Monday, May 30, 2016

Tales from the Warren


I know I promised this epic return to blogging and now I probably don't even have any readers because that didn't happen. Let me tell you, without actually saying anything, it's been a really hard time for me lately. There's been non-stop, every day trauma from sick relatives to a sick mother to broken cars to overdue bills. It's been nuts!

Not to mention after I wrote my last few posts, which were all scheduled, I got the plague. No, really, it was plague-y. I had the Flu twice this past winter and followed it in March with a nasty fever and sinus infection. One of the issues with working around small children all the time is they have no problems sharing their germs with you.

On the plus side, there have been moments I've been proud of. I got my learner's permit. I took driver's ed, which means I've driven on the road in an actual car. I'm actually posting a fic to AO3 right now which means I'm learning to let people see my writing. And I've started cosmetology school, which is a big, big deal.

First Day of School, 2016

It's an amazing school. I've never enjoyed going to school, whether it be high school or college. I never felt successful in school. The Cosmetology program I'm in not only sets you up for success and keeps every student entertained, they're also very positive as far as promoting good mental practices. I really enjoyed that they're bringing in a financial/budget adviser for us, too. Learning budgeting in class has been helpful in my everyday life as well as in school.

We got our first dollies last week and our kit with all our goodies inside! I didn't like my French Twist much but I really was proud of my first roller set. Now if someone could just show me how to fix my own hair I'd be so happy.

I thought this cute little toy and coaster were just the pick-me-up I needed on my second day in class. They leave these on the table in case we need to fidget, which is good because I can't sit still for long periods of time (not that we do- we're pretty much always doing something).

Hat: Goodwill, Necklace: Flea Market, Earrings: Handmade, Shoes: Chuck Taylor, Dress: Handmade
I'm not going to apologize for phone pics. In fact, I think you should follow my instagram because I love taking pictures with my phone. ;-)

And I'm still trying to keep Mad Rabbit Couture going, too.  It's hard between finding sewing time and staying inspired with everything that's been happening, but I'm trying really hard to keep the shop open (although I don't know how wise that is). This dress above is one of my new ideas. It's a take on the classic pillowcase dress but with a keyhole back and made for grownups. It's super summery and I'd like to make some more because I really enjoyed this one. Everything in school has to be black or white, which has actually been more inspiring than I would have originally thought! I love challenges!

I also refashioned that denim jacket above. I'd been trying to ruffle the bottom and when that didn't work I got creative with stitching it back together.

You could say that's a good way to explain my life lately - What was supposed to happen has not and I'm trying to creatively stitch it all back together.

But I do want to come back to blogging. I'd hoped to have more of a business, new name launch, more business like as I had been doing last year. Scheduled posts. I don't think it's going to happen, though. I want it to happen, but realistically, it's probably going to be a little sporadic for a while longer. I do have a lot I want to talk about and a lot I will talk about (and a lot I probably can't talk about). Still, I'm hoping to turn around the last half of 2016 and make it way better than the first half. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Mad Rabbit Spotted!

Guys!!! Go over to Bella's blog and tell her how gorgeous she looks in the skull headband I made! I'm so happy to see her posting again!

Also I do realize there's a thing I'll need to address on the blog... like the blog's new address... but first, Bella!!! GO GO !!! :-)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Love List: Lagenlook Cosmetology School

I've got some exciting news for you guys that I've hinted at but so far haven't discussed exactly on the blog. I'm going back to school!

Stop it, I can hear your frustrated groans echoing through the internet.

I've been to school several times without finishing. My brothers' have actually pointed this out to me a lot lately. But I've wanted to attend cosmetology school since I was sixteen years old yet life always seemed to get in the way - or my own self-doubts did me in before I even tried. I'm not stylish enough, I don't have enough money, I won't be able to maintain a full time job while going to school- I don't know how to use a blow dryer! All of these things helped me talk myself out of cosmetology school many, many times.

Now, living with my parents as I do, I don't have the stresses I had in Philadelphia. I work part time, I don't have the same expenses, I don't need to worry about taking care of the house/cooking for two people anymore. I can just focus on my studies and I think that, while my ultimate dream is to be a boutique owner, there's no reason that boutique can't have a salon chair in the back. It's a career path that involves creativity, style and art as well as having a flexible schedule that would allow me to continue to work on my etsy shop or write my books. All in all, I really hate that I didn't do this to begin with.

I toured a local school in a beautiful city nearby and I fell in love with the architecture and the structure of the classes. They don't even require a certain uniform- just everything you wear with the exception of your jewelry and shoes has got to be black!

Well, I do like a challenge.







One of the hardest parts of this is that I know I don't dress in a conventionally fashionable way, and this is a line of work in which your appearance will reflect on people's ability to trust you with their hair. (If that sentence makes sense- I'm writing this with a supreme head cold). At the same time, when all in black, I think my Calliope and Flying Trapeze dresses will look adorable and I'll be comfortable and able to move my arms in them. I'm so inspired by this monochromatic idea that I can't wait to get working on my new wardrobe!

Found On Zappos

I'm also digging the all-black Chucks look as well as purple Chucks for a pop of color. I don't know if they're alright to wear to school, but still, a girl can dream, right?

Follow my pinterest board LAGENLOOK COSMETOLOGY SCHOOL for more all-black inspiration.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Thrift Decor Bedroom

After my 'Cheap Beauty' post, I've actually become really inspired by this 'crap I'm broke' style of blogging. It's actually given me a lot of ideas on things I'd like to blog about, especially as relates to my current situation in life. I know in the past I've explored how I felt like a voice of mine had been stolen and with this new inspiration I feel a little bit like I'm getting it back.

If you follow me on social media, you've already seen these pictures but quick updates don't tell the story that a full blog post does.

I know, it's gross, right? This was the basement just shortly after I moved into it this past summer. My mom was supposed to remove a few pieces of furniture that ended up staying there, I tried to unpack which means all my clothes basically exploded onto the floor because I had no where to put them, my bed took up most of the room- it was (and sort of still is) a disaster area. It was hard to even create or move around. It's been a challenge getting used to- also it's right next to my father's work room so I do have a lot of noise/unwanted company in my space a lot of the nights that I'm home. Not his fault, totally mine as I'm the one who wanted to leave, but holy cow it's been a transition. Also, all the walls were bare white but my brothers had once called this area their hangout so the walls were disgustingly stained with holes, footprints, handprints and just general dust/dirt.

I'm broke so I couldn't really repaint, so I've had to get a little thrifty in reorganizing and covering up the mess.

It's really hard to get pictures of the space without showing the mess that still exists inside of it. BUT this is all about cheap redecorating so let me tell you about how I fixed the bedding situation. First, I didn't even have a bed. I had to buy the one that I sleep on now. I bought the mattress and the simple wooden platform bed off of Amazon. (Bed , Mattress) The mattress arrived rolled up in a tiny box and it was the funnest thing in the world to watch it pop out of it's vacuum sealed wrapping! I love the bed and the mattress, although I will say this is a super firm mattress and every once in a while I have problems sleeping on it.

So, the above picture - to fix the flow of the room I shifted the bed into a more day-bed like position where it's mostly up against the wall. I created a faux headboard with fabric from my stash and a lace curtain one of my friends had given me years and years ago. If you wanted to make a similar wall treatment, I used $2.00 a yard purple cotton from JoAnne's and a curtain you could probably get for $2.00 at a thrift store. My skeleton bulletin board is something I'd brought with me from my Philadelphia office and I just gave it a new coat of paint. My jewelry rack is a wooden shoe rack that I also brought from Philly but I checked and they're about $4.

The art was also done by yours truly. My ex liked to give me canvases for holiday presents and I had about twenty blank ones when I moved in here. I picked the larges one, the one that would take up most of the wall, and I made a lunar inspired piece that I didn't like at first but surprisingly, I love it now. I also did the little angel the first week I lived here.

The denim patchwork pillow was made by me using stuffing from a pillow I'd brought from Philly (it was green and too worn out) and old jeans.

This idea is one of my rare strokes of genius - it's a cookie cooling tray I got from the Dollar Tree. For $1, you get two racks and it makes the BEST earring display. Most of these are going to be listed on the Cirque but I wanted to show off my cool new jewelry holder. It's literally just tacked up to my wall with thumb tacks. I hope to paint it blue in the future.

This cool mirror is on the wall you can't see yet because it's not finished, but I loved it so much I had to share. I have an obsession with old milk glass. I adore it. This is actually plastic but it looks like milk glass and I thrifted it for $4. I didn't have a mirror in my room, and I'm probably not going to get my dream vanity area that I'd hoped for because it's just not a big enough space, but I still needed something to check my hair in. Enter this adorable little guy! I think this might be one of my best thrift finds ever. And you can see in the background the wooden crates- they sit on my writing table (also something I brought from Philly) and I've had most of them since I was a teenager. I love how rustic they look with all my other things.

And there you have a few detail shots of my decorations, including the dusty pipe you can see in my room. I actually don't mind the unfinished ceiling or exposed pipes because I find it kind of industrial and unique. I know my mom was apologetic for it and offered to eventually finish the ceiling but if I leave it the way it is I can hang things (like chandeliers) without any guilt for messing up their nice basement. The honeycomb inspired shelves were made by my dad and I've painted them blue with a can of chalk paint. I made that little jar work hard- it painted my wall skull, my bulletin board, my shelves and hopefully my jewelry boxes. Tiny accents of color can really tie a whole mis-matched room together.

I made my dreamcatcher with a doily I bought at the Punk Rock Flea a few years ago, a wreath my mom had and some ribbon from my stash.

All in all, it's not perfect but slowly it's becoming a really nice, cozy little atmosphere. Much to my mother's dismay, I would eventually like to live on my own again. I'm very excited about that prospect because I've never lived entirely on my own - I went from living with my parents to living with roommates to living with my ex, so I'd love the chance to have a little studio flat somewhere all to myself. In the mean time, I'm starting to really like my thrift cheap bohemian bedroom.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Free Tutorial: Reverse Applique Repost

As you all know, I used to have a blog called Meg's Ragged Edge but I needed a change and went to Cirque du Frock. Every once in a while, I do miss my old blog but I believe it's always better to keep moving forward. Still, there were good tutorials and blogs I was proud of on there, so I'd like to start a series where I post some of my old blogs - specifically my tutorials. While I do believe in moving forward, I believe some of my greatest inspiration has from from looking back, too.

This tutorials was originally posted in April of 2012, cringeworthy pictures and all. I got WAY better at writing tutorials, too! LOL. 

So you might remember this dress: HERE and HERE

I had this other dress, a purple Banana Republic number that I scored for $1 and felt a little plain in, and I had this bright idea to use a shirt that I'd put in the discard pile to make another wolf dress! Then - AND THEN!!!! - I had the great idea to share with you how I made it. So here you go.

1. Cut out the piece you want to show through. Example: I cut two wolf patches from a shirt. These are the pieces we will sew onto the dress.


2. Trace your patch, pin the four corners and turn inside out. So what I did: I laid the wolf patch onto the dress and traced a chalk outline. I then pinned 1 pin on each of the four corners of the outline. I did this so I would have a general idea when I turned it inside out where to pin the thing.



3. On the inside of the garment, pin your patch. This is pretty self explanatory- but just in case make sure the guideline pins are removed before sewing and that the side facing the fabric is the side you want to show. (I hope that isn't confusing)


4. Sew. Then look at the outside like this picture.


5. Carefully cut the outside layer of fabric away to reveal your picture under!


6. And this is the important one:



Take early morning outfit posts to show your friends your new DIY dress!

Giggle. I love my new dress. HUGS!! - Meghan

it looked like I got closer and closer and closer with each pic of the dress- so here you go! mega-close!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

OOTD: All You Sinners, Stand Up

Okay so again with the whole "I'm broke and can't afford crap" approach to blogging- but it's so honestly true. I'm working on making it better, but it's going to be a long and bumpy road which means I've decided to make this current financial situation work in my favor.

The holidays were a little awesome and a little depressing at the same time. On one hand, it's the first time in ten years I've celebrated Christmas with my family and it was awesome. On the other hand, I'm broke and I'm in a new place, missing my old traditions and people. In an effort to cheer myself up, I did do a tiny bit of Black Friday splurging and got myself two 10$ tees from One thing you've got to know by now is that I'm addicted to band merch. I love it. The problem is most band merchandise doesn't come in plus size unless you count men's shirts, and actually a lot of those are 'slim' cut for the skinny emo boys. So when I ordered my shirts, I knew that I was going to use one of my tutorials to refashion them.

This is the first one.

Cardi/Thrifted, Dress/Handmade, Leggings/Target, Shoes/Frye-Ebay

I was going through my breakup just a few months after discovering my love of Panic at the Disco. It was actually kind of appropriate timing since they'd just released Hallelujah and it kind of became my anthem to keep carrying on through the hard times. I tend to cling to music during any kind of difficulty. I remember when I first moved to Philadelphia, MCR's Famous Last Words was on repeat all the time (that's a different blog post altogether).

Anyway, when I saw this super pink shirt on sale at hottopic, I knew it'd be the perfect pick me up. It's rare with projects for me to immediately know what I'm going to do with something. I usually just mash things together and hope they work, but I had a bubble gum pink tee in my stash and a yard of thrifted pink striped knit and I just saw this in my head. I even knew which tutorial I wanted- the Calliope tunic since I seem to be living in that style right now.

I love how this project 1. Looks amazing on me but 2. Took a shirt which I knew even the biggest size would be too small and made it into a comfy garment I'll definitely wear all the time. I love it with my sparkly $5 necklace from Wal Mart (birthday present, thanks Mom!) and my tough-as-nails Frye boots.

There's a sneaky peak of an upcoming OOTD - This is from one of my favorite shops, Rainbow Alternative. She's a great Philly artist and I miss seeing her booth at the Punk Rock Flea (she's still there, but I'm obvs. in Maryland). Told you, I'm all about the Calliope this Winter/Spring.

So, as delicious as Hallelujah is, a few months after I was so into that song, my ex admitted that he had started listening to P!ATD on my recommendation and really clicked with that song. Which made me want to throw up a little because that was 'my' break-up song! But that's fine, because they also released Emporer's New Clothes, which might just be my favorite music video ever made.

I'm takin' back the Cirque, baby, one little blog post at a time. ;-)

PS: Guys, I can't even tell you how much I'm loving my new hair.

PPS: Special shout out to Sheila, Shawna, Megan and Trees. Without your encouragement, I don't know if I could even write these posts anymore. < 3 you guys give me life. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Cheap Beauty: DIY Haircut

I want to start this with the story of my hair. I very rarely am in harmony with my curls. Since I was a small girl, I've loved having short hair, but curls can often give you a mature, permed, soccer mom kind of vibe. The one time I enjoyed my hair was when I had it cut like this. I kept that hair style for a good long time- until my then-boyfriend started giving me crap about taking me to Hair Cuttery to get it trimmed. So I started growing it out- and my natural color- just to see if I liked it.

FYI- I do not.

My hair is beautifully curly. People love my hair. When it's long, I get a lot of compliments on it. However, it's just not me when it's long. I feel messy and dirty. I find my skin is more broken out, and I just don't like the upkeep. Sure, short hair means having it trimmed every few weeks, but long hair? You have to baby the crap out of my hair when it's long. It's a lot of work.

Unfortunately, I don't have extra money. Not even for Hair Cuttery. So I decided to take matters into my own hands the other day.

I was inspired by this tutorial and basically used the same method to recreate my favorite haircut. I then tried to lighten it with a box of Feria, but I didn't like myself as a blond so I used my favorite burgundy dye from Garnier to color over the blond. The result is a really nice dark red-almost purple color that I love.

The whole thing cost me about $7 for the burgundy dye- the Feria was a gift, so I didn't have to pay for that.

My tips: 
* Make sure you have super sharp scissors. I didn't have hair styling scissors so I tried this with my sewing scissors and it did damage my hair a little.

* Don't use boxed bleach. I'm a boxed bleach addict but it never works, guys. Never. And the Feria disagreed with my hair more than usual dyes.

* I've been cutting my own hair for a while, and with mixed but usually positive results. If you're at all nervous, please see a licensed hair care professional for your cuts. Or, start small. Earlier this year I did a mini trim which gave me the confidence to go for this huge trim.

* If you ever want a good, 90's grunge burgundy color I do recommend the darkest Garnier red. It's a nice purpley shade that I've been using since I was fifteen. It has decent coverage and lasts for a while.

* Ring your ears, hairline and neck with petroleum jelly if you're dying at home to keep your skin from getting stained.

Please remember that I am not a cosmetologist, this is just advice from my own personal experience with my hair, so take my advice at your own risk.

All in all, while I could have done better, I'm also pretty happy with the results. I love having my short hair back, and even though I've needed to clean it up a few times as I've noticed tiny mistakes, I'm super excited every time I get a compliment on it because I can say, "I did it myself!"

I hope to make Cheap Beauty a regular feature for Cirque, so stay tuned for next time when... well, who knows what I might do!