May Beauty Balance

Last time I posted a beauty balance post I had 5 items leaving my collection over what entered. Spoiler alert-at the end of this post, this number will remain the same.

I picked up two shampoos in the ulta hair event. Neither of which I’ve tried before.


And, I have two items leaving my collection:


One is a little sample of Replica fragrance which was lovely but didn’t seem to stick around all day, and the other a peppermint body scrub which I didn’t like at all.

It’s the end of May now, and I’ll be doing a final beauty balance post at the end of the month, after I do a project pan update. I don’t believe anything more will enter my collection this month. Next month is a “rough” month, as I receive fab fit fun and boxycharm. But, that’s my last ever fab fit fun box, my subscription has been canceled. That’s one less subscription from my subscription purchasing spree last year. All that is left is boxycharm for June and July and then I have to make a decision, do I want to keep just the one subscription or do I want to move on from them entirely. I think the best thing to do though is to take a break and work through the items in my stash. Then I can revisit if I am ready to subscribe again. But as it stands, I am still 5 items leaving over what has entered and I will definitely have more that will leave my collection at the end of the month.

3 Color Challenge day 3

First of all, let me state for the record that I am currently messing around with how I am taking photos of my eye looks. I have not been happy with what I’ve been doing thus far. The full impact and punchiness of the looks haven’t really and truly shown through. I think this is, in part, the fact that the selfie facing camera on my phone just isn’t good enough. So yesterday I experimented with the mirror and the forward facing camera. After all, I really did want to capture just how cool the pink/gold duo chrome highlighter looked over the purple eyeshadow.

When I got home from work and got changed into comfy clothing to take the dogs for a walk, I wandered into the craft room to see if I could experiment, and here’s what I got.


This is after a workday of wear, but you can certainly see the glitter a bit better.

I experimented a bit more this morning and I will continue to do so in order that these looks come across in more reality than they have been. But, let’s talk about today’s look.

I loved the mac duochrome highlighter so much over the top of the purple that I thought I would try it again today.


This time I used Cinnamon as a transition shade. You might think that looks a little intense for a transition on light skin like mine, and you’d be right. But, I had decided that I would go in very lightly and tap off my brush before blending into my transition area.

Then, I used a dark brown matte shade from my JH morphe palette, once which isn’t pictured. The colorway is called chip. This was for my crease and I did use this in my outer corner as well.

Then, on the inner half of my eyelid I used Poppy and on the outer half of my eyelid I used Royalty. I figured I might as well get some more use out of that purple. Then, I popped the mac highlighter over the entire thing.

Under my eye, I used cinnamon and then I used Royalty at the outer corner as a liner. I used my Cover FX face palette brightener as my inner corner highlight and a nude pencil in the water line.

So, this look is a bit more red and a bit less intense than yesterday, but still quite dramatic. But I like it.

So, that’s it for my 3 challenge looks this week. Since once I get this ball rolling, each shadow will spend a total of 3 weeks in my rotation, I figured the only fair thing to do was to use a random number generator to pick which shadow leaves my collection this round. Turns out, it’s Royalty, and I can’t say I am disappointed about that. But, I have not yet used the random number generator to choose the incoming color for next week. I’ll post that at the beginning of next week.

So that’s a wrap for week one of my little challenge. It was a good time. But, I am looking forward to just using one palette tomorrow morning.


3 Color Challenge

Day two look of my 3 color weekly challenge coming right up. If you missed it, here are swatches of the colors I am working with.


Today I decided I really needed to give the purple a go. I mean, prior to this I’d just used it as eyeliner. I know that it’s dark and intense and not something I am used to wearing so I wasn’t sure what I should do. But, I’ve come up with something I rather like.

First I took the ace beaute grandiose palette:


Since the color poppy is also part of the challenge, I figured I’d start here. I used Clove as a transition and Poppy in the crease. Then I set down the purple from the JH Morphe palette all over my lid. I blended the edges so they didn’t look harsh (And all messed up.) Knowing full well I didn’t feel like having this dark color on my lid all day with no dimension and depth, I added my Mac highlighter from the Shiny Pretty Things collection, the one that is a duochrome shifting gold to pink, and popped that from my inner corner partway across the lid. Adding the sheer pink/gold sparkle overtop lightened the look quite a bit. It’s still dark, but it’s a bit less intense. I left the purple in the outer corner as is.

On the lower lashline, I used Clove and then the purple as more of a liner. On the inner corner, that’s where I used my third color, the sweet peach color from sydney grace. It’s rather too dark for an inner corner highlight, but I wanted to give it a try. I lined my waterline with a nude liner. If I’d thought about it, I would have tightlined in black but I didn’t think about it, so here we are.

The final look. I did have to wear my glasses today, my eyes decided that contacts were a no go. Probably ok since I am hiding behind them with such an intense eye look.

There you have it, look number two. Not sure what I’ll do for my third look, I might try something pretty subtle since both today and Monday feel quite bold.


Spinning and Garden

Time for a creative eye look was not forthcoming this morning. I woke up a little late and had to keep things low key. Thankfully, I took plenty of photos yesterday to get a blog post up this morning.

First of all, my spinning. I am working on the singles for a 3 ply. I have 6 ounces of this fiber, and I am spinning it as thin as the last progress. So, I am pretty certain I’ll have a nice sock weight yarn when I am done.


This is not a typical color combo for me, but I really like it. It’s so dark! I am about halfway through the third bobbin at this point.

After I grabbed these photos I decided to do a little walk around the yard and take photos. As you can see above, it was raining. But only a little rain. It was predicted that it would rain all last evening and all of today as well. That didn’t happen. But, I’d taken photos in anticipation that taking photos wouldn’t be possible today. (Who knows what kind of rain we’ll get this afternoon, hard to say.)

Anyhow, let’s take a look at what is blooming in my garden!

My two variations of columbine are blooming and looking lovely. I really want to put more in at some point, but I should really take a look at my seed stash to see if I have seeds. It’s so easy to grow from seed here, so I don’t want to buy a fully fledged plant if I don’t have to.

You’ll see a burgundy iris in the orange columbine photo. Here’s another gorgeous iris!


I think I picked up this one last year to go with my regular purple irises, but those are not blooming yet. I am still searching for the perfect yellow iris for this particular iris bed.

Mr. Ink’s allium is on the left and a gift from Mr. Ink on the right. I thought the right-hand flower was just so pretty and dramatic when I saw it at my favorite farmer’s market. Mr. Ink didn’t like the price so I didn’t purchase it. He apparently found it elsewhere for a price he preferred and brought it home for me. (I believe this is a Centaurea called amethyst in snow.)

Now for some ground cover:

On the left we have 4-year-old sweet woodruff in the front and two varieties of lamium in the back. This garden bed, when we moved in, was completely blank. When I dug down, I realized the bed was actually a thin layer of topsoil over the landsccaping fabric. When I dug through the landscaping fabric, it was just gravel and sand. So, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to plant much that wasn’t fairly hardy there. It’s on the very north side of the house, it’s always shady and wet, and the soil is crap. So, it’s amazing to me that 4 years later we’ve got ground cover that looks so lovely! I also have 3 varieties of astilbe in there that are doing just fine, though I did amend the soil around them so that they could grow appropriately.

On the right, that’s thyme as a ground cover and something else purple I can’t remember what. These are things which grew from seed that Mr. Ink planted just last year. All last year there was just the hint that the thyme would take, but this year it’s ALL over. Looking amazing.

And then there’s the garden anticipation. We should see flowering of the first of my peonies this week. My lovely clematis I planted JUST last year which stayed very small last year is now waist high and ready to bloom, I can’t believe it! We might be dealing with gloomy cool days and plenty of (needed) rain, but it is clear that around here, spring really has sprung.

Inspired By

I’ve been really inspired by the youtube project pan roulettes that are based on panning eyeshadows. The basic premise is that you write down every single eyeshadow color you own, number them, and then use a random number generator to concentrate on 6 shadows until you hit pan. When you hit pan on one, you use the random number generator to pick the next shadow to roll in. I love this idea, it’s so interesting to me. However, as a newer makeup lover, I have lots of shadows and not many that are close to having pan.

Nevertheless, yesterday I wrote down every single eyeshadow without pan in my collection. Originally I had thought that I would play along with the eyeshadow pan roulette. But I would choose 3 shadows instead of 6. So, I picked my 3 shadows. Then, I thought about it a bit longer and decided that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Instead, I am going to use those 3 shadows to create looks during the week. Then, I am going to roll one out and one in for the next week. This will have me rotating the shadows regularly and getting creative with what looks I can make.

Of course, there will be photos. But first, let’s look at what the random number generator chose for me this week.


The left swatch is a sydney grace single called Just Peachy. The middle is Poppy from Ace Beaute grandiose palette. And the purple is Royalty from the Morphe Jaclyn Hill palette.

So, it should be interesting to play with these three, add other shadows, and see what I can come up with. I think this will be an enjoyable way to make me think creatively and a great way to stumble through my entire collection.

For the record, I have 233 shadows at the moment. These do not include the shadows that I’ve hit pan on (there are only 3 of those anyhow). So, if I don’t get completely bored with it, this particular challenge could go on for a very long time. I am eager to use the ones I’ve chosen, but there are certainly some colors in my collection I am going to find very difficult to use for 3 weeks at a time! But the point is to play in my collection and think creatively, so I am sure I’ll figure it out.


On to today’s look. For the record, I plan to try to create 3-4 looks per week using these. I want to make sure I am thinking creatively, but I also want to make sure that I have an opportunity to use other palettes in my collection as well. Anyhow, today. I circled in light gray the colors that are in my little challenge. I circled in dark gray the additional colors I used for today’s look.

I started with the lightest shade as a transition and used the brick colored matte in my crease (both circled in dark gray.) Then, I packed Poppy all over my lid. Poppy packed on the eyelid isn’t as punchy as I imagined it would be. I am wondering if giving it a sticky base would have been wiser. I had hoped for a really dark wash of color because I put Just Peachy over the first 2/3 of the eyelid, looking for poppy to darken it up. It didn’t quite work as I’d expected.

Then, I decided I also wanted to incorporate Royal. I have no rule about trying to use all three challenge colors in a look at once, I simply figured I’d try anyhow. I started with the brick colored matte under my eye. Then I used the lightest colored matte to smudge out the brick color. Then I took Royal as an eyeliner on the upper and lower lash line. Using a nude or shimmery gold liner on the inner waterline would have been smart but I completely forgot. I do think that it would have really amped up my look. I used the brightener from my cover FX face palette for the inner corner and browbone. I don’t typically use a shimmer on my brow bone, but this look was translating pretty dark and I wanted to brighten it up in some way.

A closing thought from day 1. First of all, I’ve gotten a bit spoiled with some nice high-end eyeshadow palettes. And I’ve ignored my Morphe JH palette completely. Now that I’ve used it, I am absolutely finding that the mattes are harder to blend than the nicer palettes I own. I am going to leave it in the challenge for now, but it is entirely possible that this one may someday get decluttered to Miss Butterfly. Which would please her just fine I am certain, as she’s the one who has gotten the most use out of it up until this point anyhow. That being said, she’s got a pretty hardcore obsession with BH Cosmetics palettes, and she probably doesn’t use this palette that much these days either.

I am truly not sure how I’ll use royalty. this is just not a shadow I have much interest in. I am going to have to come up with something though, as I definitely want to give it a try tomorrow. I also think I’d better add a nude lipstick to my purse if I want to keep playing with shadows this way. I am trying to pan the bite beauty lipstick I am wearing in the above photo, but it’s a bit dark for the dark eye looks.

In any case, that’s the first post of a new challenge I am quite excited about. I am really looking forward to moving through my collection and seeing just how far I get. I have the idea that I need to get this all in an excel spreadsheet so I can delete the shadows I’ve already used. But, that can be a project for another day, there’s no chance of me struggling to get a random number generator to come up with something new for me with 233 shadows to choose from. At least not any time soon.

Good Coffee Morning

I’ve been suffering through not great coffee for a few weeks. I decided life is too short to keep suffering, so I asked Mr. Ink to get me better coffee the next time he was at the store. He came home with better coffee on Friday evening. Saturday morning we had to leave really early for the race. I figured I’d keep drinking bad coffee because I wouldn’t have much time to enjoy it anyhow. It was more utilitarian than relaxing at that point. But THIS morning I cracked into my good coffee and I have nothing pressing that I have to go do.

It’s a good morning. For the record, I mixed the bad and good coffee, so hopefully the upcoming week will be more pleasant but I’ll still use up all the coffee I don’t care for.

This weekend I finished my 8 ounces of 2 ply project. I have 1500 yards! That’s certainly enough to do just about anything with!

I am thrilled to pieces with this skein. It’s a huge project but very satisfying. Naturally, I am already on to my next spinning project. Still no knitting in sight, at least at home. But, I have been getting bored enough with spinning from time to time to get regular household chores done. This means the spinning bug is leveling somewhat. For a while there, all I wanted to do was spin. I am thankful that the worst of the obsession has passed.

We went without power for a number of hours yesterday afternoon. No telling why. There was a storm system south of us but I don’t think that could have been it. I think our area was fortunate, as we only went without power a little over 3 hours while many of my local friends suffered more than 6 hours without power. It is so strange just how quiet the house gets when there is no power. We live with so much ambient noise. Meanwhile, the road outside our house gets quite loud, it is heavily traveled and when the stoplights quit working the traffic backs up miserably. I was so glad I had nowhere to be other than home! And, if you have to go without power for a time, better on a day of pleasant weather. In any case, I feel privileged that going without power for a few hours a day is an anomaly enough to complain about, that’s not the case in many parts of the world.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

The Neat Trick

The Neat Trick about keeping a project at work and knitting through lunch hour is that you may end up with a finished object even when you feel like you really aren’t knitting at all lately.


That is how I ended up with another spiral scarf. The yarn is Miss Marja’s handspun and I really enjoyed knitting the gradient of it!

This brings me to 48% of my goal of knitting 40 projects this year. Very helpful when the other goal is to knit down stash and all I am doing right now is adding yarns to my stash through spinning.

In other news, the dogs and family went out early this morning to participate in a run to support local dog rescues. It was good fun! We sent Rose with Miss Butterfly’s dad so she could run fast with him, and then the rest of us walked with Lizzie. Rose’s nerves did quite well, there were a couple of difficult moments but by and large she seemed to have a great time. Miss Butterfly’s dad says she did pretty well overall, and really got the hang of it in the second half of her run. Despite the fact he’s a fast runner, he struggled to keep up with her, which is no surprise to those of us who take her to the dog park regularly. I do hope he wants to run with her again. We were fortunate to have a break in the rain so that we didn’t get wet, though the trails were very muddy. We were also fortunate that the temperature was extremely pleasant.

Mr. Ink had to work after that, so we had to grab both dogs and head home while Miss Butterfly and her dad and step mom stuck around to visit the vendors and pick up free treats for the dogs. Now I am getting that enjoyable rare opportunity to have the house to myself with two extremely sleepy and quiet dogs. It’s been a pretty lovely saturday so far!