Thursday, 28 May 2020

Easy Zombie Makeup Tutorials

Well, after many years, and many people asking me to do makeup tutorials, I have finally put two together. The first one is a very easy zombie look, using only four different eye shadows, eye liner, lip pencil and lip gloss. The second video is a sequel to the first, creating a "special effect" of protruding zombie eye sockets using just spirit gum, cotton balls and the same eye shadows as before. I filmed these about six weeks ago and, after much procrastinating, ending in a very rushed study of iMovie earlier today, I have finally published them. 
 

Please note, these are NOT in any way professional. These tutorials are real-time videos of me doing a makeup look with the tools I have to hand. I say Umm a lot. And ramble about past Halloweens and other looks I've done. Previously, when I have searched for ideas online for past makeup looks, I was often annoyed by the materials and tools that were used. Not everyone has liquid latex or an air brush in their makeup arsenal! I am unwilling to spend $$$$ on makeup, so I use what I already have. Apart from the Spirit Gum, you most likely have access to most if not all of these items already too, or can find them very cheaply. 


Well, here you go. I hope you enjoy. If people like these I might be brave enough to do more. After all, it's only 156 days until Halloween!

Saturday, 23 May 2020

An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #12

Hello my lovelies, for my Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation tip for today, I want to talk about combining necessary tasks with having fun. For example, like I said in the video, I have not done laundry in over two months. Not because I'm taking advantage of not seeing anyone and being gross and lazy, but because I genuinely have SO many clothes that I don't need to! And what is the point of creating extra work for yourself? 
So I have been going through my clothes and dressing up in fun, random outfits at home, and also making note of what I don't need and am unlikely to wear again. So once I sort through everything, I can donate all the excess to a good cause. I'm amusing myself, but also being productive. 


The same concept could be applied to your food cupboards and pantries. Do you have a bunch of ingredients that you're not sure what to do with? Why not cook something, Chopped style, and see what you can create? Have a clear out of old craft supplies and create a fun activity for your family to enjoy! I know some of you live very neat, minimalist lives already, and kudos to you, but for those of you, like me, that don't, this is a good opportunity to assess what you have and downsize. 

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Fibromyalgia Awareness

Did you know that May is Fibromyalgia Awareness month? And this year, 12th May was the official Fibromyalgia Awareness Day! I wrote a fairly lengthy Blog post a couple of years ago about my experience with this disease, which you can find HERE.
You can show your support by wearing a purple ribbon and/or a butterfly, in honour of those who fight Fibromyalgia daily, as well as those fighting for a cure.
I have Fibro Awareness Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings and Bookmarks available in my Etsy Shop, OriginalSinArt. (link in Bio)
PLEASE NOTE, 25% of the cost of these items will be donated to the NFA, the National Fibromyalgia Association, who fight to raise awareness and find a cure for this debilitating disease that is still so misunderstood. This is a cause very close to my heart since I too, am a Fibro Warrior. Please check out www.fmaware.org to find out more.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #11

How are you all coping with the craziness my lovelies? I must admit, I’ve been struggling with things lately. I am so very grateful to my wonderful friends and family for checking in on me and making sure I know they’re there.

So for my official Introvert’s Guide to Self Isolation tip for today, I want to talk about looking after your mental as well as physical well-being. Make sure you stay in touch with your loved ones, even if you can’t see them in person right now. Check in on them, have them check in on you. It is okay to admit that you’re having a hard time dealing with things right now. We all are! This is a crazy, scary, insane time and no one was prepared for the impact it is having on our general well-being. So be kind to yourselves. Take those naps. Eat the comfort food. It’s perfectly acceptable to not be functioning at your highest peak right now. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t worry about the rest. Stay safe, and look after yourselves and each other. 


An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #10

Hello my lovelies. It’s been a while since I posted an Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation, and I actually forgot to post this one here a couple of weeks ago, although you may have seen the first video on my Instagram or Facebook feeds. The mask was the result of a recent poll I did, haha!


I’d like to talk about marking special occasions, even if you can’t be with the people you love to celebrate with in person. I have lived abroad for 15 years now, and find it especially difficult around my birthday, Christmas, and other special occasions, being so far away from home. Lately I have heard from so many people who are struggling because they can’t be with their loved ones right now. That’s even harder on special occasions, when all you want to do is celebrate with your friends and family. I empathise! But I feel we are extremely lucky to live in a time where technology can help to keep us close. Seriously, what would we do without the internet, without FaceTime, without WhatsApp, without Zoom?
Birthday costume changes! Because, why not??
Yes it is so hard being apart from all our loved ones, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun together! So for my birthday I dressed up in something pretty, (Actually, several somethings. There were costumes changes!) and drank, and listened to music, and shared all of that via my Facebook party. I think this is a great way to break the monotony of lockdown, and forget our troubles for a little while. I’m sure most of us are tired of being stuck at home by now, so use any excuse to dress up and make it a fun occasion! And share it with your friends! There is no reason you can’t have a remote cocktail party, or play games, or listen to music, or watch a movie together!



Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Day 369 of self isolation...

Day 369 of self isolation. My transformation into a zombie is complete. The sofa has begun to absorb my rotting flesh and the stench of hopelessness mingles with decay. The carrion birds are circling. I can’t feel my legs. Send more snacks.

Wait... What do you mean you don’t dress up like a zombie to scare the neighbours?? What have you been doing with your quarantine time?? Come on people, you’re letting the side down! 

Okay, in reality, I decided to film a gory makeup tutorial to amuse myself, so here’s a sneak peek. It’s definitely a look that should keep people at least six feet away from you, don’t you think?!
Hopefully it won’t take me too long to figure out how to edit the tutorials. If anyone has a particular EASY app they use, please let me know.




Thursday, 9 April 2020

An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #9

Happy Thursday everyone! How are you all coping with the craziness? I am on day 28 of not leaving the house, and honestly haven’t noticed much difference! Introverts truly do have an advantage right now!

My Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation tip for today is: If you’re working from home, try to get up and dressed and keep to some kind of schedule as much as possible. Yes, everything is going to be more lax, and your boss won’t know if you indulged in a liquid lunch, but you might find your productivity levels are better if you get up and dressed and work at your desk. 


I know it is so tempting to just lounge about in your pjs all day, and I think everyone deserves those kind of days from time to time, but for the most part, try to stick to a regular routine. I am very lucky to be able to work from home and choose my own hours, since with five autoimmune diseases (at last count...) I would really struggle to be out in a regular workplace. So my daily commute from my bed to my office is not far, and I can wear whatever I want, (including unicorn costumes if I so desire!) but I do find that I get a lot more done when I am dressed in regular clothes.

And you’d be surprised how much fun you can have doing your regular work while dressed up in silly costumes and listening to some of your favourite music!
... Then again, maybe the cabin fever is getting to me? 
 

Monday, 6 April 2020

An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #8

Happy Sunday my lovelies! How are you all coping? My Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation tip of the day is to remind everyone to eat a varied diet, and still get some sunshine, as much as possible while our routines are so off kilter.

Yes, most of us are on lockdown and hibernation mode, and I know it is tempting to eat ALL the snacks, but try to get some balanced meals in there too. And even if you can’t go OUT out, hopefully you have a space where you can still absorb some Vitamin D from the sunlight. You can do that in your garden, or even sit next to an open window, (the UVB rays are blocked by most glass windows.) Shout out to my mum for reminding me about this!

Of course, I’m not recommending that anyone starts tanning just because they’re at home with nothing else to do, but 15-30 minutes exposure to sunlight, three times a week, is thought to be enough to absorb the Vitamin D we need through our skin. And we need Vitamin D to help our bodies absorb calcium, so it’s essential for maintaining strong bones.

I apologise if I’m sounding patronising. I was diagnosed with osteopenia when I was 30, my GI issues cause malabsorption, and the medication I’m on suppresses my appetite, so I need to think about these things! 

Note to self: remember to eat. 
P.S remember to eat HEALTHY food occasionally!

Friday, 3 April 2020

An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #7

Happy Thursday my lovelies! Many thanks to several of my dear friends for reminding me of this Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation tip for the day: Be kind to yourself!

This is definitely something that I struggle with. I always feel like I should be pushing myself harder, doing more, achieving more. Then when circumstances, or poor physical and/or mental health issues prevent me from doing things, I tend to denigrate myself for not being better.

Life can be extremely difficult at the best of times! We are all fighting battles that nobody knows anything about, so it’s important to be kind to others, but it’s also important to be kind to yourself. Take a look at how far you’ve come in life. Look back at all those obstacles you never thought you’d get past. Look at where you are now! Pat yourself on the back and acknowledge that you are doing an incredible job!

As for being isolated, I have heard from a lot of people that are concerned or berating themselves because they haven’t gotten as much done as they would like to. But remember, when faced with external threats, we have more than “fight or flight” modes. There is also a “freeze” mode. We are faced with this huge, scary, global threat, and it is absolutely normal to feel scared and threatened. And for a lot of us, that freeze instinct may be kicking in. Maybe you’re finding that you’re sleeping more, or seem unable to do the most basic of tasks? Don’t be too hard on yourself, you are dealing with SO MUCH right now, and being isolated, outside of your normal routine is a huge change in itself. Considering that we are supposed to be staying at home to help flatten the curve, napping and binge watching tv shows is a perfectly acceptable way to spend your time! You don’t need to worry about cleaning your house, nobody is going to be coming over to see it!

Just be kind to yourself, and remember that you are doing a remarkable job under very trying circumstances. 



 Speaking of martinis...

An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #6

Today’s Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation tip of the day is: Singing!

Singing has been proven to release endorphins, so is a natural anti depressant, as well as decreasing the stress hormone cortisol. Both great benefits for all of us right now!

Why not sing while you’re preparing dinner, or doing any other mundane task? I promise you it will be better with singing. I don’t care how well you sing, but it’s worth giving it a go. You could have a singalong with your family, an online karaoke session with friends, or your own personal operetta in the shower!

Personally, if I know the words to a song, then I’m singing, whether I realise it or not. If I don’t know the words then I’m humming or whistling! I will not be subjecting any of you to my voice, but I will let you in on an embarrassing story from my adolescence:
Many many years ago, I was in the shower, belting out Sweet Transvestite from The Rocky Horror Picture Show... and apparently a family friend dropped by. And heard the whole rendition. I definitely got some funny looks when I went downstairs, and I’m still mortified to think of it.

Tell me, do you love to sing? Do you love to sing even if your family hates it? Now is not the time to be shy, but let go and enjoy yourself. You might find you really like it, plus it has surprising benefits!



Sunday, 29 March 2020

An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #5

Happy Sunday my lovelies! Today’s Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation is about making regular everyday events fun! 

I couldn’t sleep last night so decided to dress up and watch a movie, and it was a blast! (This isn’t cabin fever, I haven’t been isolated that long, it’s just me!) I’m sure many of you with young kids have all sorts of costumes to match their favourite movies! And if you’re currently homeschooling, why not turn it into an activity with a worksheet or questions to answer at the end?

Instead of a regular lunch, you could have a picnic party on the floor or in the garden. Again, these are things you can still do if you DON’T have kids, just saying!

The point is, enjoy the little things. Take that long bubble bath with a glass of wine. Have a date night at home with candles and the “good” plates and glasses. And share your ideas with others so we can help each other out!




An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #4

Happy Saturday my lovelies! What do you have planned for today? My Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation tip for today is to surround yourself with things that make you happy! 

I have many collections of things that make me smile whenever I look at them; skulls, fairies, rubber duckies, books, art, etc etc. I’m not materialistic in the sense that I want designer labels or anything, but everything I have has sentimental value for me. Partly because, being so far away from home, it’s nice to have physical reminders of people and places, but mainly because I remember every gift that was ever given to me, and from whom. 

My library has these crystals in the window that create all these pretty rainbows, and how can you not smile when seeing those? I also love being surrounded by my books, so it’s the perfect spot to curl up and relax with a book and a glass of wine. 

Having said all that, this is also a good time to purge your home of things that no longer “spark joy”. There’s no point keeping things that are no longer useful or no longer make you happy. I will never be a minimalist, but I have been busy lately revisiting and rearranging thing, and getting rid of what is no longer needed.

And on that note, there are going to be a lot of people that need some extra help coming out of this scary time. Please consider donating your old clothes and items to places that will do the most good!


An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #3

Happy Friday my lovelies! How are you all coping with things today? My Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation tip today is a pretty important one, especially now that so many of you are working from home.

If you don’t have a home office, do try to keep a dedicated work space. Somewhere in your home where you can keep your computer, your books, your files, whatever paraphernalia you need to do your job, but keep it tidy and contained. 

Most of you usually have a commute to and from work, so there’s a real physical distance between your job and your home. Now that you’re at home, you don’t have that separation and it’s important to try to keep that work stress away from the rest of your life. 

This is an especially stressful time for everyone right now, so we should do what we can to minimise that. I highly recommend keeping to a set schedule as much as possible, and when you’re done with work for the day, step away and enjoy the rest of your home life. For me, relaxing in my library with a glass of wine is a great end to the day!


An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #2

Hello my lovelies! Here’s another tip from An Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation: Binge watching!
 
With Netflix and Disney+, plus whatever movies or tv shows you have in your collection, I’m sure you have a LOT to watch! Personally, I also love watching all the special features, behind the scenes stories, and of course bloopers! 

So I looked up the run time of the Lord Of The Rings movies, and the extended versions are over 12 hours total. Obviously, that’s not including the approximately three weeks worth of special features, which should keep you going for a while! I have always loved the artwork connected with the books, especially that done by Alan Lee and John Howe, who are two of my idols. And you get to see quite a bit of them in the special features, which makes my little geek heart happy! 

I tend to rewatch old shows and movies that I know and love, and don’t have to pay much attention to, since I’m usually also crafting or catching up with social media at the same time. I’m currently rewatching Buffy The Vampire Slayer and enjoying it immensely! What are you watching right now?


An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation #1

Hello my lovelies, here is my first official Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation video tip: READING!
 
I’m a huge bookworm and pass many happy hours reading. Personally, I love science fiction and fantasy tales. I love the escapism, and I feel like I need that now more than ever! But read whatever you want. Set up a book list of titles you always meant to read, and enjoy them. You could set up a book club with friends and discuss what you’ve read via FaceTime at the end of the week!

I’m the kind of person that will read anything, anywhere, (unless I’m in a car, because then I get motion sickness... but trains, planes and boats don’t bother me!) but if you’re not used to reading on a regular basis, I recommend you create a cosy nook at home, with plenty of light, comfy cushions and blankets, and your favourite drinks and snacks. You may never want to leave! 

What are you all reading right now? I’m rereading The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, which is definitely one of my most favourite books of all time. (It’s so difficult to pick just one!)


An Introvert's Guide To Self Isolation

Hello my lovelies. Lately I’ve had some requests for more videos. I’ve also seen a lot of dialogue about what to do during a lockdown. Well, as an introvert with several major health issues, I don’t leave the house very often at the best of times! So I thought I would use some of my quarantine time to film some hopefully helpful, hopefully amusing, short videos on tips and ideas for how to keep yourself entertained during this crazy time. Welcome to An Introvert’s Guide To Self Isolation! Stay safe, stay healthy, stay sane, and stay tuned for more videos to come. 

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day my lovelies! I know that most of you won't be able to celebrate in the ways you are accustomed to this year, due to the Coronavirus and self isolation, as well as most gatherings being cancelled or banned. Did you know that all the pubs in Ireland have been closed?! I worry far more about the affect this will have on the economy than I do about getting sick. Personally, I never experienced the crazy shenanigans some people expect today, until I moved to America. And it came as a big shock! I'll let you in on a little secret: Nobody drinks green beer in Ireland! Also, it's Patrick, or Paddy. Never, EVER, Patty!

My first St Paddy's Day here, my ex insisted on going out. We went to a dive bar that was playing reggae music. Not exactly traditional. Luckily for me, they were already out of green beer, and I was more than happy to drink Guinness instead. I was accosted by a huge Jamaican man with waist length dreadlocks from the band, for not wearing green. I pointed out that I was the most Irish thing in the room, but apparently that's not enough in this country. And I got pinched! That was new to me too.

Tonight, since I forgot to stock up on Guinness, I will most like be drinking cheap wine out of a Guinness pint glass, and watching Dropkick Murphys live stream their annual Boston concert, since they can't do the show in person. I am also wearing shamrock socks, so no pinches for me!
Here are some photos of my last trip to Donegal. These are the things I think about when I think of Ireland. It's not just about the green beer and wigs. To me, Ireland is blue waters, golden sands, grey rocks, and yes, the ubiquitous Black Stuff, as well as every shade of green that you can imagine. It's warm sun, cool mists, swimming in freezing waters, and bonfires on the beach. It's live music, beautiful singing, poetry, and a good craΓ­c. It's long hikes and warming up in a cozy pub afterwards. It's castles and pirates and a history both bloody and beautiful. I never lived there, but it is home. And I plan on moving as soon as I can make it happen. 



Sunday, 15 March 2020

PSA: Check On Your Strong Friends.

Hello my lovelies. I am sorry that it has been so long since I have written anything here. I have been going through a lot of emotional turmoil lately. I and my boyfriend of almost 12 years broke up back in January, and I have honestly been struggling significantly with my mental health. I am bi-polar, and I have depression, and have been that way for most of my life. Some days are better than others, but as you might imagine, certain life-changing events can easily set me into a downward spiral that is so difficult to crawl back up out of. The photo below was taken on a good day when I felt fierce and strong. The video was on a not-so-good day when I had zero hope. Sometimes those moments can be hours or even minutes apart.


One of my resolutions this year was to write more. I had intended to write here much more often, but then everything seems to have been put on hold while I dealt with these major changes in my life. I wanted to share my thoughts, my feelings, including about my depression, but then I wasn't sure if I should. I filmed the video here over a month ago, intending on sharing it then, but it was just too painful at the time. However, now I am feeling a little stronger and think that it does serve to get my point across. I think it is important to talk about mental health. There is still such a stigma surrounding that topic, and I personally, have dealt with decades of misunderstanding, fear and even loathing when people see those sides of me. Everyone is dealing with struggles and challenges we know nothing about. We know this. But it's easy to forget as we deal with our own issues. My point is, be kind. Check on everyone, including your strong friends.






Saturday, 8 February 2020

Shoutout to Ryan Parker Designs.

Shoutout Saturday! Please head over to the lovely @ryanparkerdesigns and show some support today! I bought myself this fabulously intricate sugar skull necklace a while back, and I love it so much! I keep getting compliments, and of course I tell people where to find it! You can find these necklaces and more in her Etsy shop, HERE.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend my lovelies. Watch this space for a big giveaway contest coming soon!







Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Shoutout to Sugar Knuckles

Woman Crush Wednesday! 
Hello my lovelies, I hope you’re having a good week? I want to introduce you to my dear friend Ariel of Sugar Knuckles, who made this incredible porcupine quill jewelry set. I love it so much!! Please head over to her page to say hello and check out some more of her wonderfully weird and creepy art. You can find her on Instagram HERE or on Facebook HERE.

 




Wednesday, 15 January 2020

CLEARANCE SALE Now On in my Etsy Shop!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 

I am having a huge spring cleaning sale in my Etsy Shop! In the clearance section you will find all sorts of my older jewelry and hat pins, all at 50% OFF! This is the best sale you’ll probably ever see me do, so please take advantage while it lasts!
Don’t forget, all orders over $35 get free domestic shipping!






Shoutout to Fierce Jewellery

I would like to say many, many thanks to the beautiful Anca of Fierce Jewellery for these gorgeous earrings. They were a Christmas treat for myself, and I’ve gotten so many compliments wearing them out already. I only met Anca somewhat recently towards the end of 2019, and she has been just an absolute sweetheart, and so supportive of me and other artists. Thank you!
I highly recommend you go check her out, say hello and have a look at her beautiful jewelry. You can find her Etsy Shop HERE.


P.S, I actually filmed this clip for a Shoutout Saturday, but forgot to upload it here, so it's a few days late! It has been a while since I’ve done one of these, and I owe so many of you amazing artists a proper shoutout. I promise I will be catching up with you all soon!

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Raffle for the Wildlife Affected by the Australian Bush Fires.

My lovelies, by now you must have heard of the devastation that the Australian bush fires are causing across that whole country. I am taking part in an online Giveaway Raffle in aid of WIRES in an attempt to raise money and awareness. 

The blazes have been burning across Australia for months, scorching homes and destroying entire towns. To date, nearly 18 million acres of land have been burned, most of it bush land, forests and national parks, which are home to the country's native wildlife.
Nearly half a billion animals have been affected by the fires in NSW alone with millions of them expected to be dead, according to ecologists at the University of Sydney. Birds, reptiles and mammals, (not including bats) are among those affected. Insects and frogs, however aren't included in that number, so it will be years before the true toll of this tragedy is known, as fragile ecosystems will fail.



To donate and enter into our Raffle:
Donate via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/creative
πŸ“Donations are taken in Australian Dollars. Currently $1 Australian = £0.52p or $0.69 US$
πŸ“A $1 Australian dollar donation = 1 entry


PLEASE ADD YOUR INSTAGRAM OR OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA IDENTITY/HANDLE TO THE MESSAGE OF SUPPORT/COMMENT WHEN MAKING YOUR DONATION TO ENABLE US TO CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE THE LUCKY WINNER!!


πŸ“Giveaway ends on the 30th January 2020 and anybody in the world is able to enter/donate!


πŸ“One winner will be contacted on Friday 31st January 2020 and will receive the following in the mail shortly thereafter from each individual maker: 


@driftwoodsails - ‘Together is the place to be’ set of driftwood cottages 
@tinyacornmightyoak - one set of sea themed affirmation cards
@surfandscout - Sterling and Tiger Eye earrings 
@wildvioletstudios - Fa-la-la-la-lama personalised, hanging ornament
@tanya47 - crocheted bunny in the winners choice of colours 
@spiraltidepottery - sea collage wall art 
@suszansart - one set of colourful affirmation cards 
@originalsinart - one pair of ceramic owl earrings 
@zamaviprints - 3 beautiful prints for the home 



Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this and especially to those who donate. And if you can't donate, please share wherever you can so that we can spread the word.

Short Story Anthology Coming SOON!

Hey everyone, I'm so sorry that I haven't written in so long. Between all the art shows I did at the end of the year, and getting ready for our trip to England over Christmas, I just never seemed to find the time! Hopefully this will make up for it a little, and I promise to write more soon. 

I’m thrilled (and a little terrified) to share this exciting news! I will be at the Williamsburg, VA Marscon on Friday 17th January for the official book launch party of the HCS Publishing anthology It Was A Dark And Stormy Night! If you remember, back in May 2019, I shared the news that I had entered a short story contest held by Hatton Cross Steampunk Publishing, and I won a spot in their upcoming anthology. 

Several of the other authors will be there at the launch party too, and some of us will be reading excerpts from our stories, so it’s a great opportunity to meet and greet and maybe pick up a copy of the book and get it signed! You can find out more information about Marscon HERE and I hope that I will see some of you there!