PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wenchkin's Mail Art 366 Day 44

Getting mail is AWESOME , and it it is mail art, then it is 10 times more amazing! This would also be a really fun project for kids!

If you would like to check out the whole project I currently have it housed on google plus here
If you missed my previous post stating what mail art is and how I chose it as my 366 project you can find it here.

Wenchkin is an amazing artist, specializing in muerto-inspired drawings, and thick black outlines. You can find her on Google+, on Facebook, or you can shop her ArtFire shop! She currently resides in Albuquerque with artist Scott Krichau, and their tripod Jack Russell "P."

Monday, January 30, 2012

Beauty Buzz: How to sanitize your makeup!

Countless times I've heard a multitude of people stress the importance of cleaning their makeup brushes (and they are right, ya know?!) however I rarely overhear anyone talk about cleaning their actual makeup. Since we are currently stuck in the middle of cold and flu season I thought this would be the perfect "how to" blog to post so you can sanitize your makeup at home, thus making your products last longer.

Before we get into the actual "how to" portion, let's talk about some things you can do to further avoid cross-contamination in your makeup area.
  • Keep your makeup  closed and properly stored. The longer your makeup containers are left open, the longer bacteria has a chance to contaminate these items. Also, if you have children or pets in your home then be sure to keep your makeup collection behind closed doors or in proper storage units so they don't confuse your precious' as toys. 
  • Keep your work area clean. This should go without saying, really. I keep a container of disinfecting wipes near my vanity and always wipe it down before and after makeup application. I also keep the wipes out to clean the outside of my makeup containers and brush handles as I use them. This may seem a little O.C.D. to some however you have to keep in mind that you are touching these items, possibly touching other things (i.e. kids, phones, door handles, pets, etc.) in between then going back to the products. This is something that is especially important to do if you are sick or are letting others handle your products as well.
    Please note: you should never clean your actual makeup with wipes (just their containers). While disinfectant wipes contain a substantial amount of cleansers that would be effective in sanitizing your items, they are also loaded with detergents and harsher ingredients that are can be harmful if used on the body.

  • Keep your hands clean. Perhaps it's my extensive background in the food industry or just one of my many quirks, but I have a weird obsession with hand sanitizer (don't be surprised if you see me on that "My strange Addiction" show sometime soon).  I make it a point to wash, dry and sanitize my hands before and after all makeup sessions... and during if I just so happen to pause to do some of that touching-thing we just talked about.

  • Avoid the "double dip". I know, I know. It sounds close to impossible however it is not completely unavoidable. A good way to do this would be to use a makeup palette and spatula (make sure those are cleaned between each use as well) for loose powders, gel/cream products, and anything else that may be easily separated from it's container before application.. I'm going to be realistic and acknowledge the fact that "double dipping" will happen in every day makeup application. Just keep it in the front of your mind when applying and sanitize regularly.
You only need a few items to sanitize your makeup, most of which you probably have in your home. Those items are: paper towels, a cup, a small spray bottle, and isopropyl alcohol. The FDA states that a volume of 70% or greater of alcohol is all that is needed to kill 99.99% of bacteria safely and effectively. I prefer to use 91% alcohol as it evaporates faster (yes, only slightly but it just makes me feel better, lol) but, of course, the preference is yours.  I usually keep the spray bottle of alcohol close to my vanity so I can spritz my cosmetics whenever I see fit. 

Now, onto the good stuff! Below is a list of products and how you can safely sanitize them, as well as some tips on how to make them last longer. Please keep in mind that you are using rubbing alcohol on these items therefore you must allot enough time for them to dry before applying them. I personally make it a habit of sanitizing either right before bed or right after makeup application.
  • Lipstick. Lipstick is one of the easiest items to sanitize.Using the paper towel, gently wipe the tip of the lip stick getting rid of any residue that may sit on top. Fully extend the lipstick and dunk into a cup of rubbing alcohol. At this point you can set the lip stick aside to dry while you clean the cap.

  • Pressed Powders. This includes eyeshadow, face powder, blushes, bronzers, etc. Using a paper towel, lightly pat the top layer of your pressed powders to remove any oils that may have come off from your fingers. (tip: you should always avoid putting your fingers in your makeup, especially pressed powders. Oil from your hands could potentially ruin your pressed products either changing their texture or rendering them useless all together). Spritz the top of your powders with the spray bottle of alcohol and set aside to dry.

  • Pencil Liners. During this process I prefer to clean the entire pencil. Spritz the outside of the pencil and the top and wipe with a paper towel. Next, spritz your pencil sharpener with the alcohol. Sharpen and spritz (or dunk) the tip of the freshly sharpened pencil and set aside to dry. Remember, if it has a cap, sanitize that as well.

  • Cream/Gel Products. These items are a bit trickier. It's always best of these products have a smooth surface to work with (like when they are brand new) however they usually have divots in them from brushes and spatulas. You can still sanitize them using the spritzing method. After doing so, flip the product upside down on a few paper towels and let it dry. This way there won't be any "puddles" of rubbing alcohol in your product.
There are also a handful of beauty items that can not be (or are more difficult to) sanitize. I've listed them below along with some helpful bits of knowledge.
  • Loose Powders. Because these are loose powders I would suggest separating the product from the container before using (i.e. avoid the double dip) because there isn't really a way to go about properly sanitizing these products. Some studies show that you can place loose powders in the freezer overnight and it will kill the bacteria however there is some controversy over this because other scientist are claiming that it would be even more susceptible to germs after reaching room temperature. Regardless of these studies, bacteria is drawn to moisture. Since these products are very dry then I wouldn't worry too much about these as long as they are properly cared for.

  • Wand Applicators. This includes lip gloss, mascaras, concealers, and anything else that comes in a wand applicator. These items are the toughest. You could cut the original wand portions from these items and stick to using disposable however, unless you are makeup artist, this is very wasteful (and we want to love our mother earth, not trash it). The only tip I can give you here, other than being aware of the expiration date, is to never pump your wands. Doing so pushes air into the tube which promotes rapid bacteria growth.

  • Squeeze tube applicators: Notably, these are the most sanitary of applicators however they can still become contaminated if not used properly. Avoid applying product directly to your lips/fingers. Instead, use a clean brush to wipe product from the tip or squeeze onto a palette. During the sanitation process, simply spritz the applicator with alcohol... and don't forget the cap!

I hope some of you find this information helpful. Please let me know if I missed anything and I will do my best to answer all questions below.

Mo is the beauty and brains behind Madd Style Cosmetics. You can shop with her on Artfire, or follow her on Facebook. Her page is ALWAYS full of makeup and beauty inspiration!!  

Wenchkin's Mail Art 366 Day 43

Getting mail is AWESOME , and it it is mail art, then it is 10 times more amazing! This would also be a really fun project for kids!

If you would like to check out the whole project I currently have it housed on google plus here
If you missed my previous post stating what mail art is and how I chose it as my 366 project you can find it here.

Wenchkin is an amazing artist, specializing in muerto-inspired drawings, and thick black outlines. You can find her on Google+, on Facebook, or you can shop her ArtFire shop! She currently resides in Albuquerque with artist Scott Krichau, and their tripod Jack Russell "P."

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bringing Mail Art 366 to Modern Rosies.

Union Rivter and our resident thick black line muerto artist Wenchie, is back today with an awesome announcement. All of the Modern Rosies are really excited about her newest project, and we are so happy that she is sharing it with all of our readers here! This is a really cool way to reach out to friends, and other acquaintances, and would also be a really awesome project for kids to partake in as well!

After speaking with the girls, friends, and fans they thought I should start housing my mail art 366 project outside of a social network. I currently have it housed on google plus here simply because facebook has a folder limit of 200 images and I am already at over 100 in my first 30 days and did not want a whole bunch of folders for a single project.

If you missed my previous post stating what mail art is and how I chose it as my 366 project you can find it here.

Now art is subjective and I know my art is not for everyone and not everyone is going to like every card and that is OK. With that I am not here to alienate any of the current subscribers. I do a lot of skulls but I think my work is on the colorful side and it is not intended to be scary in any way. All personal taste aside, I do smoke and drink, it does show up in my art, I am a horror fan, you will see the occasional horror tribute. I will never post any full nudes or anything sacrilegious. So with that, I bring you Wenchkin's 366 mail art starting with Day 30.

I will post new mail art daily from here on out, hope you enjoy.

Wenchkin is an amazing artist, specializing in muerto-inspired drawings, and thick black outlines. You can find her on Google+, on Facebook, or you can shop her ArtFire shop! She currently resides in Albuquerque with artist Scott Krichau, and their tripod Jack Russell "P."

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How-To: Home Management Binder

Today, we have our dear friend Brandi back, with an really awesome tutorial on how to create a binder to manage a busy family. This would be an amazing help for not only larger families, but even smaller families that need to streamline their day-to-day more efficiently. This would also be a good project for a WAHM or WAHD looking to keep more on top of the balance between work and family!

 I gave up on New Year’s resolutions a long time ago because I just don’t enjoy setting myself up for failure. Instead of making resolutions for the New Year, I like to set goals for myself. I’m not sure why, but my success rate is higher if I think of it in less formal terms. Anyway…I’ve decided that 2012 is my year to get more organized!
I knew I needed a method to my madness and the sooner the better! So…off I went to Pinterest (of course!) and that’s where I stumbled across the idea for a “Home Management Binder” that involved cute printable lists and a binder. Since I am a total sucker for lists, I was sold!!!
I got most of my inspiration from this blog post. Her binder is SO pretty and much more extensive than mine, but I’m trying to start simple!
You will need:

  • A binder
  • Sheet protectors
  • Tab divider inserts
  • LISTS!!!!!
  • Writing utensils
(***You could use a laminator and a three hole punch as well as a label maker if you like…I’m just making use of what I had on hand, SO…)

First things first, you will need to decide what categories will work best for you. I went with Calendar, Cleaning/Schedules, Meal Planning, Finances and Miscellaneous. I am positive that these will change after I’ve used my binder a bit more; these headings just made the most sense to me at the time. Once you have your sections outlined the REAL fun can begin! I literally spent hours looking at all the different printables available online. There are a TON of them so it’s easy to find something that fits you. I chose to use printables from multiple sites instead of having a uniform look because some printables worked better for my needs than others. I’d really love to make my own someday because even the ones I chose don’t completely work for me, but that’s a whole other project I could get lost in!

The first thing in my binder is a blank monthly calendar because I like to have an overview of what’s going on. I found a complete set for 2012 here and printed out the entire year just to save me the hassle of doing it later. I like to pencil in the important dates as it makes for easy changes later. I also added a blank weekly calendar and a weekly routine list to this section for my regular weekly planning because as I said, I like to know what’s going on in one quick glance. I found my weekly routine and ‘Peek at the Week’ printables on the iheartorganizing blog. She has a TON of awesome free printables as well as an Etsy shop for custom lists!

Next up is my Cleaning/Schedules tab. In retrospect, schedules should have been its own section, but I’ll make it work for now. This section is by far my most used and favorite section as it is home to my daily and weekly schedules for overall time management and housecleaning. I got a super cute daily and weekly checklist from this blog, as well as a general inventory log and a bill payment checklist for use later on in the binder. Instead of printing out a new daily sheet every single day, I decided to use a dry erase marker right on the sheet protector! So far it’s working well for me; I can just erase everything and start my checklist over the next day! 

This section is also home to my 2012 Declutter calendar. My goal is to get organized in EVERY aspect of my life this year and I really love this approach because you only tackle ONE organizing task per day! I tend to get overwhelmed easily and when that happens I usually freeze up and nothing gets done. So, this makes what seems like an impossible task much more simple and attainable for me!
OK! Next section is Meal Planning. We struggle big-time with this and I’m determined to do better! I HATE not having things on hand to throw together a meal and being forced to the store daily or every other day to get groceries. In this section, you can find my weekly meal planner and recipe references list as well as an inventory log for keeping track of pantry items. The meal planner is especially neat because it downloads with a cover and back page so you could also choose to have it printed and bound into a book! SO cute!

In the Finances section you will find a monthly budget worksheet and a financial checklist for keeping track of bills paid. Pretty self explanatory stuff and there’s definitely nothing fun about this section so we’ll just move right along! 

I went with a generic Miscellaneous for my final section because there are always things you want to keep track of that don’t fit neatly into any other category. Right now this section consists of a home projects list, a car maintenance log and a Cub Scouts calendar.

I made up my own binder cover in Microsoft Word, put all my pages and dividers inside and I was DONE! Well, maybe not entirely. I’m already thinking I’ll add a folder for each of the boys for things like school excuses, vaccine records, etc. AND I definitely need a pencil pouch to keep my markers and such in one place, but regardless, I am happy to be the proud owner of a spiffy Home Management Binder! And yes…I AM a geek for being so excited about it! I’m still breaking it in but I already LOVE it! 

Come on….you KNOW you want to make one too!
Here’s to a more organized 2012!!! 

Brandi lives in West Virginia with her two boys, and her awesome hubby.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Beauty Buzz: Scented shine spray for your locks!

I don't know about you, but the winter air just kills my hair! It seems that no matter how many treatments/serums/protective products I use daily, my hair still ends up looking lifeless and frizzy.

Don't fret, my friends. I've come up with a simple recipe that will not only make your hair shiny and fragrant but will also help to prevent static/frizz during cold temperatures and low humidity weather.

  • 1/3 cup rosemary, lavender, citrus or your favorite essential oil.
  • 1/8 cup castor oil
  • 1/8 cup coconut or jojoba oil

  • Combined oil in spray bottle and slowly shake to mix.
  • Mist onto damp hair before styling and as needed throughout the day.

  • The essential oil in this recipe is what provides the scent. Be sure to choose something light and fresh that you can live with for the day.
  • Recommended for normal to dry hair.
  • Use as desired.
  • Store in plastic spray bottle up to 30 days.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beauty Buzz: Check Your Cosmetics!

Mo is back this week, with a REALLY cool app that she found that helps you find out of your cosmetics are expired. I know we are likely ALL guilty of letting some of our beauty products go undetected, so this is a good way to stay on top of it!

(photo from Check Your Cosmetics app web page)

To help me keep my ridiculous makeup collection in check, I recently discovered a really handy phone app (for android) called Check Your Cosmetics. This app is awesome when you are questioning the validity of your cosmetics. All you have to do is enter the brand of the product and it’s batch code and you will find out it’s production date, shelf life and the expiration date. Currently they have 36 brands to choose from, mostly high-end, with more being added regularly.

Along with checking the expiration dates of your cosmetics, the app also offers a general shelf-life guide for reference. If you do not have an app friendly cell phone or are not interested in this app, here is the shelf-life info for your noggin...
  • Blush (cream) ................ 1 year
  • Blush (powder) .............. 2 years
  • Bronzer ........................... 2 years
  • Concealer ........................ 1 year
  • Eye Cream ...................... 1 year
  • Eye Liner (liquid) ........... 6 months
  • Eye Liner (pencil) .......... 2 years
  • Eye Shadow (cream) ..... 1 year
  • Eye Shadow (powder) ... 2 years
  • Foundation (liquid) ....... 18 months
  • Foundation (powder) .... 2 years
  • Lip Liner ......................... 2 years
  • Lip Gloss ......................... 2 years
  • Lipstick ........................... 2 years
  • Mascara .......................... 6 months
  • Nail Polish ...................... 1 year
  • Perfume ......................... 4 years
  • Powder ........................... 2 years
  • Skin Care ....................... 1 year
  • SPF Lotion ..................... 1 year
Mo is the beauty and brains behind Madd Style Cosmetics. You can shop with her on Artfire, or follow her on Facebook. Her page is ALWAYS full of makeup and beauty inspiration!!  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review of 'Hannah Banana Bakery' Vegan Chocolate Truffles

This week was one of the greatest week ever, because I got my very first taste of Hannah Banana Bakery Chocolate Truffles!

Ta daaaa!

The best thing about Hannah Banana treats, are that they're not only made with the best chocolate and ingredients, they're also completely vegan (free of egg, dairy, and any animal product) which not only makes them perfect for vegans, but those who suffer with allergies to such ingredients.

All of the cakes can be ordered gluten free, for those who may have a wheat allergy, and sugar-free for diabetics. Hannah Banana Bakery would never use un-safe ingredients, it's one thing being kind to animals, but don't forget the humans! For this reason you will never find a nasty chemical sweetner in any of the Hannah Banana Bakery products.

It was hard for me to choose a favorite in this box of deliciousness, but I think it may be a tie between the white chocolate covered fudge (with sexy animal print pattern!)...... OR

The dark chocolate hazelnut truffle of ultimate deliciousness!

There was also an incredible golden peanut butter cup (that's the golden one in the top corner of the box!), which I bet I could eat 100 of... infact if anyone would like me to prove this, just send 100 Hannah Banana Peanut Butter cups this way.

This was my first experience trying white vegan chocolate, and I was very impressed. Infact I'm pretty certain that in a blind taste test, not a single person would guess that there's no milk in any of these chocolates. This means that not only are these are great gift for vegans, they are also a great gift for anyone.

Hannah Banana Bakery Website
Hannah Banana Bakery Facebook
Hannah Banana Bakery Twitter

For your viewing pleasure:

Currently only available within the EU. Due to insurance reasons Hannah Banana Bakery is unable to ship internationally.

This post was written by M.R. Riveter Ranon LaZombie. Owner and creator of Rocky the Zombie designs

Friday, January 13, 2012

Night time Long Term exposure with a cheap digital camera

Today's post brings Wenchkin to the Modern Rosies mix with an AMAZING how-o on something that even traines photographers sometimes struggle with. And in true Wenchie style, she does it with a rad DIY, frugal attitude!

First and foremost I am NOT a photographer. I am a girl with a digital camera that has it in order to take product shots for her store. With that over time I learned to play with all the functions on my camera, one of them leading to some really fun shots. Today I am here to tell you how I took the picture above, it is also the same way I have taken great lightning shots like this.

So let's get started, you may not have the same camera I have and that is ok, in order to do what I do your camera needs to have two things, a flash that you can shut off and a long term exposure setting. I am starting out with a 5mp Kodak Easy Share c340 that I have dropped numerous times so I can no longer use the zoom button but it still works great for long term and macro photography and I can not currently afford to replace it.

I turn the camera on to AUTO, the generic setting usually set in green on most cameras

I then hit the menu button on my camera and scroll down till I see something labeled LT
I hit ok, it opens a menu for shutter speed, mine has four settings a.7 seconds, 2 seconds, 3 seconds, 4 seconds. I usually select 4 seconds, the longest exposure time the camera will allow. I hit ok, back out of the menu and get ready to shoot.

Now on my camera it automatically shuts the flash off when in LT mode. You should double check that your camera does as well as you should have a visible symbol on your camera that looks like a lightning bolt with the no slash through it. If your flash is on, shut it off, it works against this type of photography.

The most important thing I can not express enough when you are ready to shoot is to either have a tripod, which I do not, or find something stable to set your camera on. I do not care how steady handed you are you will never get a good long term shot holding the camera. You MUST set it down. Even in and with that sometimes just the act of my clicking the shutter is enough to jar the camera and ruin my shot. If your shots are still coming out smeared and you are unhappy with them then try setting your camera timer so after you click go it gives the camera a second to quit moving before it takes the shot.

Lastly if your shots are coming out too blasted out and you are letting too much light into the camera go back into your LT settings and back your exposure time back out from 4 seconds to 2 to see if it gets better. The shots I took above are completely unaltered color and light wise, this is exactly the shot I took from my camera under those settings.

Happy Shooting!

Wenchkin is an amazing artist, specializing in muerto-inspired drawings, and thick black outlines. You can find her on Google+, on Facebook, or you can shop her ArtFire shop! She currently resides in Albuquerque with artist Scott Krichau, and their tripod Jack Russell "P."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Last Minute Gift ideas - Chocolate Dipped and Decorated Pretzels.

We've all done it, realised at the last minute that we've forgotten to buy a gift or contribution to a party. Well here's a very quick and easy gift idea that costs very little, and is oh-so-easy to put together!

.....Chocolate dipped & decorated pretzels.

I make these every christmas, and by request for special occasions throughout the year, they're definitely a number one treat in these circles!

You need only the most basic ingredients, and technically there is no baking required. Just a heat source to melt the chocolate.

List of things you will need:

  • Pretzels (any kind, your choice!)
  • Chocolate (Regular works better than 'baking' chocolate for this)
  • Sprinkles and toppings of your choice.

I used dark, milk, and white chocolate to make sure there was something for all tastes, along with desicated coconut, chopped nuts, glitter sugar, chocolate chips, honeycomb, and hundreds & thousands for the toppings.

You will also need a lot of worktop space for allowing the chocolate to set, and atleast an hour setting time unless your kitchen is very cool and dry.

I lay baking paper or cling film on the surfaces so I can just put the freshly dipped pretzels straight down to set, and remove them easily once they've set.

It's a good idea to dip some, and then sprinkle, before dipping some more and sprinkling some more so that the chocolate doesn't start to set before you can get the toppings on.

You can use the microwave to melt the chocolate, or use a make-shift Bain Marie using a glass jug set in a pan of boiling water. Do not let the water touch the chocolate or it'll be all over. Chocolate and water do not mix.

Once they're set, they will easily peel away from the surface they've dried on, and are ready to wrap up for giving away.

They look really pretty stacked in cello bags and tied up with a ribbon (I wish I'd taken a picture of them like this!) or in a large tin lined with some coloured tissue paper.

Here's my glittering sparkling pretzels all laid out to dry (using up all available kitchen space!)

All in all it took me half an hour to dip and decorate the pretzels, and it took them an hour to set completely at room temperature. If you wanted to speed up drying time, simply lay on trays and put in the fridge.

Ranon is the owner and creator of Rocky the Zombie designs
Cute character clothing and art for all ages!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ode to toast.

Toast is amazing, you've got to admit. A big slice of french toast, loaded with fruit and Agave Nectar. Followed with a cup of traditionally brewed hot tea. Perfection really.

Toast is better than any regular bread ;) and Agave Nectar instead of syrup, because, it's a natural sweetner that isn't made from chemicals. Just ask Bianca - At ReLovePlan.et.

Or perhaps you would prefer some treat-tastic Monkey Bread, because you can only really be perfect and good 99.9% of the time ;) You will need to go and see my friend Deb - OnCupCakeMoon for for information about that utter delight.

And that concludes my very short 'Ode To Toast', I hope you enjoyed it!

Ranon is the owner and creator of Rocky the Zombie designs
Cute character clothing and art for all ages!