Austin Toy Museum

January 24, 2017

We happened upon this dog-friendly toy museum when we last visited Austin. It reminded me of a laboratory with the glassed-in cases and piles of stuff. It was a fun place, although I wished the Barbies had been positioned a little better for display.

You could also play vintage Nintendo, Super Nintendo and arcade games to your heart’s content.


At Full English Cafe, we had a pot of Lipton Yellow Label with cream and sugar. I ate an egg sandwich, while my husband had a cheese pasty. He also had a piece of Guinness chocolate cake for dessert.

This is one of my favorite places to stop in Austin. The vibe is casual and understated, which complements the fine food and tea very nicely.

Quilted hanging

January 16, 2017


Over winter break I finished this quilted hanging and put it in the upstairs bathroom. It has been in progress at least since 2012, possibly 2011. I didn’t really know what I was doing with the quilting. I used my own logic. Except for being slightly crooked in places, it turned out like I wanted it to, so I made plans to make another one for the kitchen. I have some coffee-themed fabric I want to pair with my iron-on coffee embroideries, which I ironed onto gray fabric for a change.

Those I will not get to right away. I began a mermaid embroidery for my study, and I ironed two basket pictures on ivory, as well, to complete this year. My samurai cross stitch is still in progress.

Makeup reorganization

January 16, 2017

Yesterday I reorganized my makeup, jewelry and hair accessories in anticipation of starting a new semester tomorrow. Mewen was watching me take photos this morning.

I put most of my jewelry and hair accessories in storage. I found three more of my large bobby pins, which was wonderful. They are left over from having my hair in formal updos, three times in my life. Prom, marriage, and a banquet for my husband’s award. Otherwise, I can’t find bobby pins large enough to use, so I have saved these over the years. I put all of my colored hair accessories in storage, because I never use them, and they add clutter.

I wanted to have some of my makeup close to me, because I love to see some of these pieces every day. Among them are my Nyx aqua mascara, my Lime Crime lip sticks, my pink matte lip colors by Nyx and Blackheart, my loose Sugar Pill eye shadow, my Medusa’s Makeup Ghostly shimmer, and my new UD lip stick and lip gloss. The less cool stuff is in my bureau drawer.

I felt guilt recently about buying the UD lip colors in impractical, maybe even unflattering colors, and I thought more about it. I feel this is a time when nontraditional lip colors are available, and I really want to be a part of that. I am not interested in looking “good,” whatever that entails, or “on trend.” I want to have these things as a means to add a different expression to my day through my appearance, or just to have on my bureau to inspire me. I feel like a voice in my head tells me these colors are not very flattering, but this isn’t about flattering my “beauty.”

People in different cultures have worn makeup for very different reasons. Sometimes as tribal or war-related meanings, or as part of their sport or profession. Sometimes as spiritual protection, too. Those reasons speak much more to me than simply using makeup as a beauty tool. Even though it can be hard to quell some of my materialistic tendencies, it would be no fun to simply use makeup like I do a cotton swab, and always buy the same colors.

Makeup, face and hair

January 15, 2017

This weekend in Austin I did some beauty shopping.

Urban Decay’s lip glosses and “vintage” lip sticks were on sale, so I bought one of each. I bought the “Bittersweet” lip gloss. It was such a beautiful fantasy lavender shade, and I did not feel like buying something similar to the other colors I have. I bought the “vintage” lip stick in “Frostbite.”

I wore “Frostbite” last night, and I have it on today just at home. I nearly bought “UV-B,” but I had second thoughts since it is not technically in my “color family.” I wear navy colors well, and the dark blue doesn’t clash on my lips, as long as one doesn’t mind seeing that color in that location, and I certainly like it.

I reorganized my makeup to reflect my new interests. My new purchases tend to come from Lime Crime and cheaper brands inspired by them, and the colors I wear most are yellow, green, orange and blue. Additionally, I buy indie, more homemade-type brands in small pans, and I have been smashing up my old eye shadow and putting it in glass jars, so my old makeup storage doesn’t work for me anymore.

Since I don’t wear much jewelry anymore, I put my jewelry in storage and put my makeup in my jewelry case. My favorite colors remain my Lime Crime lip sticks, particularly “Mint to Be.” I haven’t found any eye shadows that are better than my old Urban Decay “Polyester Bride” and “Midnight Cowboy” smashed in the jars.

I have been refraining from commercial beauty products (besides makeup) for a long time. It gets boring sometimes, but I have felt good about the results on my face. I use straight jojoba oil on my face now. I got it for a beauty project I never did, and now I’m almost done with the bottle. I add a couple of drops of essential oil to my hand, usually rose, because that is the most gentle, to combine with the oil on my face. Since I stopped using expensive eye lift creams and face serums, my face has looked just as good, if not better. Sometimes the lavender oil irritates my face, but it’s refreshing.

I stopped using commercial products because I was worried about additives, the price and animal testing. I thought I would try doing it this way before I started buying even more expensive natural products from whole goods stores, and it works well.

I get really bored doing body lotions and fragrance this way. I buy big bottles of unscented lotion from whole goods stores, and add essential oil to it in my hand before applying it. The only essential oil I really enjoy now is spearmint, but I can’t use it, even on my feet, at this time. It feels like getting ice water dumped all over me once my skin starts absorbing it.

I put henna on my hair Thursday, and it looks pretty good. The Rajasthani henna doesn’t give me as powerful a result as the Nupur. The Nupur veers into looking crimson at times, so it has been good to switch between them, but I think I’m ready to go back to Nupur. I also used a weaker black tea to activate the henna, because I want to save the good stuff to drink. I may use stronger tea next time. This is such a labor-intensive process I want it to work well every time.

Old Urban Decay palette

January 9, 2017

I am really attached to my old Urban Decay “Sell Out” Face Case. I have had it since around 2005. The eye shadow colors are X, Roach, Polyester Bride, and Midnight Cowboy.

Polyester Bride and Midnight Cowboy were originally my two favorite eye shadows, but they hardened after a few years, and I could no longer apply them.

Today, I cracked each eye shadow out of the tin and into its own small jar, and I mashed each eye shadow into a powder. I applied a little loose powder from Polyester Bride before going out, and it had the same heavy coverage and sparkle I remembered from before.

I did the same thing with the X blush.

The X and Roach eye shadows are exactly the same as when I bought the face case, so I didn’t pulverize them.

The lip colors are Gash Lipstick, Biker Lip Gunk, Shotgun Lip Gunk and Carney XXX Shine. I used up most of Carney XXX and Biker several years ago. I still have about half of Shotgun and all of Gash. The only UD product I’ve bought since this time is a Vice lipstick in Jilted which is pinker and more iridescent than Gash.

I wanted to keep the old with me just a little longer, at least until I use it all up. I want to be able to wear something from those times. It felt like the world was my playground around that time, 2003-2007. There’s something I’m trying to take out of that time with me now.

January 4, 2017

I’m the lucky one
Always having fun
I tie back my hair

I sit and watch T.V.
I see only me
Though I look for you there

Oh, where have you gone?
Were you canceled?
I change to channel 2
You were the one
Who gave me all my answers
I changed
So did you

Try another show
with the volume low
I make up what they say
Where it used to be your face
Is an empty face
Your co-stars look away

Oh, where have you gone
And do you miss me
And what we used to do?
You were the one
Who’d talk and smile for half an hour
Always new

I’m the lucky one
I watch a re-run
It looks a lot like you

One star lost a family
One family lost a star
That’s why I wait and watch
To find out where you are

One family lost a star
One star, they lost their family
That’s why I sit at home alone
And watch T.V.

I can watch forever
I can watch for hours
It just gets better
It gives me power
I can watch for hours
I can watch forever
It gives me pleasure
It makes me better

I’m the lucky one
Always having fun

December 31, 2016

Oh! the joy
Of young ideas painted on the mind,
In the warm glowing colours fancy spreads
On objects not yet known, when all is new,
And all is lovely!

Hannah More