Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's Almost 2014!, Magic: The Gathering, and Sleep


Good morning, dear readers! :D

I hope that everyone who celebrates it had a wonderful Christmas.

I had such a fantastic day! :}
I loved spending it with my family.  We had a wonderful dinner that evening, and I am really looking forward to next Christmas. :D

It is strange to think that 2013 is almost over.  I don't have any plans for New Year's Eve, but that is rather normal for me, hehehe. XD  I think I have done 'special' things for New Year's Eve only a handful of times in my past, and one of them was in 1999 because it was cool going into the year 2000.  Wow, that was 14 years ago!!! :O

I remember how many people were so worried about Y2K (or the Millennium Bug).  A lot of people didn't know what would happen to computers, and if they would get all messed up from not being programmed to be dated after 1999.  As a civilisation we have come to rely on computers so much (and that was so long ago... 14 years later and we are more tied to technology then ever before; just think of all of those people glued to their phones and iPad's!).  If everything digital went down, there would be a fair amount of chaos in the more technologically developed countries.

File:Bug de l'an 2000.jpg
(Not my image, image taken from here.)

However, other than being a bit exciting and possibly a teensy bit scary, nothing really happened, and we were all fine. XD

Hmmm... I was going to talk about one of the gifts I got for Christmas, but got completely sidetracked. XD

I am very blessed, and was very lucky to receive many wonderful gifts for Christmas.  I got art supplies, jewellery, candy (a HUGE amount of candy... sadly, most of it is gone now D:!!!), and some Magic: The Gathering cards.

That's right!

Magic: The Gathering! :D

Magic: The Gathering
(Not my image, image found here.)

Woooooo! XD (For those of you don't know about it, MTG is a trading card game that originated in the 1990's and has been very popular worldwide since then.)

I love love love gaming and fantasy (and science fiction), and I have recently gotten back into playing MTG.  I used to play it over ten years ago, and in the last little while I had been missing it.  (I used to play the Yu-gi-oh tcg too, but that is another tale for another time.)

I reaaally like MTG.  I love the fantasy aspect of it, the game play, and the strategy.  I really like the stories that are represented within the cards (and the added 'flavour text' at the bottoms of some of them), the social aspect of the game (and I am generally not a very social person), and the collecting side of it.  But one of the things I love most about it, is the seriously amazing artwork represented on the cards.

Here is an example:

(Not my image, image taken from here.)

I am not a fan of all of the artwork, as there are thousands of cards (dating from the early 1990's) and I have personal preferences, but I have a binder with a lot of cards just because they are pretty!  (I do get cards for their uses too, but if I can get both useful and pretty, then I am going to do it! XD)
As an artist and as someone who has a pretty big imagination, I find these cards to be extremely inspiring.  :D

So, after returning to the world of Magic after many years, I have a lot of catching up to do.  Right now I am running a white vintage deck, which lets me use some of my old favourites.  My Dad and sister both play Magic as well, so it is really nice being able to spend time with them doing something we all really enjoy. :D
Last night I went to Friday Night Magic at a nearby(ish?) game store, and was able to scope out the current Magic scene (and get a good haul of some awesome cards!).  There were a couple of guys there from the good ol' days, which was great! :D  I am sure that there are more people playing the game still, but our old haunts are gone now, so things have been spread out a bit around the city (sad face!).

I still have many personal problems and can have a lot of trouble socialising with other people (yay internet! XD), but when I am able to I really enjoy meeting and talking with others about MTG. :)

OH!!

Speaking of mental health, I finally had a sleep last night that lasted just over 3 hours in one stretch!! :D *cries with happiness!!!*

Since going off of one of my meds, my sleep has been even more horrid than usual, and I have been feeling so gross for the last couple of weeks.  I usually can sleep only 2-3 hours at a time, then I wake up.  And then later in the day, I try sleeping again, and get another 2 or so hours before waking up again.  I rarely can get back to sleep after waking up, which really blows.

It is also difficult for me to accurately judge my state of being without that particular medicine, because when I get tired, my symptoms can get much, much worse.  And so, after half or less-than-half of my usual sleep for weeks, my body and brain have been feeling pretty wonky.  I am a person who has always needed more sleep than the average human (7 hours a night is a no-go!!), and this current wacky schedule has been particularly hard on me.
In order to be sure how I am responding to completely cutting out that particular medicine, I have to wait for several more weeks for my body to get back to a normal pattern.  Every time I have reduced my dosage in the past I have felt better and better (and vice versa when increasing it), so I know that this is a good step for me, but it is still hard.

Well I think that is a good note to end this post on (also, I am tired), so I hope that you have an amazing day!! :D  Let me know how your holidays went!

-Ashesela :}


(P.S., anyone got an extra Martyr of Sands? :'D)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!! :D

Good morning, dear readers! :D

I wanted to wish you all an amazing and very merry Christmas, and a wonderful new year!

I hope that your day is filled with joy! :)


(Not my image, image taken from here.)

-Ashesela :}

Monday, December 23, 2013

Lush Santa Baby Lip Tint Review


Good morning, lovelies! :D

Wow, I can't believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Where did December go?!

Hahaha, in my last post (or the one before), I wrote about how I want to be more active on my blog, and then I took a few days off from it. XD  I really do want to, but this week has been pretty rough for me health-wise.  Hopefully I will be feeling better soon, and will be posting with more frequency.

Oh!!  Also, I quit Facebook!  O_O  I know, right?!

I spent waaay too much time on there, not doing anything productive at all, so I finally had enough and shut down my account.  It is so bizarre, because I am so used to going on FB first thing in the morning, and have been a FB user since 2007.  It's been so long I don't even remember setting up my account; it almost feels like I've always had it.  XD

And I am trying to limit my computer use a bit, since I need to do more things offline.

So that is my update for today, and now it is time for the revieeeewwwww.......

+++++

Today I have a review of Lush's Santa Baby Lip Tint, which is a Christmas 2013 release.  I thought that I had already published a review of this on my blog, but I forgot to do so.


According to Lush.ca:

"SWEET CHRISTMAS KISSES

A deep, classic red, this tint provides a colorful moisture boost for the lips. A rich base of Fair Trade Shea butter and cocoa butters will soften the lips and keep them hydrated through the chilly winter months, while vitamin-rich carrot oil nourishes and softens. If a super hydrating base and gorgeous color weren’t enough, we’ve also added a sweet cola flavor made up of festive date and cherry extracts! Apply sparingly for a subtle rouge tint, or more generously for a bright crimson pout. Smooth onto lips and make sure your under-the-mistletoe kisses are as sweet as can be!"
It looks really bright here, but it IS really bright!!

This is a seriously bright lip tint, with fantastic pigment! :D


I find it that on my skin it looks like a very bright, almost pinkish blue-leaning red.

Here are the ingredients:
Fair Trade Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) ,Extract of Cinnamon Stick and Mandarin (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Citrus nobilis) , Organic Rose Hip Oil (Rosa canina) , Organic Castor Oil (Ricinus communis) , Japan Wax (Rhus Succedanea) , Extract of Cherries and Dates (Prunus cerasus, Phoenix Dactylifera) , Sunflower Wax (Helianthus annuus) , Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao) ,Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma Grandiflorum) , Flavor ,Carrot Oil (Daucus carota) , Persian Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia) , Aniseed Oil (Illicium Verum) , Black Pepper Oil (Piper nigrum) , Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis pierre) , Titanium Dioxide , *Citral ,*Geraniol , *Linalool , *Limonene , D&C Red 28 , D&C Orange No. 5 , D&C Red No. 30 Aluminum Lake , D&C Red 30 ,

It smells wonderful!!  It is supposed to have a cola scent, but to me it smells like lemon meringue pie! :D  Every time I open it I have to smell it, because it smells just so good! :)

You can also rub a bit of it on your cheeks as a cream blush, which is super awesome (no need to find a matching blush, and you can easily carry this 2-in-1 product with you wherever you go).  But beware, this DOES stain a bit, so make sure you put it where you want it.

I use a lip brush for applying this around the edges of my mouth, to product a crisp and even line.  I really like the look of this, and it is a surprisingly moisturising formula. :)

But yes, this is BRIGHT!!  Very bright, so this is definitely a stand-out-from-the-crowd colour. :D

I definitely recommend this! :D

I hope that you have an amazing day, and I am so excited for Christmas omgomgomg!!!

-Ashesela :}





Thursday, December 19, 2013

Bodaszilvia Jewellery

Good morning, dear readers! :D

Recently I came across a very lovely store on Etsy.  The owner, Szilvia Boda, has a remarkable talent with wirework.  Her designs are both intricate and imaginative, and I honestly had never come across anything like it!  She has steampunk, gothic, art nouveau and fantasy themes throughout her pieces.

Intricate necklace found here.

Beautiful and colourful ear wrap found here.

"Nimrodel" necklace; image found here.

I literally spent hours looking through her Etsy listings, and after careful deliberation (which took a long time, as she has such beautiful creations) I settled on a list of items that I needed to get, as soon as possible. XD

Not only did I get some things for myself (teehee!), but I was able to pick up some Christmas gifts for another three people.  :}

One of her gorgeous snowflake pendants; image found here.

What really sparked my attention was when I had come across her Facebook page, and I saw this amazing snowflake pendant that she had recently created (only one of them).  I saw it and instantly NEEDED it.  Not just wanted, but needed!! O_O;

Winter is my favourite season and snow is one of my favourite things in this world (which I am sure that 99.9% of my readers know about me now XD), and this pendant was right there, glimmering brightly on my computer screen.

I thought it was stunning, but had many things I needed to do and get.  However, after coming across it again a little while later, I said "I HAVE TO HAVE THIS" and I sent a message her way, asking if she would be able to put it on hold for me until I got paid. XD I knew that she had only one of these, and as she makes only a few snowflake pendants each winter I needed to snatch this one up before someone else came along and did so.

She put it aside for me, and before placing my order I searched and came up with a list of other items to add to it.  :}

My pendant!! :D  Image found here.

We conversed back and forth, and after placing my order, she went to work creating the other items (made to order) right away.  Her speed for creating these items is almost unbelievable, especially considering the quality of the pieces and the work that goes into making them.  In only 2 or 3 days my order was ready to ship, and she wasn't just working on my order alone, so that shows you how skilled she is at wire craft.

I honestly was so happy to meet her over the Internet, as she is a completely lovely and sweet person.  She is very kind, and I hope to be a lifelong customer of hers. :}

NYX - wire wrapped ear cuff - blue and black
This mysterious and enchanting ear wrap was found here.

"Dryad" ear wrap found here.

"Eye of Persephone" earrings; image found here.

Her imaginative designs and skilled use of materials are evident the moment you take a peek into her online shop.

Not only does she have so many different designs, but she also takes custom orders as well.  She creates earrings, ear wraps and cuffs, bracelets, pendants and necklaces, rings... I've even seen a stunning circlet that she custom made for someone.

My order arrived EXACTLY when expected, which was amazing because it came to me (here in Canada), all the way from Hungary!  Canada Post can be notoriously slow and frustrating, and I expected that it would take longer (they tend to get your packages and just let them 'sit' for a while before delivering them :/.  And don't get me started on the upcoming price increases!!).

The order was sent in three separate packages, so she could insure them all.  Each item arrived perfectly, safely enveloped in bubble wrap and with cardboard inserts to protect the items from warping during transit.  Not only that, but she included these adorable black bags, to store and protect the jewellery when not in use.

ELF EARS - silver elven ear wrap - 1 pair
The gorgeous style of elf ear wraps that I purchased; image found here.

GALADRIEL ELF EARS - ooak silver elven ear wrap - 1 pair
Here is another type of stunning elf ear wrap; image found here.

The elf ear wraps I gave as a Christmas gift to one of my friends, and she loves them!! :D  I wanted them for myself, but then I told myself that in the future I can always order another pair XD.

I ordered three more ear wraps, also gifts, and I know that they will be cherished.  :D

STEAMPUNK PRINCESS bronze and brass necklace
Beautiful steampunk necklace; image found here.

EYE - OOAK wire wrapped necklace - purple, brass and turquoise
"Eye" wrapped necklace; image found here.

STEAMPUNK - OOAK wire wrapped ear cuff - brass, copper and red
Steampunk ear wrap, found here.

Here are some of my own photos, for a few of the items I ordered:






(I am not entirely sure why some of the photos are vastly warmer in temperature than others.  Other than deliberately tarnished items, the silver plated wires she uses all look the same in real life.)


I wore a bunch of these to a Christmas dinner party on Tuesday, and I got so many compliments!! :}

Here are some of her previous custom orders:

Image found here.

Image found here.

CUSTOM ORDER for MichaƂ
Image found here.

"Serpent Eye" necklace; image found here.


You can visit her Etsy shop here, her Facebook page here, and her DeviantArt page here.

I would have liked to add even more photos of her diverse and fantastic collection, but then this blog post would have been very long indeed.  :)  I really implore you to explore her collection, as she has so many more creations that I would have wanted to feature here but couldn't, due to the length of my post.

Thank you so much Boda Szilvia, for your beautiful pieces that you have lovingly created.  They will be enjoyed for so many years to come.

-Ashesela

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Dinner Party - I Feel Fancy!!!

Good morning, dear readers! :D

I hope that the week has been treating you well so far.  :D

Yesterday evening I went to a Christmas dinner party with my Dad.  Every year, his boss takes all of the employee's at his work (each employee can bring a guest, too) out to an amazing dinner!  Since my sister and Mom don't usually go, I get to go year after year! >: D

This year (and several times before) we went to The Keg Steakhouse and Bar Manor in Ottawa.  Oh.my.gosh, their food is amaaaazing!! O_O


(Not my image, image found here)

I would have taken photos of my food, but I would have felt like a wierdo in the room full of people snapping photos away, then explaining that it was for my blog, then possibly explaining what my blog is about, etc... so instead I just enjoyed my food and ate it with relish. XD

We could order anything we wanted (really...ANYTHING!!! :O  They even had Alaskan king crab legs, crazy amazing steaks, lobster, etc. etc.!!).

I got some caesar salad, escargot, teriyaki chicken with mixed veggies, and an amazing fudge brownie thing for dessert!!  I also worked on some Guinness and an amazing red wine during the meal, although I couldn't finish either because I have cut down on drinking so much for the past few years that my tolerance is almost zero (I am glad though, because if not for the medical reasons that made me quit drinking for years, I may be in even a worse place than I was before, when I would start drinking first thing in the morning and all day if I could.  Very bad times, those were).

Every year they also give out chocolates, and this year it was an 8-piece mixed box of Godiva chocolates (ohmyword, YUM!)!!

Godiva 8 Piece Gold Ballotin Assortment
(Not my photo, but this is exactly what we all got :D!  Photo from here)

It is great seeing everyone and how they are doing each year.  :D  A couple of times I have worked with their company on some special orders they had, as they needed extra people.  So I also know a lot of their regular employees from that as well.

It was very chilly outside and snowing, but nowhere near as cold as it can be this time of the year.

By the time we had gone home, we had been at the restaurant for at least 3 hours!!

I am so fortunate to be able to partake in this yearly tradition, and I always look forward to next year's celebration.  :}

As for the restaurant itself, it is housed in a historical site estate, which goes by the name Maplelawn (ehehehe I love that name!!).

The manor was build somewhere between 1831 and 1834, and originally was a farm estate.

The architecture is really beautiful, and if I was a bazillionaire I would want to live there!!  It is also situated on a lovely lot of property, a nicely sized space which is rare, considering it is now in the city of Ottawa.

I never thought to take photos of the place, but since the only time I get to go there is for the annual Christmas dinner, it is already dark outside (being winter), and my photos wouldn't turn out anyway.  XD

Here are some photos I found online:

Ottawa Keg Manor
(How the manor looks in the summer; not my photo, photo from here)

Ottawa Keg Manor
(Not my image, image found here)

Ottawa Keg Manor
(Not my image, image found here)

Wooo I feel so fancy eating there! XD  *Twirls moustache, adjusts monocle and visits haberdashery*

I reeeally need to re-start my diet, but first I must finish the chocolates and the rest of my brownie, which I brought home.  But I am declaring this publicly: I will start eating better and getting more exercise!!! I hope that over the next year I can lose 50 lbs, so wish me luck!! :}

I hope that you have an amazing day!! ^-^

-Ashesela :}

Monday, December 16, 2013

Then and Now Nail Art


Good morning, lovelies!! :D

Ugh, I have been so exhausted this last week!  I apologize for my absences lately, I really want to start posting more on my blog again.

One of the things I have been doing is trying to organize my computer.  I have so many photos to go through, that I kind of just jumbled together, and at least getting rid of ones I don't need has opened up a lot of space.  :D

I've come across a lot of photos that I had forgotten about, some of which were my first nail art manicures that I did a few years ago!  (Well, except for a couple in my younger years.)

I wanted to share with you some of what I found :D

Here goes, blast from the paaaast:









Now for more recent work:








While I am definitely not a master, I think I have definitely improved a lot!! :D  Here are some of the things I have learned over the years:

-practice!
-acrylic paint is your friend, and you can do so much more with it than just polish alone
-painting on fake nails is really satisfying because you get to keep the art, and it doesn't just get washed away when you remove your nail polish
-teeny brushes are your friend
-cosmetics sponges are your friend

Most of all, experiment and have fun!! :D  That is the most important thing of all.

I am so glad that I still had these photos so I could compare my nail art throughout the years.  :}  I hope that I continue to improve and in another year or so I can look back and see even more progress.

I hope that you are doing well, and have a fantastic day! :D

-Ashesela :}

Products I'm Really Enjoying Right Now

Good afternoon, dear readers! Today's post is about some of products that I've been enjoying lately!  Swatches (where applicable) ...