10 March, 2014

You're Engaged, Now What: 2014 Edition

2014 is well underway and my inbox is filled with your happy news.  I usually like to get this post out within the first week of January, but as you can see, I am paying dearly for the unexpected break I took.  Whoopsie.  I promise, I'll get back to you soon.  Bear with me.

You little darlings have been badgering sweetly asking me to repost a 'You Asked For It' post I did at the beginning of 2012.  Ask and you shall receive!  I've posted my quick and easy tips for making sense of the wedding planning labyrinth.  This week, I'll answer more of your questions in roundup form!
Congratulations, dolls, on your engagements!

So, here goes!

Hey Goldiluxe!
I’m engaged!  It happened on New Year’s Eve, it wasn’t cheesy and I am so super happy I can’t stand it.  So…what do we do now?  Is there something I should be doing?-I feel like there’s something I should be doing.  I could just pee-Help us!

No need to pee.  I promise.  It does terrible things to rugs.
First of all, calm it on down, sugar!  You got engaged, what, like ten minutes ago?  You should be enjoying this, basking in the delicious glow that is being engaged. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of “should’s” and “must’s” when it comes to weddings, but I think there are a few things worth doing in the very early stages of wedding planning.  

1. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate! Throw a party, take a vacation, or shout it from the mountaintops, if you want.  Just get out there with your sweetie and make a joyous ruckus!  My favorite part about being engaged (besides the obvi) was getting to prance about; all dewy and doe-eyed; talking about my man and our super awesome lurve.  Having that extra special, one on one time made the daunting task of planning our wedding much less overwhelming.

2. Set a date. If you ask 100 couples when it’s best to get married, I guarantee you’ll get 100 different answers.  So, I’m not going to try to sway you one way or the other (for now, winky face).  I will say that the two of you should talk it through a little bit, see what works best for you.  I wouldn’t worry too terribly much about everyone else, because no matter what you do, people will have opinions (ask me about having a Friday wedding!).

3. Set a budget.  Seriously.  Before you look at flowers or venues or any of the 150 billion other things, set that budget.  Money talk can be uncomfortable and it can be tedious, but it is a hell of a lot less uncomfortable and tedious than what will happen if you run around like a drunken sailor on shore leave buying everything that’s not nailed down.  Whether you are paying for it solo or getting help from the parentals, everyone should be clear on what’s being contributed.  This is not to say unforeseen overages won't occur (a subject for another post), but you do need to work out a reasonable number (again, another post) and make it your best friend.

4.  Decide on a style.  A grand affair with a guest list 0f 300?  An intimate soiree with close friends and family?  Something in-between?  Only you two can answer that.  More importantly, only you two should be answering that (or, you two and your friendly neighborhood wedding designer, of course).  The style of your wedding really shouldn’t be up for public debate.  Remember, the best weddings are not necessarily the big, flashy ones.  The best weddings let guests get a peek into the awesome couple and their awesome lurve.

Above all, have fun!  Slow down, be gracious and enjoy the ride.  Everything will fall into place.  I promise.  

I keep meaning to write a new post for each year, but honestly, the truth don't age, honey.

19 December, 2013

Countdown to Christmas: DIY Ornaments

This is a good one for the littles.

You'll need:

clear glass/plastic ornaments

assorted jazzicles, baubles and bits of wonder

paints (I really like the Martha Stewart glass paints)

1.  Remove tops of ornaments. Set tops aside.

2.  Cram in the goodies and doll up the outsides.

4.  Let paint dry.

5. Hang.

6. Regard with holiday wonderment!

18 December, 2013

Countdown to Christmas: Garland Wreath Tutorial

I've been making these little wreaths for a couple years now and it just dawned on me to publish this tutorial.  They're super cute, super festive, and super easy!

You'll need:

Wreath form (I used an embroidery hoop, but have had the same success with wire and styrofoam as well)
2 lengths of garland (this took 2-9 foot lengths, so use your best judgement)
assorted wreath sprays, jazzicles and other sparkly things
wire cutters

1.  Wrap it up. Wind the end of your garland through your form and wire to fasten (if you're using a styrofoam form, wrap the end around once and secure with a pin).  I stayed away from using traditional adhesives because I like to swap out garlands and cut down on waste.  Then, wind the garland around the form, bunching from time to time to achieve the desired look (I like a fluffy wreath, so I bunch quite a bit). Wind the other end through the form to finish (fasten with pins for styrofoam).  You'll be finished when the form is completely hidden from view.

2.  Go Full Glitz.  Lay out your embellishments.  Don't be afraid to try a few things out before you commit.  Design your little heart out.  Once you've come up with something you love, lay it out in the desired position on your wreath.

3.  Pin it down.  Secure to wreath with wire.  Floral wires and other small guage wires are ideal because they are both easy to work with and easy to hide.  I came up with two options I loved so I made sure to make them interchangeable.

4. Enjoy!

See...easy and fabulous! 

22 October, 2013

Macabre Makeup #2:Bee Is For Beauty

Today's tutorial comes from YouTuber, Bee is for Beauty.  Although she's new to me, I became a huge fan after browsing her channel.  It is a treasure trove, y'all.  I noticed she seems to favor easy to find or household products, which is heaven for any budget.  i chose this tutorial because it has that element of ruined beauty I find so appealing in horror movie themes...that I LOVED nip/tuck. Enjoy!

Whether you're looking to boost your Halloween cred or up your cocktail party game, check out the Bee is for Beauty YouTube channel!

18 October, 2013

Horrorween 2013: Freaky Florals

You'll need:
several bunches of silk flowers
spray paint
acrylic top coat
floral wire/tape-optional
wire cutters
jazzicles/embellishments(I am making jeweled branches, for those you'll need glass beads, branches and hot glue)

Disclaimer: Excuse my photos.  The natural lighting is limited in my house and as such my pictures turned out a little wonky. I'm building some lighting.  If I can manage to get better snappies, I'll replace them...

1.  Separate flowers by type and 'prune' them as you would if you were working with live flowers.  You may need to use your wire cutters to snip apart the factory bunches.  Loosely arrange flowers to plot out your final arrangement, if you haven't already.

2.  Wipe stems and leaves down with a damp paper towel to prepare them for paint.  If the flowers have been sitting in your house for awhile, gently knock the blooms together to shake off excess dust. Let flowers dry fully before painting.

3.  Paint it black.  Or, you know, what ever you choose.  I'm going for a Gothic look this year, so I chose an exaggerated grayscale to play up the creepy elegance. To keep everything tidy, I sprayed one color at a time.  It made arranging easier.

4.  Pour some glitter into a dish or tray.  Once the paint has become tacky, put on your gloves and grab your bloom.  Lightly press the petals into the glitter until you achieve the desired look.  Shake off excess glitter and let flower dry completely.  This is a great place to practice editing.  You can always glitter more flowers, but if you go to gaudy right away, there's no going back.

5.  Spritz dried flowers with acrylic top coat to seal paint and glitter.  This will make the flowers much more durable, which in turn makes them far easier to store.
     To make jeweled branches: spray your branches along with the flowers.  Once dry, set up your glue gun and dump your glass beads into a tray.  Apply glue to the tip of a branch and turn it slowly to even out the hot glue.  Wait about 30 seconds before pressing the glue into the glass beads.  Cover glue with beads and let dry.

6.  Once top coat is dry, arrange in your favorite vase and display!

15 October, 2013

Horrorween 2013: Music To Die For

For me, there is nothing better than a horror movie with an amazing soundtrack.  Music that announces the villain, lulls us into a false sense of security, and mourns the fallen makes these movies what they are.  Parties are no exception.  Setting the mood with the perfect playlist is my favorite part of pulling a celebration together.  There is so much out there, so open up your hearts and your devices for a tidal wave of inspiration.

For those of you that need a little nudge in the right direction, I've put together a new playlist.  This year's list includes some new favorites as well as two of my three favorite pieces of classical music (You got my number one last year, in Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain). 

So, without any more babble from me, I give you the Goldiluxe Halloween Hit List for 2013:

O Fortuna-Carl Orff: This is the opening piece from Orff's masterpiece, Carmina Burana.  Once you hear it, you'll know it instantly.  It is a stirringly amazing piece that is as chilling as it is incredible.
Dead Man's Bones-Dead Man's Bones
This Is Halloween-Nightmare Before Christmas
Headless Horseman-Bing Crosby: Released in 1949, as part of Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, this little number is perfect for all audiences.
Castin' My Spell-Johnny Otis & Marci Lee
Zombie Dance- The Cramps
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565- Bach: Classic organ fugue.  Amazing.  This dynamic piece has been used in countless movies and TV shows. 
45 Grave-Riboflavin'
House of the Rising Sun-Lauren O'Conell: This cover of the Animals' 1964 hit is slinky, sexy and frightening.  It blew up TV's across the and as part of the AHS: Coven soundtrack. 
Devil's Right Hand-Johnny Cash
Witch Queen of New Orleans- Redbone
 Halloween on the Barbary Coast-The Flaming Lips
Horror Movie-Skyhooks: Check out the video.  1975+Glamour Band+Subject Matter= Cray
Friend of the Devil- Grateful Dead
The Devil Went Down To Georgia-Charlie Daniels
Rebel with the Ghost- Sons and Daughters

Photo credit: Shag dot com

08 October, 2013

Macabre Makeup #1: Michelle Phan

Watching Halloween makeup tutorials is one of my favorite rainy day activities.  I've seen some really incredible things, so I thought I'd share my favorites with you.  Hopefully, these will give you a little push and through the inspiration you find along the way, you can unleash your inner character! 

First up on the hit list is Michelle Phan.  She's known for putting out quality videos with clear, concise instructions and unique ideas.  I've used several of her tutorials to improve my own makeup application. Since she started releasing videos, Ms. Phan has become quite the dynamo.  I urge you to check out her You Tube Channel and website for details.  It's no wonder our first video is one of hers.

This Zombie Barbie video is my favorite right now, but overall, I think she has some of the best anime and manga tutorials on the internet...and with the rising number of anime, manga and jpop costumes Ive seen in the last few years, I think there's a lot to be learned from Michelle Phan (if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well...).

Now, for the video:

Pretty great, right?  Go check out Michelle Phan, if you're not already familiar with her.

Video property of Michelle Phan.