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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils- review

I am super excited to be chosen to review the newly remastered formula for the Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils. I am serious about eyelashes, so to try a new product is a real treat. My fave mascara is L'Oreal's, tried and true, Voluminous- love the fluff brush and the thinkness of the product. Tarte is running a close second.

So, how does YSL compare to my faves. Let's start out with the obvious- cost. L'Oreal is about $8.00, Tarte is about $20 and YSL is $32. However, sometimes price is not the whole story. You do often get what you pay for! And, I think this might be one of those cases, in that I feel like I need to use less mascara to get the desired long-length effect. This is furthered by the fact that there is less black marks on my nightly cleansing cloth, than with L'Oreal or Tarte. So, the more expensive could be the better value.


Image on the left, YSL, image in the right, Tarte. This is a straight-up, clean faced image with no lash curling, which I normally do. And, only upper lashes.
P.S. it is very hard to get this close-up with your cellphone.


On the functioning front, the mascara has very little clumping, even after reapplying to "push the limits" and maintains the same fullness that I feel that I normally get. So, good coverage, no clumps. On the Fullness front... well... clumping is in it's own way fullness. The lack of clumping makes a lack of fat lashes. So, this mascara is for those with lots lashes that need length. As I have an on again off again relationship with lash serums, the lack off fullness is fine for now... The lash serum and I are currently best friends.

YSL mascara has also added a fragrance. I am of two minds on this. Why do I need added fragrance in my mascara, would it conflict with any fragrance I want to wear and is this fragrance supposed to have a specific quality, in an aromatherapy way, that enhances the make-up application process. The answers for me are, not really, the fragrance doesn't last very long, and it doesn't seem to have an aromatherapy spin. It's a light, not unpleasant smell.

Final vote- Would I buy it on a reg basis? no, I'm very loyal to L'Oreal. Would I buy it as a splurge? Probably, I like the product and it feels like a splurge. Could a splurge become a habit? yep.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Birmingham Decorator show house

Perspective. Copyright: Laurl Designs
I am super excited to be chosen as one of the designers to participate in the 2015 Decorator show house! I am, also, really excited about the space I have been chosen to design.

I designed two spaces for the bidding process and which ever design I was working on was the design I loved best. So, I could not be happier to bring you the coolest "back hall" you will have seen!

To the left is a composite image of the space with the orange desk, vintage metal ceiling tiles on the wall, Sweater carpet from FLOR and black and white art work above the desk. The chair is the lead singer in this band! With a mix of pink and orange fabrics on a vintage chair of soft olive, she is a standout.

I am calling the back hall "the nerve center of the house" beacuse it is where you chart everyone's activities, plan meals, and organize life. And, organizing life can be messy at times, so I am adding organization tools that are cool, industrial and vintage and combining them with a classic desk that you can close when you don't want to see all the papers. The space can be used as a sitting area, as well as function in the more mundane back hall aspects, like storing the dog's leash and your coats.

Board 1. Copyright: Laurl Designs
Fun colors in pink and orange plays well with white and cream... and always a little lucite!

Best of all this space is about green design and great design. Beside the great design of function, function and function ( by the way the FUN in function is the colors), this space is designed to be budget friendly and green with each piece made from recycled materials, vintage (i.e. second hand) pieces, or from plant based materials and most are source locally. This space shows that green design doesn't have to be sterile and boring... or earthy and dirt colored.

Board 2. Copyright Laurl Designs
Luxe flokati rug over white bench with silver dipped legs, cool industrial coat rack and a custom file cabinet for storage .

Speaking of color, this space is color theory at work with bright colors to energize whomever is working in the space on possibly less than exciting tasks. Of course, bring colors and me together means pink and orange... or should I say PINK and ORANGE.  It's bright and tempered at the same time. It is neutralized by a lovely light olive and lots of shades of white. The whites and creams brings a freshness, light and a sense of better organization to calm the mind. Welcome to the "Nerve Center" of the 2015 Decorator Show House!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cleaning antique paper, archivally

Every once and while you run across a problem that takes special knowledge... knowledge that you should pay someone big bucks for, but you can only invest little bucks. I ran across one of those problems last month. I found a pair of lovely, hand-painted etching of fish from the late 1700's. They were part of a famous book (Allgemeine Naturgeschichte Der Fische by Block)  and had been removed- heart breaking to remove pages from a book, but that's another story.

These are beautiful and the one at the right even has a silver wash over it to create the iridescence of the fish. However, they were dirty, like dusty-type dirty, not actually soiled. I needed to have them cleaned, in an archival way, and my best bet was to drive over 2 hours to Atlanta and visit a paper restorer- BIG bucks.

But it was just the dirt I wanted to really remove, I could let the light water damage to the corner and a foxing spot stay. When I mentioned to a local framer that surely I could do a little research and do it myself he said, "could you read a book on baseball and throw a no hitter game?" Thanks Snarky Snarkington. It was then that I remembered why I do not use him very often to frame art.

Turns out there is very little on the web about cleaning antique paper. However, I know enough as a former librarian and trained artist, that there are accessible techniques.  I remember products for removing dirt, cleaning book covers, repairing paper, etc. from archival library supply websites and finally found it. It is called a Dry Cleaning Sponge- note that it is for cleaning dryly, not a product from the dry cleaning industry.

These "sponges" are actually vulcanized rubber foam, cut into squares. Vulcanization is a chemical process that turns goopy rubber into firm or hard rubber.

To use the sponge to clean/restore paper, simple lay the sponge on the paper and pull it across- with the grain and using little to no pressure. Turn the sponge to a clean spot on the sponge and do it again. Avoid any pencil marks that you do not want to erase. Start with the edge of the paper to test the process. Do the important parts last and sparingly.

When your sponge is dirty, clean with soap and water, let dry, and then you can use it again. I bought a twin pack so I could complete a project at one time.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Doily chargers or placemats

I am so often asked if my 12 inch doilies would work for a place mat or charger for wedding tables. And they do! Such a pretty, lacy edge around a 10 inch plate. They would be great as a whimsical addition to a Summer party, graduation party, or Mother's day tea!

So, I thought I would set up a simple table settings with new china and my Grandmother's antique china for comparison. All of these pieces are standard size- plates are 10 inches. The silverware is antique, so not the large restaurant size flatware.

Please click HERE to order you gold doilies!

Standard 10 inch plate with a salad plate on top

Standard 10 inch plate on 12 inch doily, such a pretty edge!

Grandmother china on 12 inch doily- place setting with soup bowl

Grandmother's china on 12 inch doily- simple place setting

Friday, January 9, 2015

New Twine collection from Owl and Thistle

I am super excited about my new Mid-Winter twine collection on Owl and Thistle! It is the Metallic Neutral collection and it's full of golds, silvers, creams and greys.
These novelty twines can be found HERE!
It is a mix of metallics and neutrals that looks great with kraft paper gift wrap and perfect for white paper.

But it is not limited to gift wrapping! Here's a round-up of great ideas from across the web to use twines with.

Fantastic altered book from Phizzychick

Or this cute Christmas card book. Instructions from Honey Bear Lane found here!
Novelty twines are a great accent mixed with yarn on a wreath like this from Family Chic by Camilla Fabbri
Post image for DIY Mini Wreaths: A Guest Post From Catherine Rising
Metallic neutral twines are perfect accents for a tiny wreath from Free People Blog
Wouldn't this little wreath be great on wedding reception tables!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Workroom tour - my re-imagined work space

great storage for craft supplies
Color, color, color! I love to see the array of ribbons and twine.
I don't actually call my workroom a craft room. However, I realize that to most people, it looks like a craft room. It has crafting supplies, art supplies, gift wrap and lots and lots of scissors! By whatever name you choose, I have some ideas and inspirations to share from my remade work space.

The dining table, cleaned and ready for pricing linens. Check out that fab chair I found at a private estate sale.
The dining table, cleaned and ready for pricing linens. Check out that fab chair I found at a private estate sale!

This space is actually the dining room and for the first time in two years, I cleaned it out for Christmas dinner. This major cleanout allowed me to rethink how I use the space and how I want to use the space. I like the wood top on the dining table, but it is not a sealed finished and I want to protect it from paint, markers and abuse. So, pricing linens was going to be the last thing I did before covering it.

sapien bookshelf in dining room and studio.
Goodbye nice wood tabletop, hello vintage cardboard cutting board.

TIP: using a cardboard cutting board not only protects my table top, but because it is for cutting out dress patterns, it has a grid and measurements. I use the yardage measurements to measure twine and ribbon I am cutting and it's a great tool for quickly checking the size of something without getting out a ruler.
 The room needed to work for storing my vintage items that I sell online and items that are waiting to be listed or sent to my antique shop. Ideally, I would like these shelves to be able to separate online store items, brick and mortar store items and just purchased items. But I am not there yet. 

Etsy vintage shop storage
Admittedly, this looks a bit jumbled, but it is actually arranged for easy access to the items, which are stacked in a way to protect them from damage.

And really, the "just purchased" items need to live with the cleaning supplies that I use for rehabbing them. Again, not there yet.
The "to be solds" cleaning supplies, art supplies, fabric books for my design business and photo props
 I also needed to store everything I sell in my paper goods online store. I store my paper goods in a "Pick and Pack" system, so that I can quickly find the size, shape, and color I need for each item. This is a great store owner solution that I picked up from a big online retailer! I prepackage items and store them together so that I can quickly ship. I feel very Henry Ford when I am packaging them. It's also a great "down time" or "thinking time" project, too. When I do not have a project brewing, or I need to stew on a project, counting out doilies is a useful way to clear your head and re-focus. It's also a great time management practice to package everything when I get them in stock rather than when they are ordered.

Vintage metal drawer boxes, paper drawer boxes and clear drawer shoe boxes- all easy access storage. The turquoise paper sorter was spray painted to add color and store 10 inch doilies.

I want to package my items to ship from here, as well as do photo shoots here. A shipping center is a must for this space.

A collection of black and white art acts as a foil to the brightly colored ribbons and twine. And, they look great when the table is in the center of the room as the dining table.

Poly bags are stored, sorted by size, in a rack that I also use when I do outdoor shows. It's easy to empty the rack for a show and I don't have to store and empty rack somewhere for other 350 days in the year. It is still looking for a permanent home, for now, it's by the window.

Dual use vintage store display. perfect for storing shipping bags and works great for outdoor art shows.
Photo shoots are a preferred task for this space. This room gets great light and the table is by the window. I am working on a new method of photographing items, so I think this will be a good fit. I can store backgrounds beside the bookshelf, like the lovely antique enamel ceiling tile (above), and the camera can live on the tripod here. I found that shooting in natural light requires a slower shutter speed and a more stable grip than my hands!

Love a Sapien bookcase (also known as a spine bookcase) it is invisible when in use and keeps all book accessible! Check out my post on this fantastic bookcase HERE.

My lovely, Spanish, mid-century umbrella stand is holding my pre-packaged kraft gift wrapping paper. Eventually, I will find the perfect spot to store my 12 inch cardboard squares that are the shipping support for my 12 inch doilies... for now, they live by the wrapping paper. I have moved a bed for my schnauzer under my work table for the cold weather this week. He does not come in my workroom, normally. And even with a bed in here, he seems uninterested in the temptation of spending some quality sleeping time at my feet.

A new use for an unused item from the past. Umbrella stands are not much in use these days, but they make a great storage piece for rolls of paper and would be a fun addition to any craft or gift wrap room!
Do you have a great work room to share, please post a link below!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I'm featured in Birmingham Home and Garden's Top 15 photos of 2014

I am super excited that one of my projects made the Top 15 photo's of 2014 from Birmingham Home and Garden!  (find the article here) Thank you BH&G for making this such a great year, from cover girl in January to Top 15 of 2014!

Featured in "Custom Color," photo by Jean Allsopp

Need some custom color in your home? Give me a call and we will make it happen! Just click on the envelope under the Let's get social tab at the top of the page.