar playing. When I met my husband Randy, we were in the cast of a community theater production of Godspell and started hanging out and being an acoustic duo, we still do it. Our band is called Motorchicken and we do mostly covers. We haven’t played out since March, but it is something that I deeply love and while it isn’t the main focus of my creative energy anymore, it is a big part of my life. If I’m not playing or singing myself, I have music on in the background all the time.
Here’s Motorchicken back when we called ourselves The Subterraneans (because we practice in the basement) but found out there’s a British ska band by the same name. This is one of my favorite songs Randy and I do together.
Do you have multiple creative outlets? What are they? Are you a makeup fiend? A musician? A needle-wielding maniac? I’d love to hear it because I know I’m not the only person with Creativity ADD…