Saturday, March 31, 2007

Are you a Lady?

American Doll Posse

You Are 76% Lady
Overall, you are a refined lady with excellent manners.But you also know when to relax and not get too serious about etiquette
Are You A Lady?

Am I, now?
Off of
We were

Madeleine in Spring

It's not as happy
As it seems...

Call me Huck Finn

In the Navy
Wrapped in metal

Wrapped in ivy

Vertical Whoa
Painted in mint ice cream

Smooth Move

Anyone else not quite understand the picture that goes along with the result? And yes, more Tori/American Doll Posse references. You didn't think you escaped, did you? I couldn't resist select lines from Bouncing Off Clouds.

My Outfits: You should be able to click for larger versions and specks.

76% lady, 100% female,

Ivy Frozen

Monday, March 26, 2007

Kim Harrison, Super Hero in Disguise

The Hollows Gang 2

The day I celebrated my birthday (it's actually the last day of this month), two of my best and I went to a book signing by Kim Harrison. (Check out the Appearances page. There's a picture of me and Mashi Chan in both the Fistful or Charms tour and the For a Few Demons More tour, the two signings of hers we attended.)

Kim Harrison writes The Hollows series which follows Rachel Morgan and her journey to find happiness, something I'm sure many of us can relate to. She's sort of a cross between a private eye and cop. Ergh, it's hard to explain, but the hero of our tale is a witch, who's partners with a living vampire and a pixie, and who's legally part of a two person werewolf pack (for insurance purposes). If that doesn't get you, perhaps the villainous cast of demons, dead vampires, and smooth talking business men will. How about all the fun it pokes at Disney with curses like, "Damn it all to Disneyland!" and "Tink's panties!" and "Tink is a Disney whore!" Or how about the killer, genetically altered tomatoes that decimated about half of the world's human population? Humans getting tomatoe products on the down low? Illegal human genetic manipulation? Line dancing vampires? Come on, this series is just a whole lotta awesome! It's awesome prime! While I doubt it will be featured in the literature section of the bookstore anytime soon, this series is a great fun read. While it has plenty of serious and dark plots going on, Ms. Harrison injects so much fun into it that you never feel like slitting your wrist after reading it. You should hear her read it aloud too; her fun tone is very evident. Already on the fifth book in her series (I think), each book is just as good and if not better than the previous one and I have high hopes that she can keep the series up, unlike those series that tend to go downhill after a few books. Keeping my fingers crossed for the sixth book, although perhaps I should finish number 5 first. Dead Witch Walking is the first book in the series, so check it out if you need some light and lite reading and don't let the whole it being in the horror section thing scare you away.

But, this post isn't really to pimp her books out to you, this is about Ms. Harrison's style and her green-eyed dragon conjuring ability at looking good in photos.

Exhibit A) Pick up For a Few Demons More, her latest novel and first hardcover. Flip it over and look at the back of the cover where her author picture is. She made herself look amazingly tall with those black pants and the fun pose.

Exhibit B) At the book signing I went to, she had the coolest jacket. Unfortunately, this is the only photo I got with the jacket in it, and you can't see the awesomeness that is the back of it. It has a little bounce and a jagged hem. Now while that has little to do with the whole photogenic thing, I just had to mention it.

Exhibit C) Look at the picture at the top. She reminds me of a superhero. I think it's the flippy hair. And the stance.

For the Love of Tink Dress Signing Exhibit D) Doesn't she just remind you of a black rose here?

Here's a better look at my dress for the signing.

For the Love of Tink! better colors

It's a Forever 21 dress. It had this annoyingly ugly, decorative and non-functional shoe-lace bow on the front, which I cut off. The length was also a little long for my preference, since it made the dress look like a lazy swimwear cover up, which the dress very well may have been. With the way it showed ALL lines south the bustline, I hope it was. You might be able to tell that's so not me if you've read even the teeniest portion of this blog. My solution? I ripped out the seem below the best (and cut the back which lacked the waist band) and cut a few inches off from the bottom portion of my cut, and then sewed it back up with elastic thread. I had to use elastic since I had to hand sew it quickly as the machine wasn't coorperating. I kind of like the scalloped edge effect the elastic thread produced.

As for the design, I used black fabric paint to post a line from one of the character's of the Hollows series, "For the love of Tink!" on it and then painted tiny foot prints since the character is a pixie.

In the picture on the top, Mashi Chan has a line by the same character on her shirt, which says, "Sweet Mpther of Tink!" She's also sporting a red bandanna as the character does at a point in the story as a simple of peace.

The Sabre Kitty right next to me in that photo is sporting a shirt that says, "Kissed by Kist," another character from the book. I swear she convinced all of Oakland we were gay lovers, by hanging on to me, giving evil glares, and enticing me to join her in Ipod Karaoke (which was actually really fun because it's totally what I want to do when listening to my mp3 but fear doing because I'm convinced I'll be stoned for it) because of all the attention I received for wearing my minidress. I mean, have the people of Oakland never seen a minidress before? On the BART this one guy just seemed mesmerized by me as I stood (coming into his view for the first time) and exited the train. If I notice it and can't argue it as something else, you're really bad at subtlty.

Anywho, back on track, the tee I'm holding up says, "It's All Part of my Master Plan," which is a reference to more of a theme in the book. Many of the characters have plans going on, but the original intent of the tee was to make it for Ivy, the character who gets screwed the most by Harrison. You know, the character who everything bad seems to happen to. I felt her pain, plus her first name is the same as my internet first name, while my full internet name wouldn't be out of place on her for the same reasons it applies to me. So, some Ivy Tamwood love, peoples!

The back of all the shirts (not including the dress) say "Go Turn Yourself!" A wonderfully fun curse from the book that I won't explain so as to not spoil the books for you anymore. You must understand why Ms. Harrison loved it so much she gave me and the friends charms.

Lucky Charms

The star fell on the ground and the guy that the friends and I assumed was a bodyguard (nice guy =) said it was bad luck. He told us to take one charm each, but I had picked up the star and tried to give it back, but my attempts kinda failed... (You know how stuff just kinda goes fast and you're just like, "Okay.") So I kept the star and the heart. I don't fear the bad luck though, since bad luck tends to turn into good luck around me. It's kind of odd; as Midoriko is for demon souls, I am for bad luck. So far, it just seems to give me an odd attraction to cats (one which followed me to the best stop this morning, demanding I pet it directly after running away from two other people who tried to pet it) and a general feeling of happiness. Kim Harrison must be some sort of super hero witch (No relation to Tarot), since she's always handing out charms and wearing cool that witch-chic coat... Maybe that's why her pictures are all so awesome!

Pictures: Click for larger versions and more info. The shoes in my outfit are these payless spray painted a softed yellow than they appear in the picture. Bakers has a slightly more expensive option in bold patent yellow (as well as other colors such a red) with a more almond toe than round.

"I'm going to be the master of disguise,"
Ivy Frozen

All Curls Are Not Created Equal

Crazy Hair

I've been getting a lot of comments on my hair and questions on what I do to it, so I've decided to post the detail version here, so I can just give the basics and direct people here if they want the full story.

Now, we launch into a brief history of my curls to better understand them and make me feel more important. My mom (African American, Native American and a dash of Caucasian) didn't know how to deal with my curls when I was younger, and would spend hours every Wednesday combing them out, just like her grandma used to do for her. My dad always told my mom she should comb my hair while it was wet like he did (Puerto Rican with cork screw curls kept short), but my mom always said it didn't work since my hair likes to dreadlock. I didn't live in an area with a lot of people who had curls, so I always thought my hair was weird and should be straight. When I got older, I started using a light relaxer on my hair, but my hair was never quite how I wanted it; it was never straight enough, soft enough, and non-oily enough. I stopped straigtening my hair when I got burned by the relaxer on my forehead. (The burns still hurt when it's hot out and they're either oily or dry.) The double edged sword is that I have a low hairline, so the burns are kind of hidden in that, while it was probably trying to get that hair that caused them in the first place.

Well, it turns out my dad was right.

Ivy's Daily Hair Routine (all done in the shower.)

Materials: John Frieda's Curl Around Daily Shampoo and conditioner (The deep conditioner sucks.) and a wide toothed comb.

1. Hop in shower and drench hair. My hair curls up so thick, I have to pull my hair straight and finger comb it to achieve the drench. Otherwise, the water just sits on the top layer of my hair, leaving the inside layers and bottom dry. Keep water on the cooler side; warmer water creates frizz since it dries out both your body and hair. As a staunch fan of hot showers, I ignore this sometimes because I'm freaken cold and usually my hair gets me back for this. I suggest doing some light exercise to warm yourself up before you hop in the shower so you can keep the water at a lower temperature.

2. I usually wash my body next. If I'm doing a full wash on my hair, which I do once to twice a week depending on when my hair tells me it needs it, then I shampoo my hair once, wash it out, and then apply the conditioner to my hair (see step 4) and then use the comb to hold it up while I wash my body. It's also a good idea to put the conditoner in at this point if your hair's really dry or you want it weighed down a little more.

3. I shampoo just the roots of my hair around where my part is to keep my hair from being weighed down to much there.

4. Time to add the conditioner! I have so much hair that I divide my hair into 4 parts to add the conditioner: 2 in front and two in back with my part being the dividing line in the middle. I add the conditoner to all parts of my hair, including the roots, and finger comb it through. The conditioner is what's gonna hold my hair together, including taming those flyaways at the top.

5. Now, take the wide tooth comb and comb the conditioner through from roots to end. You can also use a smaller toogh comb, but I recommend the finger combing from previous steps and the wide tooth comb to get rid of major tangles before attempting to use a comb with smaller teeth. My hair is a known comb-breaker. I do get some nice, defined curls from a tiny tooth comb, but I'm too lazy to use it everyday.

As you're combing, notice the texture of your hair. It should feel silky and soft after the comb has passed through. If it feels dry or course, you didn't put enough conditioner in or you put in too much.

This is also pretty much the point where I style my hair, pretty much just based on the part.

6. Now wash out with warm to cool water. Water temperature will effect results; you should be able to feel it in how your hair feels. Cool water will result in more weighed down hair while warmer water will leave it fluffier. I usally comb through my hair has I rinse it, and use my hands to get that conditioner out of the roots, which are the stubbornest. It's okay to leave some conditioner in the hair; I usually rinse until my hair doesn't feel like it has conditioner on it and feels soft. If it's crunchy, you probably used too much conditioner and/or left too much in.

7. I squeeze the excess moisture out of my hair and may dab-towel try the dripping tips of my hair. I usually dry the rest of myself off and then put the towel over my shoulders to catch the drips off my hair. Then I change, careful to around things that need to slide over my hair hence I own no turtlenecks, and let my hair air dry.

8. My hair does dry funky, different parts often rising and drying before others. If my hair seems too weighed down, or I know it will based on the feel, I flip my head upside down and pull my hair at the roots. Then right myself and I'm ready to go! The flip is better to do with hair is dry or near dry. My hair is so thick it does take practically all day to dry fully, but only an hour or so to dry enough for the flip and appear dry. A nice breeze is great for drying the hair though and will usually add the right amount of volume for me. Staying inside, breeze free, my hair will usually lack volume so going out with wet hair is good for me.


The Curl Around Deep conditioner is just absorbed by my hair and I swear it makes my hair drier!

I don't use jells or curl definers or anything because I usually end up adding frizz by trying to add them to my hair. Plus, they tend to make my hair plastic-y. When my hair gets messed up, it usually looks like it was intentional, so my hair kinda goes from day to night by itself throughout the course of the day. The exception to that is rainy day frizz. I usually done a hat, scarf, or put my hair up in a messy bun on those days.

If you really want this to work, I suggest trying it at least twice. The first time, my hair was not happy about switching rutines. Plus, if my hair is really tangly, it tends to come out frizzy. Also, there's the issue of my unreasonable love of sauna-esk showers, that actually sometimes leave me dehydrated (as in about to pass out dehydrated). But, by hydrating it, my hair comes out soft and less prone to dreadlocking and tangling, and usually just flies through the next time.

As the title says, remember all curls are not created equal! In addition, the result we curly girls are looking for varies too.

Photo: Click for more info.

Curly Girlie,
Ivy Frozen

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Because 3 is a Magic Number

Insane Bunny Posse

So, the Catwalk Queen posted a post on airbrushing software being available on teen fashion websites and whether this was a good idea or not. I would have simply typed a comment, but my response to it was a little long for just the comment section, so I left an abbreviated version in the comments section and decided to expand over here. Because. I. can.

Now, this airbrushing business....

I think it just reinforces how fake everything is, and that this perfection we see in magazines is due to skilled photoshoppers and does not exist in the real world. It's almost empowering to see how you too can look like those "photos" in magazines, and those before and after shots show that those stars have imperfections too.

Also, in response to Julia's comment, I don't see why someone would see an airbrushed photo as something to aspire to unless they specifically airbrush it to use for that purpose. Even if they know their airbrushed it, many people will airbrush it to a point where they feel it looks like them (or their view of themselves.). These people probably do not have low self esteem though, and perhaps that's because they do see themselves as a "perfect version" of themselves. (Of course, this could start a lovely philosophicle discussion on what DO we really look like? Do we look the same to everyone's eyes? Can we ever truly see ourselves since even reflective surfaces like mirrors distort?)

As someone who takes horrible photos that really don't look like me, I do end up airbrushing a bit sometimes, such as airbrushing distracting shine out, sometimes weird shadows or spots from the image. (Yes, I do airbrush a bit sometimes but rarly and I'm sure those of you with better eyes than my nearsighted ones have perhaps seen the extent of my amateur photoshopping in PSP.) I've even smoothed out some odd wrinkles in clothes that were made more prominent in the photo than it was to the human eye. Cameras naturally distort, depending on the angle of the shot, lighting, etc. Sometimes, airbrushed or photoshopped pictures are closer to the real thing.

Take the picture on the top of this post for example, obviously photoshopped together. (Click on it for a bigger view) One me is even flipped. Look how distorted the middle image is, which just came out like that with no photoshopping done to it.

As for my background, I'm a person with high self esteem trapped in someone with low self esteem's body; i.e. while I have high self-esteem inside and certainly won't let anyone abuse me, my actions such as my shyness suggest otherwise. Plus, this shy low-self esteem and high self-esteem tend to switch often in being dominant in me to the point where I say that my reaction to something depends on the position of the moon and stars and the alignment of the planets.
I wore oversized jackets and sweaters (in 100+ degree farenheit heat) all through junior high and the early years of highschool. (For the first part of that phase, I wore oversized comfy clothes, but then I started wearing cute outfits but covering them with these oversized jackets because, well, fear and that low self esteem and even a little self loathing. I do think all those horrible pictures had soemthing to do with it too.) But, then I started seeing how all the magazines were airbrushed, and the stars really didn't look like that. (And well, other stuff too.) That helped me see how beautiful (that high self esteem peaking out again) I really was, so the oversized jackets and sweatshirts were ditched. And that lead to the steady grow of my confidence that I could wear anything I wanted and I wouldn't get stoned or something that really started happening in my senior year of highschool. (Like, last year.)

Not trying to attack anyone, just expressing my opinion straight from my head, and I will say that this airbrushing thing is really a double edged sword since people will take it and use it different ways, either as a postive thing or a negative thing.

Got your own opinion? Leave a comment here and/or over at Catwalk Queen. (I really just love these queens, don't I?)

My outfit: Click the pic for info

Keep the peace,
Ivy Frozen

Sunday, March 11, 2007

More from the Blogasphere

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In keeping with my current pattern, a second post along a similar theme. Some blogger said that she never get compliments on her shoes from men. I think it was Daddy Likey, but I'm prone to totally making up memories this late at night. I actually get compliments from men on my shoes all. the. time. From my dad, my uncle, male friends, and even guys on the street. They all have a favorite pair of my shoes.

Thus, let's do one of those boring clip shows where I show you pictures of my shoes that I had lying around. But, I raise that by adding commentary about said shoes.

Follow the Concrete Road
These are just my Happy Shoes. I really love all my shoes, but these just always make me smile, even if this photo is just a little sad. One of my guy friends was floored by these babies and ladies around the world can't help but agree with me that these shoes not only rock, but rock hard.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

These are my first heels, and my dad and uncle adore them. Yes, I know these barely qualify, but dammit, kitten heels are heels too. Let's not forget them in the midst of the stripper heels. I like them simple, with a little button detail to amp it up.

Disco Shoes

My sis calls these my slut shoes. I couldn't disagree more. These are dangerously low campared to shoes on the market now. The wedge is not more that 3-3 1/2 inches and they're pretty comfy. Unfortunately, the ties won't wrap up my leg and stay up nicely. If they show you shoes that do this, they lie. The shoes that wrap like that do not exist.


The guys in my photo class didn't even know what this was. Let's hope all of you recognized it as an espadrille and my staple shoes last autumn. A comfy low wedge that's quieter than a sneaker and I like the fell of the more natural sole.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The lace up boots receive a lot of attention, especially since I changed the laces again to black ones that end at the ankle. When I wear these, a lot of people stare at my feet and I get a few comments from women. Good ones are spoken directly to me; those comments of a questionable nature are whispered behind my back in those loud voices that all the college people around here possess that officially cancels the whisper out and elevates it to just below a yell or shout. Random guy on the street yelled out "Sexy Boots!" to me, and he wasn't one of the creepy sort on congregate on every corner in cities and catcall anything female that walks past.

The other pair of boots is the favorite of one of my guy friends. I like thme because their warm, comfy, and don't make my feet look like they were pumped up with air.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Bronze heels I bought for a special occasion and never wore since I found better shoes to fit the purpose. They're true to size 8 1/2s and for sale, if you dig em.

Hmmm, no pick of on of my cowboy boots that one of my male friends adores lying around, so maybe I'll take a pic of them tommorrow.

Shoes: all mine, all by me. Click on them for details. Multi-image hosting sites here, so that's why they're so randomly sized. Bear with while I figure out how to get all the right sizes where they should be. Until then, enjoy oversized pics.

Maquis de Shod,
Ivy Frozen

Friday, March 09, 2007

To The Bargain Queen

So, a bit ago, The Bargain Queen posted a series of posts about how the people generally considered fashionable don't follow trends. Certainly, I can't deny that evidence and must add my strong agreement. The only thing I have to complain about is that most of the people she showcased to support her point were boring.

Audrey Hepburn- Lovely woman, but she did play it safe. I've said it before, the the style associated with Audrey is terribly boring. Black, tailored, simple. I recall her in other colors, at least in her movies, but I've never seen anything in color called Audrey-esque. Oh, and total sacrilege but Breakfast at Tiffany's: I don't get it. Weird movie.

Corine Roitfeld- Once again she sticks to black, but she's the most fun icon the Bargain Queen mentioned. For those unfamiliar with her, she's the Anna Wintour of French Vogue. While she does stick with her black, she plays a lot with crazy shapes and textures, many of which would be a little much in say pastel pink. I actually hate her hair though and would really like to see her do something with it. It's just so stringy and limp, and she has such strong bone structure that she seems a little walking skeleton to me at times, especially combine with those fun shapes. Of course, I do have a history of random nightmares about family members turning out to be creepy skeletons and I can't watch Nightmare before Christmas without hurling. Literally. But, she obviously likes her hair like that, so she should keep rocking it. I can't totally despise it since I can't deny that it's very her and skeletons can be cool.

Anna Wintour- Too preppy for me. The Anna bob, the sunglasses, and the neutrals. I really just wish she'd play more with shapes, like the ones she's shoving on the rest of us, but that is not the Anna. Although once again, she does wear some color, but it's not really associated with Anna style.

So, my point? I agree, don't just follow trends. If you like one, and there's bound to be at least one or two possibly more trends that you like each season, then go for it. The most fashionable people don't follow trends; they follow their own likes and it shows. Really. Besides, do we all want to be fashionable or do we wanna look a certain way? By certain way, I mean I don't always dress to look "good;"sometimes I prefer cute, fun, sexy, relaxed, dark, funky, etc sometimes and I'm sure I'm not the only one. In short, be you and trust your own judgement. Mirrors lie, and if you have to ask about it, it's a no.

While I'm on the Bargain Queen, I must disagree with the post about saving shoes by not walking in them. While I'm sure it keeps shoes nice, if I'm buying expensive shoes, they damn well better take my daily beating and keep on eating. Otherwise, what's the point in buying expensive shoes? I can the same thing with cheap shoes and at least then I can justify it. Expensive shoes should be well made and thus able to take a regular beating, be comfortable, and look good. If they don't meat those requirements, I might as well find some nice looking but cheap alternatives.

While it may seem that I'm out to get The Bargain Queen or something, on the contrary I love her blog. Great tips for living low cotst without being associated with trash or being thought stingy. How to keep up with the Jones's for a lot less. Read, read!

My outfit: From way back in late mid February. Click for details if you care, including what song I was listening to. You can set this post (and this whole blog)to Poe's "Walk the Walk"

Walking to the beat of her own drum while staring at the Bargain Queen's,
Ivy Frozen