Chelsea recently finished her second audiobook with Penguin Random House. To download, click here.


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Oh, the Weather Outside

Lately I've heard a lot of complaints about the winter travesty that has been upon our nation. Every time I'm on Facebook, I see a new status about someone who was either thwarted by Mother Nature or saved by the generosity of neighbors. And I have my complaints, too. My back has been sprained for a few days from shoveling out a spot for my car. It took me a hour and a half to get to a rehearsal that should have taken me 20 minutes. Every nook and cranny of my parka is full of snow, all my leggings have holes in them, and I definitely have cabin fever. (The cabin fever, at least, has a cure.)

 Why? WHY?!'s not all bad, guys. I mean, I chose to live in Chicago and I've lived in the Chicago area for pretty much my entire life. I have to acknowledge that the snow is not going away. We puny humans have to bow down to the snow lords of the Midwest. And something that helps me accept how unbelievable atrocious it is out there is finding its beauty. 

"Ugh, Chelsea," I can hear you saying. "Just keep complaining with the rest of us. Stop being such a goody goody. Why don't you go read Eat, Pray, Love or something?" (Which, by the way, I LOVE, so BACK OFF.)

But the truth is, I do far too much complaining already. I complain about EVERYTHING. From long drives to not enough money to buy sushi every night to long hours at work to the hardships of being an actor. And no, I'm not some starving child in a third-world country, so my complaints have little validation. So why not...complain less? 

Besides, there are so many cool things in the world to gush over. For example, I've been obsessed with the idea of a Storybook Sky my entire life. I think it comes from watching too much Reading Rainbow and letting my imagination take over my sense of reality. (Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories also comes to mind.) But the Storybook Sky is one of my all-time favorite things. You know the look: a clear, starry sky, covered only slightly in milky-frothy cloud wisps. The stars sparkle like little cold gems scattered in a deep blue velvet. The kind of sky that fades in ombré to light blue at the edges of the horizon. Like the sky in A Whole New World. Or Beauty and the Beast. Or any number of childhood books that have come to life through illustration. Hence, Storybook Sky. 

I can't emphasize enough how much that kind of atmospheric scene ensnares me. The perfect cutout paper moon and the whimsical wind brushing softly through the trees. The kind of Halloween night or summer evening that stirs anticipation and inspires adventure. The closest representation of what I'm describing is the movie Coraline, but that's another post altogether. 

Still from Coraline

The stars are very comforting to me, and when I look up, I still marvel at our amazing Earth. I am grateful to exist in such beauty. 

Bearing all this in mind, sometimes winter is the best opportunity to see a Storybook Sky. The air is clear and sharp and the night comes quickly and stays longer. I had to venture out-of-doors the other night because I forgot something in my car. And I was so grumpy that I had journeyed all the way home in such vile weather and had to go BACK OUT because of my own stupidity. I turned the corner and saw this:

A surprise Storybook Sky. The clouds were creating a foggy mist above me and the entire world faded into black as I peered down the street. The stars were bright and gentle, the air cold, the world still and quiet. And I was reminded that even though winter can be harsh, it is occasionally pure magic. 



Until I have to dig out my car again. For crying out loud, Chicago. Get it together.


I love the idea of silhouettes as art. A major fad in the Victorian Era, silhouettes continued to be popular well into the 20th Century. And I love both art history and rustic chic, so I thought silhouettes could be an awesome addition to our apartment. Specifically, a pair of awesome silhouettes of Michael and myself that we hand-crafterd for the wall above our bed. 


While I don't have pictures for the assembly of the project, (because my boyfriend Michael is amazing and he cut, assembled and stained them both) I DO have a step-by-step guide and some sassy photos of the finished product. So here we go!


Wood (we used discarded/leftover fence)

Stain (Your choice of color! We used Miniwax)

Thick paper

Tracing paper/pencil/source of light


Black Acrylic paint

Flat paintbrush


Elmer's Glue


Lots of patience

 My Silhouette

First off, I needed to trace our actual silhouettes. I ended up using the overhead projector in my mom's art room (so I cheated a little) but you can use a STRONG light source, pencil and paper. Just stand in profile between the light source and wall (where you've taped up your tracing paper) a-la-solar-eclipse, and have a buddy trace your outline. 

Next up, cut out the silhouette and trace onto your heavy-duty paper. Cut out the heavy paper silhouette and paint over with your black acrylic paint. Use your patience. Let dry.

Mike's Silhouette

In the meantime, have your glorious boyfriend (see above real-life representation) cut and stain the pieces of wood you'll use as your background. If you're short on a S.O./friend/general life contractor for this step, I recommend going to Home Depot and grabbing some awesome scrap wood and doing whatever you want with it! Our background was definitely simple and grainy, but think outside the box. (Pun slightly intended). Think of all the shapes, surfaces, etc. that you can put your face on!

Next up, you're gonna cut your burlap around the border of your silhouette. I preferred mine to be rough and threaded (hence the use of burlap) but feel free to use other patterns/materials. Cloth works well for this, in my opinion. 

FINALLY you'll glue. I tried a variety of adhesives that began with rubber cement and ended with me weeping on the floor. I was reluctant to use it because you can get gross lumps, but good ol' fashioned Elmer's was the best option for getting the burlap and heavy paper to stick to the wood. It also didn't show throught the burlap like I suspect a wood glue would have. This is where your patience will come in the most handy. I recommend gluing the silhouette down first and then placing the burlap around it, gluing a small portion at a time. The glue will bleed through the fabric, so make sure you're spreading evenly and giving it time to properly dry. 

And that's it! This is one of my favorite pieces of art in the apartment, and it was not totally hair-pulling to make. That said, I had a LOT of help with this project and could not be more pleased with the result. 


A Blog About...?

Hey guys, I'm definitely one to try my hand at new things, and lately I've been interested in (dun dun dunnn) blogging.

I know, I know. Every gal with a vague understanding of vintage fashion or a love of glue guns has a blog these days, and I'm a little late jumping on the bandwagon. But in the effort to avoid clichés, I'd like to go a bit outside the boundaries of a typical DIY/fashion/beauty-inspired blog. Not to say that those things won't be a part of it, because I DO actually enjoy DIY projects, fashion, and beauty. But I just don't feel like limiting myself to a category right now. Why not some theatre? Some art? Some travel?

This is new to me, and I'm going to have to brush off my high school English skillz, so please, feel free to judge as harshly as possible. After all, it is the internet. 

For now, I'll leave you with this really awesome shot of a tea party I threw myself. Because I'm into that. 

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