Friday, January 23, 2015

01/22/15 Outfit

Why am I still awake? I obviously hate myself. I'm making this quick. It was a blustery day, so I dressed accordingly.

Blouse and Vest: Thrifted
Jacket: Gift from a friend
Skirt: Handmade
Boots: Kohl's

Fascinator: Etsy (Can't remember the store at the moment.)
Brooch: Came with a Lip Service jacket
Necklace: Handmade

I'm currently trying to convince Dan that we need a Cuddle Clone of Caprica.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

01/21/15 Outfit

I had a plan to put extra effort into my outfit today to help me feel better, and I believe it worked. I am really liking burgundy, pink, and cream color combinations lately. And I wore one of my favorite pairs of boots. It's hard to tell in the photo, but the skirt is a pink and cream stripe. Still using my feathered headband to cover the majority of my crazy roots. I plan to take care of those soon.

Jacket and Blouse: Thrifted
Skirt: Handmade
Leggings: Target
Boots: Fluevog Mini Babycake

Headband: Taissa Lada
Fascinator: Bubbles and Frown
Bow Pin: Michael's
Bat Brooch: Handmade
Earrings: One Star Designs

After work I met some friends for a tapping of Lakewood Brewery's Sin Mint Temptress. It was delicious - tasted like a Thin Mint cookie. I wore my Eyelure Batwing lashes - I can't believe I had not worn these yet. I purchased them this past Halloween. I love them!

Right now it's raining. I really do love the sound of rain. It's supposed to be really cold tomorrow. Looking forward to it! (Even though cold fronts make my hand stiff. Ouch.)


Sporadic Work Outfits and Weekend Wrapup - DMA Late Night, Marvel Experience, and Art Galleries

Outfit photos are a bit sporadic due to feeling under the weather. I basically have gone straight to bed most days. Bleh. I plan to wear something special tomorrow to attempt to cheer myself up.

Last Tuesday, I wore my fabulous Jeffrey Campbell boots again with cream, black, and burgundy.

Jacket and Blouse: Thrifted
Skirt: Handmade
Boots: Jeffrey Campbell

Fascinator: Bubbles and Frown
Brooch and Earrings: Handmade
Bow Pin: Michael's

Thursday after work, we met up with some friends for the Deep Ellum Wine Walk. They have been holding these once a month for a while, but we just made it out this month. You pay $5 for a glass or $8 for a mug and stop at the local shops for wine samples. I checked out a lot of new-to-me stores - it was tipsy fun. The lighting was still good when we arrived, so I indulged in a photo-op. Deep Ellum has beautiful murals all over the place.

Jacket, Lace Blouse, and Skirt: Thrifted
Camisole: Express
Boots: Dr. Marten

Fascinator: Bubbles and Frown
Large Brooch: Michael's
Small Brooch: Sam Moon
Pink Pearl Necklace: Gift
Black Bead Necklace: Target

Despite poo feelings, I had a fun weekend. On Friday evening, we attended Late Night at the Dallas Museum of Art as usual, with a couple of friends. The theme was booze and nail polish - I approve of the combination. Sally Beauty Supply had a grid set up with a recreation of Monet's Water Lilies using bottles of OPI and China Glaze nail polish to celebrate the premiere of their new Nail Studio in the stores. It was partially unfinished so that attendees could insert a bottle to help complete the art. There were some representatives running the area that took photos of everyone inserting their bottle. Dan and I were also asked to talk about our style and art for a video they were putting together. Nothing has been posted yet, but if I see any photos or if we are in the video, I'll be sure to share. Here is the completed piece - it turned out great:

We also played Instagram Bingo, attended an author talk (Tim Federle), went on a booze-themed spotlight tour, and participated in an activity called Come and Dine with Me. I was pretty excited about it because it was basically a Bob's Burgers episode come to life for me. Remember the episode where Gene competed in Table Scaping? Yeah, this was Table Scaping! We created a full-course themed meal based on an artwork in the Indonesian galleries. We chose a pair of guardian dog creatures that were believed to ward off evil spirits. The art came from the Kayan people of Malaysia, so we based the dishes around their rice and fish cultivating culture. We used construction paper to construct the "food." We ended up earning a 20% off coupon for the cafe. I plan to use it for Saturday brunch when an exhibition I want to see opens up in February. We also managed to try one winning cocktail from a contest that was held at the end of last year for cocktails inspired by artworks. I was bummed that we couldn't try the all, but we went to the cocktail lounge at the end of the night and they ran out of ingredients and closed. I did snag the recipe cards for most of the winners to make at home.

Table Scaping! Gene would be proud.

Friday's Outfit:

Blur cat!

Jacket and Blouse: Thrifted
Skirt: Handmade
Boots: Dr. Marten

Bow Tie: Hot Topic
Brooch: Michael's
Earrings: One Star Designs
Hair Flower: Claire's
DMA Friends Badge: Dallas Museum of Art

Saturday we got up early for breakfast buffet then off to The Marvel Experience. I wore my Captain America costume again and Dan was a Hydra soldier. I wrote up a full review of the experience here. My friend Tia was nice enough to snap a mini-photoshoot for me and Dan. I had a story in mind - a Hydra soldier and the First Avenger put aside their differences and find love. Or something. Ha.

There were a couple of art gallery openings I wanted to catch that evening at Kirk Hopper and The Power Station, so I based my evening outfit on my wig so I wouldn't have to bother with crazy post-wig hair. I felt very cartoon-y, ha.

Blouse: Thrifted
Camisole (layered under blouse): Ebay
Cardigan: Target
Skirt: Handmade
Cameo Belt:
Boots: Target

Necklace: One Star Designs
Hat: Taissa Lada

Sunday I was supposed to be productive, but I slept until 4pm instead. Way to go, me! :( I went to a friend's birthday dinner in the evening, then back to bed. I actually repeated last Wednesday's outfit since I felt too sick for photos that night.

Jacket: Hot Topic
Blouse: Thrifted
Skirt: Handmade
Boots: Amazon

Feathered Headband: Taissa Lada
Fascinator: Artisan's A-Go-Go
Brooch: Hot Topic
Bat Pin: State Fair Vendor
Earrings: One Star Designs

No outfit photos for yesterday or today, but I will share tomorrow's Feel Better Outfit.


The Marvel Experience in Dallas - Review

Ah, the infamous Marvel Experience! I purchased tickets to this Hyper-Reality Tour the day they went on sale a few months ago. I planned my costume, then began the impatient countdown. Then...the review for the Scottsdale, AZ preview started rolling in just a few weeks before we had scheduled to go. They were abysmal and made me quite nervous with several reports of janky technology, broken attractions, and super-long lines. Of course, my tickets were already purchased - so I decided to hope for the best and make the most of it. We had a group of friends going, so I figured if anything we would suffer in solidarity.

So, how was my Marvel Experience? Pretty great! Although, I did see room for improvement.

When you first arrive and go through security and ticket scanning, you line up at a kiosk to register your S.H.I.E.L.D recruit ID. This can actually be done online - even prior to attending - to save some time. If you register online you can also upload a photo of your choice instead of relying on the kiosk's selfie camera. This proved useful due to bad lighting, and I had a better photo from a previous wearing of my costume. Pro-tip - you can download and print this ID from the website, so save the $9.99 in the gift shop later. ;)

Now you have all the pertinent information with which to stalk me, I suppose.

This is the first instance where you can see a bit of a hole in the technology. This ID was originally meant to sync to your wristband you receive upon entry. Much like the technology used for the Disney MagicBands, the bracelets were originally meant to store recruit information and training stats (which I assume would have been generated from the games and activities in the main dome.) The technology failed at the preview, so it seems they scrapped it. Without this feature, the bracelet was merely a souvenir, but I did like the little tokens you can insert. You receive 3-4 near the end of the experience and can purchase additional tokens in the gift shop. (Which I did, because I am a target market.) I do plan to keep and wear it.

After registration, you pass through the souvenir green screen photo booth, and into the first dome, which houses a short intro film. Then, into the second dome, which is another intro film that explains the purpose of your training - fighting a Hydra robot that absorbs superhero abilities, the Adaptoid. The videos are cheesey, but I love me some Marvel cheese, so that is not a con. Personally, I think one intro dome would have sufficed - not to mention the second dome was hot inside!

Next, we entered the main dome where all of the interactive games are. This is the meat of the experience. The very first area you come into is a sort of Marvel Museum with props and character origin videos. I liked the videos, but couldn't really watch them because each station was so close together the audio was hard to make out. Plus, if you know your Marvel basics, this area can be a bit boring. There was a matching touch game, which was supposed to be data-gathering from an Adaptoid excavation site. It was ok, but seemed out of place somehow.

Beyond this area was the games. The games were actually very fun, and what I was expecting. The Holo-Blaster Training Simulator was the headlining game. It's a 3D laser gun shooting game. I liked it a lot. There were two motion-based games, Hulk Out and the Mark 47 Flight Training.

I thought the Black Widow Agility Maze was unique. You navigated a corridor without setting off laser beams. You could watch people navigate the maze on the TV outside. Here I am derping around in entirely too much floof for agility (you can vaguely make out Dan at the back):

I did like the mural on the side of the building that housed the maze. We posed for photos while waiting in line. I think more features like this would have made the lines easier to handle.

One of my favorite things was the Avenges Encounter. Three people at a time stood in a designated spot and held a specific pose to summon an Avenger to interact with, which was projected onto the wall above. Really cute and great photo-ops.

We skipped the Spiderman Climbing Wall. We just aren't big on climbing walls and/or were not wearing the right shoes for it.

I do wish there had been more games, because I think that was the best part of the attraction. And the lines were quite long for each one, which I think having more games and activities would have helped that. But let's face it, I live in Dallas - I stand in line and deal with crowds for everything! The lines did keep us there much longer than the 90-120 minute advertised time. We were actually there for 5 hours, but we enjoyed ourselves and had specifically set aside the morning and afternoon, so we weren't bothered by it. (I'm a photo-op nerd, so I probably added a bit of time to that myself.)

We took a break in the cafe before moving on, but didn't eat. The food looked on par with movie concessions. Movie concession prices, as well - but is anyone really surprised by that? One of the employees actually spoke to some of my friends after I had wandered off with Dan to take some more photos, and asked how they thought a cosplay night would go over. My friends said that it's a great idea (I agree!)- especially an adult night. Apparently they tried an adult night during the preview, but it flopped. I think that may have been due to the bad reviews, plus we love our adult nights here - the Perot always sells out for the quarterly Social Science events. I hope they give it a try.

There were some activities in the cafe area, as well. Classified Files to look through - which were vintage comic book covers, and an Avenger paint program. I had to make a pink Captain America, of course. I chose to email my artwork to myself. I liked that little freebie - nice touch.

The next area was inside a replica of a Quinjet. It housed a touchscreen strategy game.

Then, on to the next dome, which housed the 3D movie. This movie was neat because it was projected onto the domed ceiling, so you had to turn about to catch everything. It seemed to place you right in the middle of the action, which I liked. It was a bit disorienting, and a couple of my friends felt a bit woozy afterward.

Next, we moved into a sort of prep area for the 4D ride with a cleverly done Spiderman safety video. And finally, the 4D ride. The ride had moving seats and would burst air, but it was not rendered in 3D, so I wouldn't really call it 4D. Still neat, though. This also showed the largest hole in the failure of the interactive bracelet technology. There was a light-up attachment that you could tell would pop onto your bracelet, but instead we were instructed to just hold it. There was a point in the movie where we held them up to "fight" and all they did was change color. That fell pretty flat, I would have loved to see this utilized to make the 4D movie a big fighting game at the end, with personalized top scores.

After the 4D movie, we exited through the gift shop. There have been some bad reviews on the gift shop due to it being over-priced. In some instances, the items were marked up quite a lot. (Stay away from the Under Armour shirts!) The Her Universe and Mighty Fine prices were not bad, just do your research. The unique item that was available was a custom 3D-printed statue of you and a superhero. The company scanned you there, and the statue ships later from Germany. Prices were not in my souvenir budget, unfortunately. It would have been nice if you could pay a small fee to get scanned (and possibly get a photo printed), then order a statue later. Ah, well. (I completely forgot to take note of the company, or I would link it here.) I purchased a Captain America cardigan by Her Universe I have been eyeing for some time. It was marked up $10, but if you consider shipping cost and the convenience of trying it on first (not to mention larger sizes go fast online), I called it fair. I also purchased a few button badges and the previously mentioned tokens for my bracelet. And I split the cost of the souvenir photo with a friend, because it turned out great:

I was also happy to see the iconic DallasBIG letters at the exit.

Overall, I had a lot of fun. I would love to see this done again with more advanced and enriched technology for a more truly interactive experience. And adult nights! With superhero themed cocktails! In the meantime, that saying "vote with your wallet" does mean something. If you want to see more events like this come to Dallas - support and attend!

**This review is my personal opinion. I was not asked to review The Marvel Experience by Hero Ventures. I am also reviewing based on General Admission ticket prices - I cannot speak on the value of any of the VIP Packages.**


Monday, January 12, 2015

01/09/15 Outfit, 01/12/15 Outfit, Speakeasy Adventures, Fun with Math, and Gallery Hopping

Work was insane last week, so I was glad for a very restorative weekend full of distractions. At least I didn't look as frazzled as I felt on Friday?

Jacket: White House Black Market
Vest: Kohl's
Blouse: JCPenny
Skirt: Handmade

Fascinator: Etsy
Bow Tie: Hot Topic
Lady Skeleton Brooch: Handmade
Grey Cameo Brooch: Michael's
Earrings: One Star Designs

After work Dan and I attended a closing reception and artist talk at Kirk Hopper Fine Art with some friends. Ansen Seale talked about his invention, the slit-scan camera, and gave a demonstration. It's a remarkable device - it takes a photo one line of pixels at a time and repeats the line. It creates unusual and beautiful patterns. These works are photos of plants and water taken with the slit-scan camera, wrapped into a circle, printed on paper, and topped with poured resin:

Clockwise from top-left: Vortex no. 12, Vortex no. 4, Vortex no. 3, and Vortex no. 9 by Ansen Seale

After the reception, we had dinner at Anvil Pub. Then I wanted to show everyone this cute little store Dand and I had passed on the way to Anvil. I couldn't quite tell what it was. It looked like a candy store, but no one was inside. I thought maybe it was a self-serve candy machine kiosk or some sort. After dinner, there was a guy inside and we saw some people going in through a hidden door. Turns out, we have a Speakeasy in Dallas - Truth & Alibi! I am not usually a fan of bars, but I was convinced to go in for one drink just to check it out. I'm so glad I did. It was simply gorgeous inside! There were several lounge areas arranged with thoughtful decor and lush seating. And the cocktails were delicious. Here is an article about it. It's been open since July, but it's not unusual that I didn't know about it since I don't follow bar openings. Still surprised I didn't notice the candy shop facade sooner!


Fancy Lounge!

Saturday we dragged out of bed early to make the member only hours at the Perot Museum. Dan is a huge math nerd, so I wanted to make sure he saw the MathAlive! exhibition before it left. I personally could never get the hang of math - not for lack of trying. I was good at Geometry, but everything else was just rubbish for me. That said, I did enjoy the exhibition. There were several interactive kiosks that presented games and activities based on mathematical principles. Which is much more simple that it sounds. It was heavily geared toward children, but still enjoyable for adults.

We had lunch in the cafe, grabbed some to-go coffee, and went our separate ways for the afternoon. Dan had a lunch with friends and I went to Coppell for the grand re-opening of Roll2Play at their new store. Roll2Play is an amazing table-top gaming store. It's more than just a place to purchase games - they provide a place for community to gather with events, tournaments, and after-school programs. You can pop in and pull a game from the library to play in-store. And on top of all that, they host our local tabletop game expo: TABLE. Tiffany is a fantastic person, and I am so happy for her success.

I stayed a bit longer than planned due to wonderful conversation, so I rushed home to collect Dan and get to the Design District for gallery hopping. Many art galleries coordinate to hold their opening receptions on the same night, which makes for a fun night! We managed to make all but two of the galleries that had openings. Gallery Hopping Professionals! We met up with friends throughout the night, then stopped at Fuel City for the best elote in Dallas before going home. I forgot to take outfit photos Saturday, but here is one that shows my outfit pretty well. This room at Laura Rathe Fine Art was just breathtaking. The pieces are called Totems by artist Karen Hawkins and are made from vintage books.

I wore my heavy Desigual coat with damask print leggings and my 20-eye Dr. Martens for warmth. It was quite chilly outside walking between galleries.

Sunday I lounged in onesie pajamas while I got things organized for the coming week. I may have also snuck in an episode or two of Mr.Selfridge.

Caprica felt like lounging, too. She was curled up on the bed all day being cute.

We met some friends in the evening to watch the Book of Life at the dollar theater. I missed it when it came out in October. (It was cute, but a little too zany at times.) I kept my outfit comfy and casual - I was very tempted to just wear the onesie out. Instead, I wore my Skeleton Rooster Battle hoodie. I found it at a thrift store in Arlington and was endlessly amused by it. Turns out it's the bottle design for a brand of tequila. Ha!

Hoodie: Thrifted
Skirt: Fanplusfriend
Boots (not that you can see them): Kohl's

Hair Flower: Claire's
Necklace: Gift
Earrings: One Star Designs

Today I wore black and pink to fortify myself against the return to the Day Job. Fortunately, things went much more smoothly; I hope the trend continues through the week!

Jacket: Thrifted
Blouse: JCPenny
Skirt: Handmade
Boots: Dr. Martens

Now it's time for a quick manicure, then off to bed.