A lot of people view Christmas as a very stressful period. I have to admit, I'm a major stress-head, but I manage the festive period with minimal freak-outs. I've snapped some pictures that haven't made it into outfit/FOTD/haul posts, so I've made them into a little peek into what December 2011 has been like for me...
[pic heavy and a bit long...!]
We had ridiculous amounts of fun decorating the studio for Christmas this year. The downstairs floor (reception area) is full of tinsel, stars, giant glittery baubles, with a tree in the window, and this amazing big star light from Ikea (loving the little hanging skeleton in the background!) Upstairs, we have Gordon the Gimp Mask wearing reindeer ears and nose, and some bulbous lights across the outside of the tattoo room which REFUSE to stay on the window...
Falkirk's continental market isn't this massive extortionate affair like Edinburgh's German market (which I still get sad when I miss it...) but it's fab in its own way. There was a dreadlocked Russian boy selling monkey and kitty hats, German jewellery makers, and then a little stand up from our shop, run by two French men who sang away in loud voices to themselves while they cooked. They made crepes, chicken paella (I know, they're not Spanish, but it was delicious!) and this potato-cheese-bacon bake thing. I can't remember the name, but a tiny pot like that lasted me from lunch until the next day - SO filling!
So Scotland's first snow came yet again before the rest of the UK...and went within a week! Last year we had snow November-February, and it brought everything to a standstill. But as B was still teeny, he can't remember it - so waking up to it that morning was like seeing it for the first time, all over again. His chubby little face was full of amazement - this was the street he knew so well, yet it was transformed. This is one of my favourite pictures this year, let alone this month. :)
I tried out some new nail art - Christmas puddings! These are so easy to do: after your base coat, add one coat of brown polish, then a second coat half way up your nail from the cuticle. Then paint your tips with a thick white polish, and gently draw down 'drips' of icing sugar. Take a bright red polish, wipe excess on the edge of the bottle neck, and paint three tiny little dots beside eachother for holly berries, and then dip an old, clean eyeliner brush into a deep green and paint on the holly leaves. Festive, non?
Mini EOTD for you here! (Or should that be Eye Of The Month?!) I've been trying for over a year now to try to achieve the perfect dark, dramatic brow. I have watched tutorial upon tutorial for inspiration, but all of them were about achieving 'realistic' brows. And I don't do well with realistic, I'd prefer it that little bit more exaggerated! I found any I tried were too thick, uneven-looking, didn't suit my face, too masculine, too aggressive...until I accidentally drew my outer arch above where my natural brows should be. And it's transformed my face, it's opened up so much more and makes me look more alert. Does this make sense? I don't care, I LOVE it!
ELF primer in Champagne
ELF mini eyeshadow quads in Dark
Collection 2000 liquid eyeliner
Benefit Babe Cake in black for brows
As I've mentioned many times before, my lovely friend Rachael makes stunning jewellery. I popped up to Glasgow to see her about bracelets for my friends, and while I was there I may have ended up picking up a new ring, a new pair of earrings and this AMAZING flamingo cameo... Here's a link to her site, GO WILD! pssst, she also does custom jewellery... I'm now also very, very aware of how many times my microdermal makes an appearance in photos of me. (In case you've been wondering, that little black gem there isn't just ingrained dirt on my throat or a weird mole, it's a dermal implant!)
Santa came to town! You sometimes hear horror stories of bad Santa's (take this hilarious site here for instance), but this guy was Saint Nick incarnate. He was sweet, funny, cuddling everyone - his beard was even real! And he rolled down the high street to park outside the studio with reindeer pulling him all the way, inside a little pen so everyone could have a go petting the reindeer and getting to see Santa Clause. I took this picture from the piercing room - we were all way too excited over this than is acceptable for people our age...
Is it bad I wanted to buy the sewing machine and the pudding teapot for myself...? No. Not bad at all. Even though I know the sewing machine will probably be terrible as it's just clearly been made for the polkadots and that BHS aren't really famous for their fantastic clothes-altering products, it hasn't stopped me from wanting it... Good news is though a shop in the high street do a 30-stitch sewing machine for £50 down from £99! 20th birthday present, hrmmm....?
I was delighted when I found out I won Ree from Rockalily's Christmas giveaway, and even more so when I discovered I'd won a gorgeous necklace by Pip Jolley - looook, it's a pink hair curler! It's beautiful, and I'm wearing it on Christmas day :) The cute packaging and Christmas card from Pip made an already great prize fantastic, so thoughtful!
I've been out on a fair few nights out this month, in fact, the last three weekends in a row. Exhausted! And this is one of the only pictures I have from them. It's from Sarah's 21st, not the one where I wore the red dress, this one we hit the pubs on her actual birthday...well, if you're going to turn 21, do it properly, ae? I wore my lacy shorts, super amazing thick tights (THEY'RE LIKE FEETIE LEGGINGS!), my £5 red waytoohighheeled shoes, and this maternity dress I altered. I cut lace from the back when I was making my failed Queen of Hearts/Ex-Wife Hallowe'en outfit, and gathered the rest of the lace to the front, pulled it up, and pinned it at the back of my neck and rolled it under to make a high-necked top! I've had no time before I leave for these nights as I finish rather late, so no face/outfit posts from them - I can sure you they were amazing though :)
Which brings us to today, the 24th of December, and possibly the most anticipation-filled night for children everywhere: Christmas Eve.
Today was the Xmas Eve shop party, where everyone joined in after work downstairs for munchies and gift-swapping. B was running around, showing off, stuffing his face, giggling and dancing, it was so much fun! We ended up leaving early as he was getting tired, but he stayed up till 8.30pm, when he almost passed out on top of the cat. Brandon is now beginning to understand the concept of 'Santa', that a jolly roly-poly man in a red suit with a big beard will bring him gifts at the end of the year. He's now old enough to be able to enjoy presents, AND to unwrap them himself! When he's older I'll be able to teach him more about giving to others rather than just receiving them, but until then I'm going to enjoy watching him going mental over wrapping paper and boxes rather than the toys. So here is my final picture before I head off to bed for a well-deserved lie in: what my son is going to wake up to tomorrow morning (and Tilly's crazy kitty-laser eyes...) :D
Have a merry Christmas, everyone!