Sunday, 30 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello beauties!

Hope you like the new look on the blog. I'll elaborate on this when I resume my daily posting somewhere around the third or so.

To end off this year's posts, I'd like to say thank you for your support this year. It's truly amazing how my little backyard blog has grown and how many people actually take the time to read this every day. You're all fabulous and I'm really thankful for the opportunity to make my voice known in your life.

I'd like to wish you a wonderful 2013, a year filled with blessings and happiness, love and success. Instead of the usual resolutions (losing weight, joining the gym, stopping smoking, etc.), let's resolve ourselves to smile more in 2013, to be kinder to others and to not lose our tempers so easily. Let's make a difference in the world, spread positive thoughts and energy. Love more passionately, live to the fullest, take that chance and complain less, dance in the rain and be thankful, because it could have been so much worse. We're blessed and lucky and I look forward to spreading some of the blessings I've received in the new year.

As a last thought, with a smile and a wink,

See you on the flip-side, folks!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,


Friday, 21 December 2012

The year in recap, Bloomin' style

Hello beauties!

It's the end of the world as we know it, la la la la! Apparently, I'm a 21 Dec 2012 survivor. Please get in contact with me if you survived as well! :) I'm glad we're all still here, even though I never believed the world would end today anyway. But, I'm going to do my last post of the year today, because I want to spend the festive season being festive with my family and friends. I'll resume posting around the third of Jan 2013. So, as a last salute to this year, I'm going to do a recap of my biggest posts throughout the year.

The first of these is the one of my cousin Neill and my new cousin Evette's wedding. It was a record post for me, the first time ever the blog had more than 1000 hits in a single day! I'd gotten close many times before, but never actually surpassed 1000 and it's never happened after that again yet. But I say yet, because I have big plans for the future!

The two most popular posts of the year on the Bloomin Couch were these two, What your nails say about your health and Eye shapes. These two posts pulled the most views and searches throughout the year and that's why they landed this honourable mention in this recap post.

Another post that claims a record is one I did this very week! The steampunk photoshoot with Liani and Tanja came in close second with the amount of views, almost reaching the elusive 1000.

Some other stuffs happened this year, I had relative success with one of my hubby's pics on Pinterest, managing to get it repinned quite a few times. It was this one, from the Bokeh post.

I also had some success with the posts on animal cruelty in the beauty industry, setting some records with those that have only been broken in the last two months. People got to talking about this heinous practice and it actually moved some of the people in my life to go cruelty free as well. I haven't forsaken my cause at all, and in the new year, you'll be reading some more on this topic. I had the most comments on a single post with Animal testing continued, counting ten and I'm glad people sat up and noticed this post.

The posts on our vacation in London and Europe pulled some major crowds as well. These have the labels 'Travelling' and 'Personal', so you can go back and check em out if you missed something.

In the mood for crafts? My first ever step by step craft tutorial took place in May this year, with my mother's day crafts! That was before my mumsie started to read the blog and I could still get away with posting spoilers on the Bloomin blog. These days, I can't do any such thing, like the fact that I know who won X-Factor this year! :)

I also did two special effects makeup step by step tutorials, Pencil stuck in my hand and the one where my cousin Anschke got mauled.

I tried my hand at YouTube videos and I made a few, but found out I really (REALLY) don't like filming myself and stopped. I'll try to do makeup tuts in the new year like I did the fx makeup tuts, with pictures instead of videos.

In the coming year, you'll see the blog get revamped somewhat. Though I'll still do posts on hair and beauty, it won't be the main focus on here anymore. I want to do more book reviews, more craft tutorials and have more recipes. I want to feature more artists, more musicians and more amazing movies. I'm working on a little idea with my cousins and hopefully you'll see that come to life in 2013, along with my book. I also want to start a serial story here, to develop my writing skills.

The blog will also be less pink and I might revamp the logo too. If you know me, you'll know I'm not a very colourful person! When I buy clothes, I buy black and grey and it's only recently that I started to acquire other colours to wear. The most of my home is decorated in shades of red and overall, I'm kind of dull! The blog started out with a black background (remember that??) and in 2013, I might just go back to that. Keep an eye out!

With this I'm gonna say, have a very merry Christmas and holiday season, may all your dreams come true in 2013 and may the new year hold only blessings, cheer, love and success for you. Remember that you are a brilliant, incredible and wonderful being and that you can achieve those goals, no matter how impossible they seem. Thank you all for your support on this blog of mine, thank you for coming back to read every day and for your encouragement throughout the year. You're all awesome!

C ya next year!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Landfill Harmonic

Hello beauties!

Yesterday, Jan showed me a video that made me cry. It's just so inspiring! The Landfill Harmonic is an orchestra of kids and teenagers who live on a garbage yard. The people of this community sell some of the garbage to make their living and they're really, really poor.

But some of the older people in the community started to make instruments from the junk they found and it looks like this :

Mind blown yet? No? Then sit down, because this is going to :

It's Christmas time and we can afford to buy all kinds of stuff we don't really need. But here, these people are doing something incredible with what has been given to them. Let's spread goodwill and cheer, not only this holiday season, but all year long and help people like these, who really want to do something good in the world.

You can check out their website and their Facebook here.

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Steampunk shoot!

Hello beauties!

So, on Monday, Liani and I had some fun with a fantasy shoot again. My cousin Tanja was the model (we promised her this shoot so long ago, I can't even remember when!) and Anschke was the 'assistant' (shame, she carried around all the props and wardrobe changes.)

This is how it turned out :

Purdy dang cool, aint it?

I did the makeup. Basically, on her eyes I did a black base, layered gold on top, dark outer v, funky, pointed black lashes (the part I cut off to fit her eye served as the bottom lashes) and thick, black upper and lower liner. I did a browny / peachy blush and reddish brown lip. I also coloured in one of her beauty spots, so it would stand out.

In order of how it went down, here are the rest of the pics.

Getting there with the makeup.
Makeup, check!
Liani directing Tanja on the pose
She's got a gun! (Plastic, btw, and spray painted.)
Looking cool!

Some poses with the top hat. Didn't it look really cool? You should contact Liani if you're in the Jo'burg area and you want to do one of these shoots! Props and makeup included.

Wardrobe change.

My cuz kind of looked like Snow White to me! Her natural hair colour is much lighter than this, but I think it looked really cool on her.

After another wardrobe change.
Anschke and I having fun on the sidelines


And then, after a last wardrobe change, we got these cool ones. The amazing thing is, the major wardrobe changes here was mostly jackets and accessories. Incredible what a difference a jacket can make to a picture, don't you think?

The whole process takes about three hours, including the makeup and wardrobe changes. I ran around with my small camera as well this time and had some fun snapping away and trying not to get in Liani's way! :)

That's all folks!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Breakfast in bed!

Hello beauties!

I had so much fun with Liani, Tanja and Anschke yesterday! Can't wait to show you the phodies!!

Today I have a craft tutorial for you. Inspiration took me some time ago and I scrambled to get all the things I needed together. Friday was D-Day and I made this :

It's to hang up my dishcloths! Don't you think it's cute? We've been doing some minor renovations here (and by that I mean I ripped out a cupboard in my kitchen two weeks ago, and by 'I' I mean, yes, I did it myself!) and now I have a empty spot against a wall for this beauty. I took pictures of how I did it especially for you!

What you'll need:

* I used a canvas board sized 20 x 30 cm.
* Paint of coloured paper
* Spoons or hooks of your choice
* Screws
* Pens and embellishments
* Glue
* About half an hour to an hour.

Step one is to either paint your board or stick down the paper you're using. I chose paper because I wanted that slight texture to show.
 The second step is to stick down the borders. I used paper again, but you could just paint a border as well, or you could leave this step out if you want to too. My paper strips were 3 cm wide and I stuck it down with double sided tape.
 Next, work out your typography. I did mine on a plain sheet of paper and transferred the letters to the canvas.

Then, with your pens (I used a black permanent marker and a silver paint craft pen), write the words on the canvas.

 The next step is to stick down your embellishments. I used dark grey rhinestones on the border and around the word breakfast. My rhinestones along the border go from biggest to smallest on the one side and smallest to biggest on the other. This is simply because I didn't have enough rhinestones to use only one size. :P
 Next, you'll need to bend your spoons. You can try doing this by mind control, but mine were so thin I bent them by hand. Got them at China Mall for next to nothing. I used three.
Right. You'll need to measure out how far apart you want your spoons to be and then mark it.

You'll also need to drill small holes into the handles of the spoons. (Get someone to help you here if you're under age or if you struggle with it!!)

Lastly, you'll screw the spoons onto the board and you're done!

I'm getting mine varnished, because it's made of paper and I want to use it in the kitchen (don't want steam and food splatter to damage it. Yes, we eat like savages!!).

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you want to see more crafty posts in the new year, let me know and I'll see what I can do!

Stay beautiful and be kind to animals,