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Feline Woman: DIY Cat Eyes

A dramatic cat eye at LAMB. I've been practicing mine since 12. You?

Meow!  Purr!  Hiss!  I imagine it must be quite chill-ax to be a cat, lounging about without a care in the world.  Seductively enticing you to pet them while giving you the cold shoulder to sit on the window sill and stare at the birds.   

A popular beauty trend takes inspiration from those lovable, elusive felines ‘Cat Eyes.’  How very.  This fall/winter ladylike Victorian meets Rock n’ Roll returns to the forefront; minimalist makeup with striking vibrant pouts are wonderfully paired with a hint of eyeshadow and the slick swoop of a black-lined cat eye.  Taking after its namesake, the look is at once mysterious, chic and retro harking back to the glamour pin-ups of the 1960’s. 

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Step 1  The Basics:  Apply a light taupe shade to your entire lid followed by a mocha brown in the contours of your crease.  Blendx3.  The trick here is to make the eyes look au naturel yet polished.

Step 2 The Professional:  Using the tips of your finger gently pull your left lid taut.  Using the liner start at the corner of your eye and move the pencil slowly across the base of your lashes then upturn the line slightly to form a point (similar to the end of an arrow).  Repeat on your right lid.  To create a wide-eyed doe look, begin to draw a heavier line beginning in the middle of your eye (so that the line begins thinner at the inner eye and widens as it moves to the outer lash).

Step 3 The Perfectionist:  Sometimes we make mistakes but we shouldn’t walk out the door with a squiggly line above our pupils.  Unless you are keen on channelling Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?  Using a cotton swab dipped in water, wipe away imperfections and start over.  I find getting the corners perfect can be challenging at first so this tip comes in handy.  Curl lashes and finish with two generous coats of black mascara.

And a final parting note and blessing for you legions of beauty adventuresses:  the cat eye requires a steady hand, patience and perseverence.  Be not disuaded by your lack of expertise.  For amateurs, begin your attempts using a pencil which can be smudged with a brush for a smokier cat eye.  Once mastered, novices try felt tipped black eyeliners.  And lastly, for those who have gone on to join the master ranks, I suggest liquid eyeliner for its smooth finish and dramatic effect (however, it can be unforgiving and messy if you make too many mistakes).

Italian movie stars are stunning: Sophia Loren with a heavy cat eye. Meow!


October 15, 2010   No Comments

VENDOR CALL: The Snow Day Holiday Market

 “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” – Gandhi

As an entrepreneur, crafter, bon vivant and lover of the people, I often lament that there aren’t enough small-scale community events for the talented artists, designers and small business owners to share with their friends and neighbours.  Even if I can create this change in a small way, it’s something I am extremely excited to organize and take part in. 

The Snow Day Holiday Market is a holiday themed show and sale for Toronto-area artisans, crafters, designers, bakers and retailers.  The mission of the event is to give artists, entrepreneurs and retailers an opportunity to connect and showcase their wares with the community in a fun and inviting atmosphere. 

 The focus for the show will be gift-giving and holiday:

  • Indie arts and crafts (stationary, cards, toys, small sized artwork)
  • Fashionable gifts (jewellery, accessories)
  • Homemade food (baked goods, preserves)
  • DIY presents (ornaments, stockings, warmwear)
  • Vintage

The Snow Day Holiday Market is looking for artisans, bakers, artists, crafters and local retailers to exhibit and sell their work on Sunday, December 5th, 2010, 12noon – 5pm.  This afternoon event will be taking place at The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West) in The Ballroom (click to view images).  No matter if you are a novice or a hobby-ist, all applications are welcome!  It will be an intimate affair with a diverse array of vendors.

Submissions will be accepted until Saturday, October 30th, 2010, however, please apply early as the number of available spots is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more detailed information on how to apply, please visit my website The Snow Day Holiday Market and please spread the word (‘bzzzz’ – buzz noise).


September 26, 2010   No Comments

DIY: 80’s Sleepover

Carrie Bradshaw's Flashdance phase. This would be appropriate 80's attire for a slumber par-tay.

I may be a long way from teendom but my girlfriends are still youthful and hysterically funny.  The other day, I was spending some QT (quality time) with my friends and we decided it would be radical to have an 80’s Sleepover.  Although the theme will be inspired by the sleepovers of our youth, we’ll trade the pop for champagne and instead of pizza, we’ll probably eat California salad with some sort of fancy crustini.  The metabolisms have slowed down considerably.  But if you fall asleep early, I’m freezing your bra and don’t be surprised if I call out ‘Steamroller!’ and barrel on top of you like a human rolling pin.  It’s my specialty.

Party planning for me started early – I threw at least one major sleepover a year and it was the highlight of everyone’s social calendar.  The elements of a successful sleepover were:  the right guests (to prevent catfights/crying), the latest movies (1 horror + 1 comedy to ease the nerves post-horror), great snacks (aka junk food) and all-night girltalk. 

There are so many amazing 1980’s coming of age films, especially starring Andrew McCarthy.  Be still my heart.  Anything starring Molly Ringwald or directed by John Hughes will be a hit among guests.  There are also easily forgotten selections such as Adventures in Babysitting, Can’t Buy Me Love, Lucas, Goonies and Say Anything (which begs the question, does John Cusack age?).  It’s been such a long time since I’ve watched any of these.  It makes me very nostalgic.

Adventures in Babysitting: Elisabeth Shue was amazing and always will be. Did you know she married a Guggenheim?

Can't Buy Me Love: "You ignored the Donald Miller geek for seventeen years, now you want to ride the Ronnie Miller express!" Just remember girls, white leather fringe mixed with red wine. Patrick Dempsey pre-McDreamy.

Girl Talk: I mean if you really need a board game to facilitate your gossip. No judging.


August 18, 2010   1 Comment

DIY: Sideways Bun, Zero Carbs

Jessica Alba has a stunning profile, non? Here is a great interpretation of a combo: messy bun with braid headband.

I should also add high KB quotient

It’s the summer and to beat the heat, ladies are twisting their hair into loose chignons or knotting their hair on top like a ballerina.  One of my favourite beauty looks is the sideways bun which when done correctly says, “Wheeeee! I’m tousled, carefree fun with sexy undertones.” (hence the increased KB quotient). 

The DIY look I am going to share is meant for evenings out because it does take about a half hour prep time.  But I promise, it’s worth the effort.  You will be showered with compliments from both guys and girls…and you may find yourself KB-ing recklessly in a shady corner.  Did I mention that the sideways bun may incite a shame spiral?  Just be aware that you’ve been forewarned.

Before you start, I highly recommend cranking some party tunes.  Getting ready is perhaps one of the best parts of going out. 

Step 1:  To achieve a wispy, tousled look, set your hair in 2-3″ wide hot rollers for 10 minutes.  I enjoy the Conair hot rollers.  I have had them for a decade (since New Year’s NYC 2001) and they have never let me down.

Step 2:  Spritz all over with hairspray while setting.  Remove curlers by pulling them away gently on a diagonal to preserve the curl.  Hopefully, you will achieve loose ringlets.  Spritz again.  Try John Frieda or Vidal Sassoon for a strong hold with volume.

Step 3:  Secure hair in a ponytail at the nape of your neck, close to the back of your ear (I prefer the left).  Ensure to leave a few loose strands around your face and keep your bangs free.

Step 4:  Loosely wind the hair into a bun and secure with bobby pins in your hair colour.  Shake your head and make sure nothing moves and it feels secure. 

Step 5:  Run your fingers through the tendrils you have left to frame around your face.  Using a wide barrel curling iron, touch up any loose ringlets.  Finish with another spritz of hairspray. 

Optional cute:  To dazzle it up, add a few rhinestone clips at the nape or even a few fresh flowers if you are going to dinner al fresco. 

The end effect should look effortless but ‘OMG, you are gorgeous‘. 

Look how cute SMG looks with her loose bun. The version I have described is tilted to one side. I miss Buffy Summers.


June 23, 2010   1 Comment

A Birthday Love Collage

Today is my birthday, a day I share with Boy George and Donald Trump.  As a present to self, I am committing myself to only doing activities which I feel so inclined.  I have outfitted myself in a lovely 1950’s style cobalt blue floral dress given to me by my dear J and am ready to set off on a day filled with art and leisure

As a starting point, I know I want to make a love collage.  Is this too obvious?  It is the namesake title of the blog you are reading.  Following lunch, I will embark on a fun art supply shopping trip to pick up some bits of this and that.  In the wise words of Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, I will “Make it work.”  The theme of this year’s birthday collage is abundance (florals in bloom) so in my fashionistah-artsy way, I will be interpreting that in mixed media – watercolour, sequins, fabric and decorative papers.  Do you like that I threw sequins in there?  I always do.   

Don't inhale! I love the rubber cement so much I have a galloon and initiate the un-initiated.


My first destination was Curry’s Art Store (573 Queen Street West) for a small 9×12″ canvas board.  No need for stretched canvas since I was not planning on any heavy duty painting with oils or acrylics.  I also picked up a pearlized relief paper with a floral motif which reminded me of the kind of wallpaper you would find in a Jane Austen-esque cottage. 

I stopped by The Paper Place (887 Queen Street West) for some small squares of Chiyogami, beautiful Japanese silk-screened papers.  They also have a lovely selection of cardstocks and Nepalese papers if you are in the mood for making cards or hanging mobiles.  For the scrapbooker or love collage enthusiast, they have little bags of assorted Chiyogami for $5 called Snack Packs.  How cute, right? Munch, munch, munch. Tee-hee.

Chiyogami-town. Perfect for paper cranes, mini geisha dolls, stars, doves, etc, etc...

Chez moi, I blasted the new album from Tokyo Police Club (support local!)  Obsessed with the songs Wait Up (Boots of Danger Remix) and First Date Kit.  I was hoping for some musical stylings from Boy George; tried for Karma Chameleon but my computer almost contracted a virus so I thought it was a bad sign.

Aerial work in progress. I like to throw my art supplies everywhere.

Suffer for art: I bruised my knee grabbing these watercolour pencils from my huge storage container under my bed. Add water and the lines blur like magic colouring books.

Love Collage: My interpretation of Birthday Wishes.

Now, I’m off to gorge on Red Velvet cupcakes…  Hope my love collage inspires you to make your own.  My birthday wish for you is CREATIVITY.  Go forth young artist!


June 14, 2010   1 Comment

Lazy Sunday Afternoons

Pack the necessities: Wine, Brie and those Raincoast Crisps.

“Racey days.  Help me through the hopeless haze.  But my oh my…” – The Killers 

Sunday’s always begin with the best of intentions.  Especially when slight panels of sunshine peak through blinds in the early morning hours of the day.  But for those of us who entertained or decided to party into the wee hours of Saturday can attest, the day begins late and continues its onward crawl towards dusk.  Slow motion is the tone and lethargy is the beat.  On days such as these, it’s always best to let our minds and bodies rest and chill out as long as humanly possible.

On days when the climate soar above 15 degrees, the masses flood the streets to window shop, have a drink on the patio or if you are a hipster, invite your circle of friends to hang out on a grassy nole in Trinity Bellwoods Park.  Here couples lay side by side hoping to catch their first tan, friends bike along paths, the sporty play a friendly game of tennis or the young and restless chit-chat with their clique while pretending not to drink beer.

Sunday requires little effort but here are some ideas for a lazy afternoon at the park.  Why not roll out of bed and lay on a fresh lawn of grass, catch some Zzzz’s outdoors and get a tan while your at it? 

  • Air-conditionned Dressing – Putting a dress on requires the least amount of effort to achieve a fun, summer look.  Remember: with the warm weather comes crowded streets where one may likely bump into former crushes, ex-flames and random cute boys.  Even if you feel rotten inside (vampire recoiling in sunlight), you don’t have to look like death on the outside.  Cotton dresses are made from breathable material, look cool and feel casual.  A pop of bright colour or a mini floral looks great with a healthy dose of bronzer.

How adorable is this Free People coral baby doll dress? The tiny straw hat is very park appropriate too.


Lurving this Free People halter dress with subtle blue floral print. Bonus: it's belted and well accessorized with gold bangles.

  • Beat the Heat – Even though it’s not the same scorching heat you might find in Southeast Asia, it’s still important to preserve our youth and radiance by applying a coat of sunscreen, wearing a hat and sunglasses.  When a cool breeze blows, the sun’s rays can be deceptively strong.  Just say no to sunburn and tan lines. 

Reminds me of a flapper: This Genie Straw Cap is a unique alternative to the fedora.

  •  DIY Park Blanket Bingo – Call me crazy but I have lightweight blankets designated for park lounging with matching cushions that I made.  By far, the most dazzling designs I have seen come from fabric designer Amy Butler.  The kaleidoscope of rich colours and intricate patterns would look extra vibrant in the sunshine.  For those who can’t be bothered to customize their park blanket, I love the look and feel of faded cozy quilts or batik fabrics from Kensington market.  The smart park goers often use a cheap plastic tablecloth to lay under their blankets to avoid the dirt and grass. 

All that’s left is to lay down and chill-ax.  Ahhhh

Amy Buter fabric swatches can be found at MacDonald Faber or The Workroom in Toronto.


May 17, 2010   No Comments