Halloween! 2014 Edition.

Posted on November 16, 2014

 

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You guys know I’m into Halloween. I’ve waxed poetic about Theatre Bizarre. I’ve blathered on about my annual Halloween party and my dorky Luna Lovegood Costume. These images of Eleanor Rigby dressed as a sexy devil porn star, I have laid bare.

 

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Please, no slut shaming. She’s been listening to a lot of Katy Perry and we’re hoping it’s just a phase.

 

So let’s just get to the meat of this post, shall we?

 

This Halloween I dressed as a ‘classy broad from outer space raising her alien baby alone while waitressing at a space wine bar to put herself through college.’

 

As you do.

 

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She’s a feminist minded extraterrestrial, who dreams of working her way to the upper crust of space society. But she does it all for her Glirk. The baby, after all, is her own flesh and blerve.

 

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Perhaps I am getting carried away.

 

Want to create your own Classy Broad From Outerspace costume? Here’s how!

 

For the helmet, I used a 14″ acrylic outdoor lamp shade. With a dremel, I cut the base large enough for my head to squeeze through and added a few air holes. For the antennae, I attached wire pot scrubbers (from the dollar store) to the ends of a couple threaded rods. For the jet pack, I wired two galvanized pipe fittings together and added 2-liter bottles, spray painted silver, to the tops. I added some knobs and dials to the front and clipped on book lights from the dollar store for added space-age-iness. For the alien baby, I carved the head out of styrofoam, layered on some paper mache, and added a few coats of paint. By the way, Martha makes the perfect alien-green paint color (of course she does).

 

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A few photos from Theatre Bizarre

 

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Somehow, the Theatre Bizarre crew outdid themselves again. The artistry, imagination, and talent injected into this event is bonkers. If you’re not attending Theatre Bizarre every year, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG. I’m sorry to yell, but it is the truth.

 

Over Halloween weekend, my friend Mish and I hosted our annual costume party at a new venue – Corktown Tavern in Detroit. The turnout was huge. Everyone danced, drank, thrillered, and time warped. I had the best time.

 

And now! Partially-focused Halloween photo dump in yo face! Blame the under-lit bar. Or the booze.

 

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Only 349 days until Halloween!

 

xoxo

 

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Our trip to Spain! Part One.

Posted on October 13, 2014

 

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The end of Summer was a reeeeal doozy. Our house fell victim to the severe storms that hit the Detroit area on August 11th. About two feet of sewage rose up from our drains, flooded our furnished basement, and ruined just about everything we had down there. And guys, believe me when I tell you, we had a lot of stuff down there. Some very lovely vintage furniture, irreplaceable family heirlooms, expensive electronics, linens, tools, books, records. Our furnace broke. Our hot water heater broke. All of my trolls from the 1980′s drowned in poop water. It was terribly depressing. Even more depressing – our homeowner’s insurance covered zero of the damage. Did you know that there is a very specific, very SEPARATE rider one must purchase for such sewage nonsense? I became aware of it the day after the storm. My conversation with our insurance agent went a leeeetle bit Robbie Hart.

 

And so, for the last two months, we’ve been cleaning and rebuilding the basement. It hasn’t been fun. OR CHEAP. All caps on that one because it is the truth.

 

But this is a post about Spain.

 

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I am undecided if this was the worst timed vacation or the best. Nothing like a momentous trip abroad in which languages must be practiced and itineraries must be organized nestled right in the middle of a personal crisis to really activate your stress receptors and show you what you’re made of. But then again, riding a horse to the top of a mountain with a view of Barcelona that is like shuuuuut uuuuup kinda makes you extra grateful to the experience when you’re coming off a month of chaos, I suppose. I highly recommend it. And also don’t. You feel me.

 

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Here’s a short little video of our trip. Someone please remind me to rotate my camera next time, because it’s 2014 and I have an iphone for crying out loud. What am I, 90?

 

 

I’ll be back soon with a big ol’ post about what we did, what we saw, and where we stayed. It was nothing short of spectacular, and I’m already beginning to over-romanticize it. I’m looking forward to it. You too? Thought so.

 

What else… Ah yes, the bathroom makeover plan is still on the books, thank you for asking. In fact, I finished caulking and spackling all the things this week. And it only took four months! I hope to have a coat of primer on the walls by… Easter? I kid, I kid (no I don’t). First order of business is to finish up my Classy Broad from Outer Space costume for Theatre Bizarre. But after that, paint. Probably.

 

Keep up with me on the Instagram, eh?

 

Happy Halloweentober!

http://traceytilley.com/theatre-bizarre-the-procession/

 

 

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Instant Detroit – The Heidelberg Project Edition

Posted on August 6, 2014

 

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Remember when I started a blog series called Instant Detroit back in January of 2013 and then never wrote another post in that series until now? Me neither.

 

I’m a terrible blogger. Anyway, post number two, COMIN’ ATCHA.

 

I’ve been a longtime supporter of The Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art installation located in a residential community on Detroit’s east side. Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director, started the project in the 1980′s as a creative response to the poverty, decay, and crime that had taken over his childhood neighborhood. He, along with the help of family and neighbors, boarded up abandoned houses, mowed the overgrown lawns, and cleared out the trash. They gathered up discarded tires, shoes, dolls, and other everyday objects and nailed them to the houses. They painted the concrete with colorful polka dots and turned a two block area into a living art gallery. Tyree didn’t attempt to cover up the truth of the neighborhood, nay, he amplified it, calling attention to the desperate area by turning it into a tourist attraction. And it worked. Over 275,000 people visit The Heidelberg Project annually. A bevy of celebrities have publicly discussed their visits to The Heidelberg Project as well,  including Anthony Bourdain, Kate Moss, Beyonce, Bruce Weber, and Ryan Gosling to name a few.

 

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Of course, there’s the never ending debate – is it art or is it junk? Many people say The Heidelberg Project wouldn’t last a second in the suburbs, and that’s true. But the suburbs don’t need a Heidelberg Project, and that is Tyree’s point. After the riots in the late 1960′s, thousands of businesses and residents fled the city for the suburbs. The tax loss led to cutbacks and non-repair of basic services. It became clear to the remaining residents of Heidelberg Street that they had been forgotten, and help was not coming. This is a situation (somewhat) familiar to me. Back in the late 70′s and early 80′s, my family lived near the Michigan State Fairgrounds, a similarly blighted section of Detroit. We watched our neighborhood fall to ruin as our previous neighbors’ homes turned into crack houses. Our house had been burglarized and all our windows shot out, twice. I was robbed before I was even three years old. My parents never once called the police, for a simple reason – they wouldn’t come. It’s a terrifying feeling that many of us living in the suburbs will never experience, and thankfully, we got out while I was quite young. To the cynics who pose the question – Would YOU have wanted to live next to The Heidelberg Project? I answer that question with an emphatic YES. With its constant flow of tourists, neighbors, and volunteers welcoming visitors and maintaining the grounds, Heidelberg Street is the safest street on the block.

 

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Tyree created an eccentric dreamworld, that despite it’s controversy, shifted the way people interact with this neighborhood. He collected the trash and created a visually assaulting work of art, that, just like the neighborhood itself, isn’t always pretty to look at. But people are coming. In droves. People who would be too scared to visit this area otherwise. The Heidelberg Project reminds us that this neighborhood, and the people who inhabit it, are still alive, and they need our help. It’s rumored that the national attention drawn to the neighborhoods surrounding The Heidelberg Project and the recently shuttered Theatre Bizarre grounds aided in calling the city into action. Detroit’s emergency manager recently proposed to spend half a billion dollars to demolish 400-500 abandoned and unsafe residential structures per week. As Detroit begins its revitalization efforts, many fear that the end is nigh for The Heidelberg Project. But isn’t that the whole point?

 

Despite its adversity, despite its dissidence, The Heidelberg Project is a part of Detroit’s history and this cake still isn’t done. I imagine there will be a day when the street lights come on at dusk, and the kids are safe to play. Maybe the windows are no longer barred and the eight foot chain-link fences are gone. I like to imagine that a few polka dots remain, too.

 

It’s a real nice dream.

 

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The above images were shot with black and white instant film in my old Polaroid Land Camera back in October.

 

PS: The Heidelberg Project recently selected 34 Instagram photos from the hashtag #snaphp to be displayed in the Number House Gallery. Three of my photos are on display and available to purchase for $10 each until the end of October. 100% of the sales are donated to The Heidelberg Project. The Number House Gallery and gift shop is open on Thursdays from 11am to 5pm and Friday through Sunday from 12pm to 6pm.

 

xoxo

 

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Bathroom Makeover Time!

Posted on July 17, 2014

 

When I bought my house ten years ago, the bathroom looked like this:

 

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I’ll spare you close-ups of the black mold, the rusted faucet, and my revolted tears. The bath tub looks tan in that photo, but trust, it was Pepto Bismol pink.

 

As a naive first time home buyer, I planned to fix up the house quickly (hahahaha) and then flip the house for a MAJOR profit (hahahaha). So when I gutted the bathroom, I made choices that weren’t reflective of my personal style, but instead what I thought would be considered safe to a potential buyer. And so I went the cheap and dirty route: marbled ceramic tile, an off-the-shelf Home Depot vanity, and generic chrome fixtures. I know, I know, total snoozeville. SIGH. We live and we learn, right? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible, and I certainly don’t hate it, but do I sometimes gaze longingly at this photo while caressing my monitor and whispering “someday we’ll be together, sexy bathroom of my dreams.”? Yes.

 

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Ugh. The beauty. It pains my heart.

 

Anywho, it has been seven years since our bathroom has seen a new coat of paint, and I’m 100% over the moss green walls. I’m not planning a major overhaul, just a little face lift. Let’s hyper-scrutinize the room, shall we?

 

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To do list:

     

  1. Prime & paint the walls, ceiling, and door.
  2. Re-caulk around the tub and sink.
  3. Try out some DIY grout cleaning techniques and products. I’ve heard this product works really well. Have any of you tried it?
  4. Replace the knobs on the vanity.
  5. Replace the medicine cabinet? Maybe? I’m not sold on this. I love the look of open shelves but I need closed storage to hide our ugly products.
  6. New wall art and accessories.
  7. Replace the toilet paper holder and towel bar?
  8. Replace the toilet seat with a plain white one.

 

Here’s a roundup of pretty things I put together for the new design. A mood board, if you will.

 

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

 

I think dark gray walls will play nicely with the cream tones in the tile. I’ve been looking at paint swatches throughout different times of the day, and man, it’s hard to find a good gray that doesn’t turn blue, green, or purple at night. I have it narrowed down to 2-3 swatches, so I just need to jump the gun and pick one. I’d like to bring in some plants, either on the wall or on the window sill, and incorporate some warm textiles. I already picked up those drawer knobs and door hooks on clearance from Anthropologie a while back (looks like they’re sold out now), and though there’s nothing wrong with the towel bar that we have now,  I really like those acrylic ones from CB2. Hmmm…

 

Ok, I’m off to buy paint!

 

Just kidding, it’s 11:00pm. I’m going to clarisonic my face and watch Orange is the New Black. But, this weekend! Paint! (Hopefully).

 

 

 

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Goodwill (and me) at Eastern Market’s new Sunday Market!

Posted on June 3, 2014

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A few weeks ago, my interwebs pal Bethany Nixon (owner of Reware Vintage, founding member of Handmade Detroit, and all around cool gal) contacted me about an opportunity to curate a pop-up shop at Goodwill’s new boutique location inside Detroit’s Eastern Market. She recently signed on as one of their local stylists and suggested I participate as well. Of course I was game and immediately hopped on board. Thanks for thinking of me, Bethany!

 

So here’s the deal. Goodwill Detroit will have a pop-up shop at Eastern Market’s new Sunday Street Market, every other Sunday, from June 1st through September 28th. The shop will be located inside Shed 2 and will be open from 10am to 4pm. Each shop will be curated by a local Detroit stylist (there are seven, including me). Each of us are combing through the local Goodwill stores to find exceptional items that match our personal style. Each shop will feature at least 40-50 pieces of hand picked clothing and accessories, completely styled outfits, and unique vintage housewares. I will be curating two of the shops – the first on Sunday June 29th and the second on Sunday August 24th.

 

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I’ve visited each of the local Goodwill locations in the past couple weeks, and I must say, I’ve been very impressed with their stores. I’ve shopped a LOT of second-hand stores over the years and I can say from experience that they are not all created equal. Nothing bums me out more than spending an hour or two sifting through a dirty/smelly second-hand store that straight up gives me the super-willies only to come out empty handed. The Goodwill stores, on the other hand, offer a more palatable and upscale retail experience. They have hardwood floors, pleasant overhead lighting, and their stores are very clean. The prices are great, new items are added daily, and the quality of the merchandise is really good. I’ve pulled fantastic pieces from Coach, Michael Kors, Dooney & Bourke, Banana Republic, Free People, Levi’s, and Gap. (Goodwill did not ask me to review the stores or say any of this stuff, by the way. I just had such a great experience and wanted to share it.)

 

Here’s a sneak peek at the types of items you can expect to find in my pop-up shop on June 29th and August 24th.

 

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I’m only pulling items that are in great condition, are of good quality, and fit my own personal style. I won’t add a single thing to the shop that I wouldn’t wear myself or have in my own home. The clothing, shoes, and accessories I’ve selected are on trend and in like-new condition. I’m pulling all sizes, including plus sizes, so nobody will be left out. NOT ON MY WATCH. The housewares are primarily mid-century vintage and akin to what you would find at a nicely curated store, like Lost & Found Vintage or Vogue Vintage, but the prices are wayyyy more affordable. You have no idea how hard it’s been to not take all this dope-ass stuff home with me!

 

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Someone please buy that Pretty in Pink poster, because she’s not going to appreciate herself. And if you want to get your fingers on a BADASS designer purse, get to my shop early. I pulled a few really good ones and they are priced to go! There will be soooo much good stuff, it’s stupid.

 

Come see me at Goodwill’s YB Blue shop on Sunday June 29th & Sunday August 24th and treat yo’self to some new duds. Bring cash, hugs, and all your fashionable cousins! Located inside Shed 2 at Eastern Market, 10am to 4pm.

 

Here is the schedule for all of the Goodwill pop-up shops this summer and links to all the stylists involved. I can’t wait to see what they found and shop their collections!

 

xoxo

 

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