Mardi Gras Madness Begins

In my hometown of St. Louis, we have the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the US. Right now, the costume shop that is my “day” job, is hopping with customers ploughing through beads, masks, and decor.

I’ll be attending at least one parade, the Beggin’ Strips Pet Parade this Sunday, as long as the weather holds out. There’s also a Weiner Dog Derby race and band/party afterwards.

And I’ve added some great pieces (including the mask below) and a SALE in the Etsy store to perhaps help you celebrate. Use code LUVMASKS25 to get 25% off through 2/13 to celebrate both Valentine’s and Mardi Gras. The store link is here:

Haute Hen

So I created a new mask with some steampunk syle:

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I started with a basic plastic form (to keep the mask light weight) and painted it with copper and gold paint to give it a metallic feel.

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I added lace and my own scroll design which was hand cut before adding to the ears. I then added hand painted roses, embroidery, ribbon and gears for additional steam style.

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I was really pleased with the results and shot the pics for the store yesterday. Lipstick via Clinique, Shadows via Avon, Ben Nye.

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More goodies coming to the store soon. Thank you as always for reading!
Victoria

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-A new photo/comic book/essay “The Heroine” is coming soon to Amazon/Kindle.

-THE LADY HAS ARRIVED AT HER DESTINATION-“Strax and the Widow” is an ebook on Amazon/Kindle. Please take a peek, enjoy and review on amazon and goodreads! The sequel, “Revenge and Machinery” is coming soon!

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-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)

-Etsy-TheHauteHen

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-Fine Art America-store coming soon

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Masks I Have Worn Pt. 3

Welcome to Pt. 3 of this blog. My Mardi Gras inspired mask wasn’t ready for the big Fat Tuesday parade, but it did turn out quite nicely. The process started simply enough; I had a base mask, I added more feathers and started adding embellishments. About halfway through, I realized I needed to add more silver to balance out some of the embroidery. So I added some silver paint to the “a bit to yellow for me feathers” and some silver gears.  I was pleased with results. I sealed all the gears and paint with two coats of Polymer Medium Gloss. Those sweet pieces won’t come off unless you break them off. I finished the back side with some simple gold duct tape to protect the back side of the feathers and wiring for the lights. From the drawing board, lights on, and mask alone shoot:

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I was then ready for the real shoot. First, the standard makeup, wig and lighting tests. I did want to wear a really unusual color wig wise to make the mask stand out after testing my makeup “glam shot” style first.

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Tested the weight of the mask and then some silliness ensued:

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Then for the serious shots for my Etsy store. A first few without the wig:

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Then add the sharp contrast wit the wig:

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I really enjoyed working with this series, I hope you enjoy the photos. The next mask for Pt. 4 was previewed a bit ago and took me in a whole different direction. I’m wrapping up the final touches on it and it’s story now. Bookmark this blog for the update. 🙂

A few quick notes on some great upcoming works:

1. The whole “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series on amazon/kindle will be FREE to download this weekend, March 22-23, 2014. New adventures of Will the vampire are forthcoming, but enjoy catching up on my favorite vamp’s past. Please share with your friends. My amazon link (please copy and paste into your browser):

http://www.amazon.com/Victoria-L.-Szulc/e/B00CDFDIBI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1395190463&sr=8-1

2. CORRECTION: In my “Let Them Eat Cake” blog I noted that my “Spirit of St. Louis” sculpture was going to be at Creve Coeur Lake. I was given the wrong location information unfortunately. My piece will be placed at Soldier’s Memorial in downtown St. Louis instead. I have to say, despite the error, I am actually more satisfied with this location. It’s only ten blocks from my apartment and the Memorial should make for a perfect backdrop for the photo session I have in mind.

3. Coming soon to my Fine Art America and CafePress shops, the best of my steam works on cosplay cards, tees, etc.

Thank you for your support and reading!

-Victoria

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The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc is now available on amazon/kindle.

Product Details

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP -On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz) -Etsy-TheHauteHen

-Instagram-Steampunkcountess

-Tuumblr, CafePress and Fine Art America-coming soon

Masks I Have Worn (Well a Hat really) Pt.2

Hello and welcome to part 2 of this blog. I got pretty excited about this last hat, but I can’t keep it.  It’s available for purchase in my Etsy store. I wanted to make a matching mask in time for Mardi Gras but it’s still in creation mode. I did take a few more photos, this time with different lighting and makeup. And I did want to show off the blue wig. It’s now a favorite in my collection; how did I end up with seven wigs? That sounds like a future blog.
Anyhow, please enjoy this last set of photos, all taken selfie style with my iPhone 4s. First I did a make-up/lighting/wig test:

Eye makeup detail.Lip detail, gold gloss.Low light makeup test.Semi-low light makeup test.

Wig test and a smile. Side view wig test and another smile.

I think this group came out fairly well considering I had a bunch of pimples and a bit of a head cold. So then I brought in the hat and added some emotion:

Best shot of whole hat. Thoughtfulness. Gratitude. Baudy laughter. A bit pensive. That is one tall topper!

I hope to have this series and others from previous shoots available for purchase soon. I’ve also got some really interesting pieces in the works: volumes 9 & 10 of “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series, the aforementioned mask (an in process pic below), a serious blog on masks with yes, more pictures and a super awesome pictorial, and last but certainly not least, my first full steampunk novel, “Strax and the Widow” should go to press this summer.

The mask in process:

Gold Mask in process.

Thank you for your support and reading, Happy Mardi Gras!

-Victoria

______________________________________________________________________________

The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc is now available on amazon/kindle.

Product Details

-Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc
-Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP
-On Pinterest-Victoria Szulc (nee Schultz)
-Etsy-TheHauteHen
-Instagram-Steampunkcountess
-Tuumblr, CafePress and Fine Art America-coming soon

Masks I Have Worn Pt.1

As Mardi Gras approaches, I decided it was a great time to add a hat to my Etsy store. Actually I’m a working on a few toppers and I’ll be sharing each of them in the next few weeks. This time of year also had me thinking about masks; how wearing them can not only change our looks but our inside emotions as well. I’ll go into more depth on this in a future blog.

In the meantime enjoy the creation of this Mardi Gras Top Hat. Each hat becomes a little production with its own photo shoot. I like to mix in a unique hairstyle and makeup in the photos. This can sound a little vain, taking a lot of selfies. To me, it’s art. I create a character to match the fashion. First two pics are of the initial make-up I wore to work at the costume/party shop. I found the wig (California Costume) at the shop; it was a keeper. The mask is courtesy of Johnnie Brock’s.

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This second group was taken later that evening with the hat. The hat is really traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras opulent with a harlequin and his marching staff holding court from the top. A silver and gold mini mask sets on the front brim. An ornate fluer de lis and crown counterbalance the back side.

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Qtr View Back  Mask Detail

I touched up my makeup with kewpie doll cupid’s bow lips (OK, too much pouting on my part) and traditional Mardi Gras colors for t eyes: purple, green and gold.

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I really enjoyed the finished product. I hope you do too!

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Pt. 2 coming soon with more fun photos. Thank you for reading,

-Victoria

______________________________________________________________________________

The latest “The Vampire’s Little Black Book” series volume 8, “Everyone Looks Better Undead” by Victoria L. Szulc is now available on amazon/kindle.

Like on Facebook-The Countess, Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc

Follow on Twitter-@TheCountessSP

Etsy-TheHauteHen