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Bright Red Lipstick

July 17, 2013

Sorry if I gave the impression yesterday that everything is total crap around here, it isn’t…

First of all, from B’s front porch, we were privileged to witness one of the great spectacles of flyover country, wheat harvest.  Great, hulking beasts crawling across the land devouring everything in their path. Completely amazing, if only for the sheer size and efficiency.

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Grain being spewed into the semi.  Quite a lovely view from the front porch, we had front row seats!

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Here is a combine in action, wish I had a camera that would take pictures of the thousands of lightning bugs in the field after harvest, it was like thousands of little fireworks all going off at once.

combine

My apologies to everyone who expected to see some John Deere Green in these pics, but the red is appropriate for what I will tell you in this post.

Of course, there were fireworks.  But we do them with a little twist.  Bear with me as I resist the urge to tell you how fireworks caused B’s dad, who I will now call MOB (miserable old bastard) to come over and tell us to stop it, because, of course, it was upsetting Mom…

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Step one: light the firepit, an old cattle feed bunker.

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Grab yer homemade fireworks pistol, perfect for shooting crab apples and radishes at unsuspecting siblings.

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Fireworks pistol also makes a handy holder for sparklers and roman candles.

Of course, no July 4th celebration is complete without a trip to mom’s or a car show and B loves his car shows!

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My Mom’s place, yeah, there is an insane level of detail on the entire property and her landscaping and attention to detail puts the pros to shame.

family reflections in fairllane

B and my family reflected in the headlight visor and on the hood.  My cousin, in the green tank top, is only chunky looking because of the curve of the hood… just sayin’

flags in 55 radiator

Winner, ’55 Chevy so well detailed, customized and styled that it put B’s car to shame.  (and I am only saying that because it beat B’s ride by a couple of votes, and mine was one of them, oops)

lizzy car fender

1931 Model A fender, with me reflected in it while taking the picture.  I typically try not to take pics of myself when I photograph cars, but I did this on purpose because this is my great grandmother’s car; the first auto she and great grandpa bought as a married couple. (How cool is that???)

The car show was a total BS affair, probably the worst run event we have attended.  The awards ceremony started an hour and 45 minutes late.  Lucky us, though, mom’s place was just a couple blocks away so we bribed the kids with ice cream if they would go to her house and fill my camera case with beverages.  Yep, “hey, kiddies, go fetch some drinks for us while we wait in the sun” hahaha… we are such rednecks; try that, city folks! I can’t even tell you how fun it was to spend the weekend at mom’s with B and the kids.  There were over 30 people at Mom’s watching the parade.  My sis and her hubs, dad’s folks, cousins, friends, and kids all over the place.  I haven’t seen my dad’s mom (step grandma, to be technical) in over 15 years, and she is a bit frail, but holy cow, that woman is sharp as a tack! She knew my kids, who she has never even met before, by name just because she’s seen their pictures!

Men, you may stop reading here, before your eyes glaze over, I am going to talk about clothes and make up…

For car shows, I typically wear a vintage dress.  Old cars and vintage clothes, just go together and where the heck else can I get away with dressing like June Cleaver in public without getting nasty looks from other women? Oops, I still do, but it looks cool and at bigger shows it isn’t out of place, especially where the rules are strict about the cars that can enter.  For the show in my hometown, I toned it down a bit and wore a lovely Hawaiian print true vintage sundress with some lovely ruffles at the neckline and around the skirt.  Mom is probably the only one that knew it was a dress from the 50’s.  The bright turquoise looked amazing against B’s creamy white car seats with the red accents on the interior, and perhaps that is why he lost his mind…

In a couple of weeks, we are going to a BIG vintage car show, it’s the kind of place where I won’t look out of place wearing bright red lipstick and pearls.  Yay!  I have been planning my wardrobe for weeks.  Four days of cars, shop parties, and concerts, oh, yeah and this, “Babe, you are going to look great on stage.” Excuse me???  “Yeah, the pin-up contest.  You are going to enter it.” I was tempted to burst in to peals of laughter until I realized that he wasn’t joking.  Alarm bells started going off in my head, and I immediately started making excuses why that would never happen.  Spin, hamster, spin.  The excuse making factory went into over drive.  What the fuck was he thinking?  Alpha move? Beta? Insanity??? Whatever I said, B just laughed at me, even though I flatly refused to participate.  I thought it was some sort of stress induced shit test, and I was determined to get my way… My way being hiding behind my camera, of course.

If your mind has wandered to naughty burlesque girls of the 50’s stag films, do not despair.  I was not asked to take part in anything risque, these contests are quite tame and G rated.  Vintage clothing, hair and make up are BIG requirements.  I still resisted and turned out more excuses than Rosie the Riveter turned out bombs…but…

B’s campaign to get me to enter the contest and my subsequent refusal ended in me searching for the perfect shade of red lipstick.

Ladies, your suggestions are welcome.

Here is the trial run of hair and make up.  Be nice, please, the pics were taken by Miss Z and she is only 8, plus the lighting is awful…

victory rolls 1

Holy cow, “Victory Rolls” are terribly hard to do with long hair!

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I can feel the make up on my face, dear gawd, what was I thinking agreeing to this???

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Lighting is terrible, and I am so not photogenic, ugh!!! I look far better in person… oh no, no, no!!! 

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7 Comments
  1. Peregrine John permalink

    It’s the other side of the coin you showed in that disaster recovery effort.
    He’s proud of you.
    Get on the damned stage.
    That is all.

  2. Yes, John, I already acquiesced and I am practicing with my hot rollers so I can get my hair just right. 🙂

  3. Peregrine John permalink

    I kind of figured. As you probably know, there is something absurdly attractive about a woman in a vintage dress. Actually, you almost certainly know, don’t you? (Except for those rocket-cone bras. They sort of weird me out.) Turquoise 50’s dress on a pretty lady in a cream and red car? Yes, please.

  4. John, I am updating the post to add some pics of the initial trial run with the make up and hair, I finally got the victory roll hair almost right. Be nice, the lighting is terrible and the pics are from much closer than anyone will see me from the stage!

  5. Peregrine John permalink

    Well, damn. You know, this is the first time I’ve actually seen you with any clarity? Tut est expliqué! He’s right: the contest will be yours if you embrace it, and even if the judges somehow choose someone else in the end.

    Now, as a photographer, let me tell you that the only unphotogenic thing about you is the freaking out about being in front of the lens. I am familiar with that in 2 ways: first, I’ve helped any number of people relax enough to be their radiant selves in photos; and second, I freak out more or less the same way, myself. But take it from me, you are perfectly photogenic visually, just not behaviorally.

    Or situationally, come to think of it. Bad lighting is bad lighting, and there’s not much to do about that. It’d be ideal if the camera was positioned a few inches higher, at your eyes/forehead instead of mouth, to emphasize your feminine features, but your photographer will grow faster than you want her to anyway, I’m afraid.

    Main easy thing from *your* point of view is to lift your chin a bit. Yes, I know what I just said about angles, but not giving yourself a double chin when you haven’t one (the 3rd pic) is more important, and a simple fix you can do yourself. The way you looked down in the 1st image is better, and works even when not looking so far downward. Dang, this is easier to describe in person. Anyway. Second easy fix is simply relaxing! A panicked, stiffly plastic expression softens into the real you when you drop all preconceived “Smile for the birdie!” notions and consider instead the person on the other end of the lens, who wants to capture the beauty of the real Sadie. Look at them, not the scary little machine between you.

  6. Peregrine John permalink

    “To emphasize your feminine features” was badly put. What I mean, and which you probably already know, is that feminine features seem to be designed to view from a slightly higher angle. You can shoot from lower, or below, even, or at someone looking up or whatever, but it needs taking into account. Seriously, these things are easier to show than to describe. Yeesh.

  7. John, your comments are really helpful. I could have gotten better photos from Miss Z, but it was just a test to see how the makeup would “read” on camera. I think that I really need to have the camera set to take multiple shots if I want her to be able to take nice pictures.

    I will work on my photographer’s skills as I work on my hair, because those 40’s/50’s ‘dos were complicated and the liquid eyeliner, don’t get me started…

    Thankfully, the competition is outside and live, not via photographs or I would need your professional services!

    Oh, and I forgot to tell you my cone bra story; those things are frightening. One of my favorite sellers on ebay sent me one as a gift with a dress I bought from her and I tried it out, of course. End result, is the cone bra, a garter belt and some stockings will be tossed in the back window of B’s Chevy. Those things are bizarre, who ever thought breasts should be shaped like that? Yikes!

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