It's Monday, I've been back almost an entire day, my legs are still sore and my feet still hurt. I wish I had stayed a few more days but boy did I have a blast at this year's Viva Las Vegas!
I wanted to go last year but it fell on the same weekend as my Sister's wedding which certainly takes priority! We left Friday morning and got checked into our hotel about 1:00. We headed straight over to car show! I only had car show access this year and I will definitely be doing the all access next year, but it worked well for me since I only went a few days this year. We listened to amazing live music, bought some super cute clothes from the amazing vendors, enjoyed watching the bowling while our feet hurt like crazy.
The first lovely lady I met was The Cherry Dollface, I've been following her on YouTube since I started styling my hair this way, I watched all of her tutorials to learn victory rolls and how to cut Bettie Bangs. She was so sweet, which made meeting her even better, and I was so nervous to chat with her. It was incredibly exciting for me.
Immediately after meeting the Cherry Dollface, I had the pleasure of meeting Miss. Victory Violet. Even though I haven't followed her quite as long, I do adore her. She's sweet as pie, and so tall! When I ran up to her (I mean ran) she said "hello my name is Ella" which really shows you how sweet she is. She complimented my hair and took this cute picture with me! I was over the moon!! If you don't know who she is, which would be crazy, she was the winner of the VLV 18 Pinup Contest! Her Instagram is @missvictoryviolet and from there you can even find her awesome blog!
After watching some great music and getting some shopping done we headed over to the strip for dinner and sight seeing, my "evening dress" is from Pin Me Up, Utah. She's located in American Fork where you can snag all of her amazing clothes and even be transformed into a pinup in her photography studio.
Tbe Orleans was booked solid when I went to start making reservations for this year and it's already booked for next year. So we stayed at the Excalibur, which is the great little castle towards the end of the strip. Next year we're thinking Luxor or New York, New York, but we'll see! Even though it would be awesome to stay in the little pinup world that is the Orleans it was nice to come back to our not so chaotic hotel and relax.
Early morning, day two, we went for a dip in the pool. We probably could've stayed there all day if we didn't have a busy schedule made up already. We went back to the strip - Planet Hollywood to be specific - for some shopping at Tatyanna. We miss ours so much and I was tired of wearing rompers.
We enjoyed tbe sightseeing, who needs to actually go to Paris when we have our very own Eiffel Tower?! The Tatyanna was small but full of goodies. I was able to get a great black ArabellaTop and the amazing Mod Skirt pictured below. They were super nice and I even received a discount because I was here for Viva! They threw in a free parasol - which was much needed at the car show - and a cute little scarf. It was a very good choice of clothing for dancing since it was so comfortable!
We had a blast at Planet Hollywood and watching all the street performers. Afterward we went back for some lunch at our hotel, then freshened up for the car show. We were so giddy to see Brian Setzer, one of my favorite musicians, of course.
When we got back to the Orleans the First Lady to catch our eye was Pinup Cortney. Another one of our favorite models. I came across her when her baby Willow was born, because we used the same hashtags. Her sweet little angel was born very premature and was in the NICU around the time my friend's baby was born. We talked to her about her daughter Willow, about her great tattoos, among other things. We probably could've talked to her for hours. She was so sweet.
We also had the pleasure of meeting her best friend, Jess, or Punk Rawk Mom as we call her from Instagram. Another totally awesome lady!! Very sweet and talked with us about my mom's fun jewelry and hair accessories. They were both so great, I feel so lucky to have met them both!
We walked around the car show some more, meeting up with friends from Salt Lake and admiring all the beautiful vehicles. There was a little boy who couldn't have been older than six who was dancing to one of the Rockabilly bands. He was an amazing little guy! And we were lucky enough to find one of my Bettie's, Greer, for some great photos too.
Shorlty after this photo was taken I came across Miss Rockabilly Ruby, whose hair class I attended in Salt Lake last fall. She is always so cute, so nice, and is always wearing something dazzling. I of course had to take a photo with her as well. She's one of my latest hair inspirations since she is mind blowingly talented.
Almost immediately after seeing her it was time to go watch Brian Setzer. My mom was a fan of the Stray Cats from day one and so she was practically jumping with joy, and I've loved the guy since I cut my Bettie Bangs four years ago. We weren't right at the front but we were close enough that we could see him clearly.
When he first came out Viva Las Vegas was playing - very fitting of course - and then suddenly we all saw him and the enthusiasm in the crowd was so amazing. Everyone started dancing and cheering. It was was the funnest concerts I've ever been to.
He played almost every song off of his album Rockabilly Riot, he played my favorite one "Let's Shake", he played "Runaway Boys" on the guitar he wrote it on, and so many other amazing songs. He isn't going anymore, but you'd never guess he's 57! He plays with so much passion and fire. You can tell he really loves what he does.
He played Sleepwalk, and a very hushed, but in unison, group of people all yelled Richie! Including my mom. It was so beautiful, everyone was so slow dancing, I think a few people were even crying. One of the things that stands out to me the most was the little "pit" of people. I'm very user to seeing mosh pits, being inside of them, etc. but I was so surprised to see one - until I got closer and realized it was what I would like to call a "swing dancing pit"! It was so much fun to watch!
I danced the night away but as soon as it was time to walk back inside it felt like I was walking on glass. My mom and I hobbled back into the Orleans on a mission for skippers - yes slippers - because our feet hurt that bad! And I did drop $70 on a pair of clouds for us. We felt silly around all the beautiful women wearing beautiful heels and we were in fur flippers. We even bumped into a couple of our friends from Salt Lake on this little adventure.
And as we hobbled through the hotel, looking for Baskin Robbins to top off our night we saw Brian Setzer's band. We stopped in our tracks with our jaws dropped searching for him. We never did get to meet that man, but bis drummer did give us some of his guitar pics that I will surely treasure forever, and as soon as he walked away we saw the lovely Doris Mayday. I felt so silly, here she was in her glorious splendor. I was sweaty and not even wearing shoes. I was so embarrassed but still waited patiently to take a photo since I love her so much. She was very sweet and hid her red cup from the camera's eye with her arm around me. I was one happy camper.
After we devoured a banana split we headed back to our hotel. Laughing and very tired full of new awesome memories and already planning our trip for next year. Thank you so much to everyone we met for being so kind! It is so nice to have found my people, my nitsch. I had an amazing time and won't ever miss it again. Until next year, Viva!
I've been dying for a tattoo for about as long as I can remember, I grew up watching my parents get them, so I always knew I would want something very special. I've had so many ideas rattling around in my head I didn't think I would ever decide on one, even with this Bettie Page I will probably want another one of her.
Bettie is my idol, from the very first time I saw her I knew I wanted to be just like her. I think it's very fitting that the woman whose inspired so many of my dreams sits on my arm, keeping my neck sore because I can't stop staring at her. She was such an intelligent woman, not only beautiful but raw intelligence and that's what draws me to her. She was different, she didn't follow all of the other trends, she made her own clothes, wore her hair the way she liked it and had no problem putting on a little leather for a photo shoot.
My great friend Brittnie just got a tattoo at Dagger Art earlier this week and I loved hers, so I texted her asking if they did walkins, she asked what I wanted and about 30 minutes later she told me I had an appointment at 6 o'clock! I was so excited, I couldn't even hold it together. I got there at about six on the nose, practically shaking because I was so excited, I was finally getting a tattoo! My parents came with because they were both also incredibly excited.
Eric Sager is the artist who did my tattoo! I had gone in a few hours before my appointment to check out the studio and to flip through his books, as soon as I saw the amazing portraits he's done I knew that my Bettie was going to be amazing. He took his time and did a wonderful job, making sure I liked every part of her. He was so precise with the colors of the painting I chose, it's unbelievable how beautiful she is. Her eyes are gorgeous.
My arm is a bit sore today, and it's pretty warm too but I'm not in any pain, I'm so relieved I handled it like a champ! I can't wait to go back and get more from these guys. This is an amazing shop and all of the artists are unbelievably talented. Who knows what I'll get next!? If you're thinking about getting something and you're in the Salt Lake Area be sure to check them out. I will put links to the Facebook and Instagram pages below!
I'm so excited about the Black Dahlia photoshoot, courtesy of Dark Corner Productions aka my great friend Marcus from the Horror Junkies of Utah. I've wanted to do this shoot for sometime, I am so fascinated with crime stories, particularly the Black Dahlia, or Elizabeth Short.
A little history on Short, she was the victim of one of the most publicized murders in in history during the winter of 1947. She gained the infamous nickname from a newspaper that is known for nicknaming crimes they found particularly luring. Her murder is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles history.
On the morning of January 15, 1947, the nude body of Elizabeth Short was found cut in half lying in a vacant lot in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. Short's severely mutilated body was drained entirely of blood. The body had been washed by the killer. Short's face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth to her ears, creating an effect called the Glasgow smile.
Several crime story authors have speculated on a link between the Short murder and the Cleveland Torso Murders, which took place in Cleveland between 1934 and 1938. Along with a large number of killings that took place before and after the Short murder, the original LAPD investigators looked into the Cleveland murders in 1947 and later decided against any possible relationship between the two cases. Nevertheless, new evidence implicating a former Cleveland torso murder suspect, Jack Anderson Wilson, was investigated by Detective John P. St. John in 1980 in connection with Short's death. St. John claimed he was close to arresting Wilson for the murder of Short, but unfortunately Wilson died in a fire on February 4, 1982.
Sometimes I wonder if her murder had been set in modern day, would they have caught the guy? Or would he have continued to elude investigators? I've been thinking about more and more lately, especially with the shoot coming up. Because I've always been interested in two things; crime and horror, this opportunity has been very exciting for me. I think because of the era, the deadly crime factor, and the romanticized horror side of The Black Dahlia, I've always been drawn to it. When Marcus asked if anyone was interested in doing a shoot, I grabbed the chance in a heartbeat.
I want to talk through the basics of my makeup before anything, especially because I did my own effects and used a little DIY to whip it all up. First, let's start with the blood. The basis of any good murder victim. My brother, Cameron, actually did most the work on this one. He's much better at Gore Makeup than I am, so I needed his expertise in blood. I googled some recipes for a basis but Cam did everything by eye. I however, did measure as much as possible. We used 4 tbsp of corn syrup, 1 tbsp of water, 5 drops of red food coloring, 2 drops of blue food coloring, 4 drops of green food coloring, and 2 tbsp of cocoa powder. (Actually hot chocolate mix, throw out the mini marshmallows and you have a yummy smelling home made blood, and if you were inclined to do so - completely edible) We left the little batch of blood in the refrigerator for 48 hours, it thickened up to perfection but still applied smoothly. My mom who made my Dahlia had me spatter some of the blood on for effect.
For my makeup I didn't have any latex so I used eyelash glue, I outlined my Glasgow smile with a brown eyebrow pencil, I also used tissue paper for a more skin looking texture. I used one layer of eyelash glue and two layers of tissue paper for each layer of skin. I did this four times, applying my foundation to the wound before using eyebrow scissors to smoothly open the cut. I then used a brown eyebrow pencil as a base for the blood for a darker effect. I then applied the blood to the inside and flaps of the skin. It didn't fully dry and throughout the shoot slowly dropped down my chin!
I'm so happy with how these photos turned out! Even though it was very cold in Copperton. It was one of the funnest shoots I've ever been able to do. I can't wait to work with Marcus on some other holiday themed photos here in the near future. Be sure to follow the etsy store closely, you'll be able to purchase my calendar around Christmas featuring the Black Dahlia photoshoot.