Sunday Photo Fiction: Ruthless #amwriting #flashfiction #chess 


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF. 

——–

Credit: A Mixed Bag – Alistair Forbes

———

“I’ve learned some interesting things about chess lately,” Karley said. 

Tyler smirked and made his first move, the frosted glass pawn advanced, “What did you learn?” 

“Well, way back when there was no Queen. Beside the King was an Advisor.” 

“That Advisor must have had a lot of power if in chess he could move any direction on the board, diagonal or straight. Why did the Advisor become a Queen?” 

Karley grinned, “Well, for one, Queen Elizabeth I. But around her time and after, there were many powerful Queens. The Advisor becoming Queen was meant to please Queens, rulers who weren’t male.” 

“Do you think Queens in the monarchy were as ruthless as Kings?” Tyler asked watching Karley bring out her Bishop. 

“Of course. Queen Elizabeth I had no trouble executing those who opposed her. She also never married. I think power was her raison d’être,” Karley said placing her finger on the clear glass Queen. 

“But yet the Queen still protects the king?” Tyler mused. 

“He doesn’t really get to move much, though, does he?” 

“No, just a space here and there.” 

“Checkmate,” Karley said. 

“What, what does that mean? How’d you do that so fast?” 

“It comes from Arabic and French. Literally, it means, ‘He is Dead’ or ‘The King is Dead.’ I did it so fast because I’m the Queen.”

” The Queen?” Tyler said confused. 

“Yes, we’re ruthless.” 

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Beauty: A Dream Vanity Area



If you could choose your favorite place to get ready in the morning or when you’re going out to a party or special event, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a vanity area? Yes, I know for many women (and some men) this seems like a dream.

I would adore haveing a dressing table area where I could have all my makeup and hair tools, have everything organized well, and have my vanity area designed exactly the way I would like it to be designed to my unique preferences.

While modern vanity tables for women and shaving tables for men developed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, beauty items such as cosmetic boxes, ointment jars, and perfume jars, were found in 1910, in “inlaid cedar cosmetic box[s]” in the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. 

Madam Pompadour of France, however, was one of the first women of the aristocracy to perform elaborate grooming rituals. The french aristocracy had boxes called Neccessaires’ which held perfumes, combs, nail files, and tiny scissors. Madam Pompadour (mistress of King  Louis XIV (1638 to 1715)) aided the French king in developing the ‘toilette’ or beauty regime for both men and women in the royal court. 

One fantastic example of an early vanity table was used by Marie Antoinette who had a dressing table specifically made to fit makeup items, writing implements, and a mirror. The piece was commissioned as she was due to give birth to her son and the vanity served multiple purposes also being used for eating and receiving visitors.

In the twentieth century, the vanity table developed significantly in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Glamorous Hollywood films made popular skyscrapers with luxurious penthouses and “femme fatale [movie] heroines.”

These starlets sat elegantly at their dressing tables which were streamlined in form compared to vanity tables of the past. Many women wanted to emulate these actresses and the vanity table became an essential piece of furniture for the modern woman.


Considering my dream vanity and how I would design it and the area around my vanity,  I realized there are many vital factors to consider. What I ended up with was a mood board of decor items I would adore in a vanity area. You can find my mood board at the beginning of this post.

There are many aspects I considered when I thought about designing a vanity area. The first being what style of vanity (the dressing table) I wanted. There is such a variety of styles of vanities to choose from but many are actually writing desks used as vanity tables, not the actual vanities which for instance, my great-grandmother Ida owned.

I tend to love antique vanities which have been repurposed. There is something curvilinear, ornate, and luxurious about the carving and details in the design of some antique vanities. What I love about repurposing old furniture, is that much of it is made from quality hardwoods, not cheap soft wood. Much furniture today is made of wood which easily breaks or splits.

Also, I would choose to paint my repurposed (or designed to appear antique) vanity my favorite color of light-blue. I would make it a feature piece of furniture in my bedroom and would paint the walls a neutral beige or gray with the same warm or cool hue found in the color blue used on the vanity. Below are three examples of vanities which caught my eye would be similar to my dream dressing table. I wouldn’t want such a roughed up quality to the paint but a nice sheen or solid color.


 

Credit: Home Decorating Trends – Homedit -www.pinterest.com

 

img_3080
Credit: http://www.createinspireme.blogspot.com

 

Credit: http://www.danisvintagedesign.com

Another choice for my dream vanity would be to paint it with a pearlescent paint in a light sheen of bronze, gold, or silver. These dressing tables are more glamorous than the blue ones but would also retain a unique but more modern design such as the opulent vanities of the 1930’s.

A significant reason I chose antique vanities versus modern streamlined ones, has to do with my personal aesthetics and especially, drawer space. I think a vanity should have significant drawer space for you to put your makeup, hair tools, lingerie, or whatever else you would like to store in your drawers. My favorite vanities have both slimmer drawers up top and larger deeper drawers on the sides. Storage is a major issue when choosing a vanity for yourself.


 

Credit: http://www.facebook.com via http://www.pinterest.com

 

Credit: http://www.pinterest.com

 

img_3083
Credit: http://www.missmustardseed.com

Many of the vanities pictured above have attached mirrors. I would be happy to have one of these mirrors refinished, but I also felt you could remove the mirror and hang a mirror with an interesting frame on the wall, behind your vanity. The mirror might be a little farther away from where you would sit, on the wall, but I don’t think this would be a problem if a person had enough natural and artificial lighting in their vanity area.


 

img_3050
Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

img_3113
Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Another important detail to consider is the chair you sit on in front of your vanity. Whether you purchase a vanity that’s antique which you refinish yourself, or you find you like already refinished, you can replace what is often a small stool or bench, with a fancy and comfortable chair.

Especially if it’s for a special occasion, I prefer to have back support, personally, and be comfortable while I’m doing my makeup and hair. I want a cozy place to sit and a chair with a cushioned back and seat. Here are a few examples of chairs I like below, the gray one is my favorite chair; however, you can also find yourself a fancy dining chair, or some other kind of comfortable chair which matches your vanity and decor scheme.


 

img_3065
Credit:  Unknown – Google Search

 

Credit: Source Unknown -Google Search

 

Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

Another aspect I would consider for a vanity area, if you have space, would be a soft but stylish chaise lounge near your dressing table. I would include this in a dream vanity area because a chaise lounge or sofa, would make you feel more at home and enjoy being in this space, even when you’re not preparing yourself for the day or an event.

A chaise lounge or a couch could be somewhere your significant other sits and talks to you while you’re getting ready, or your kids. It would also be a comfy and plush hideaway to read a book when you have the time, especially if you have a space with excellent natural light or a floor lamp nearby, as I would in my dream vanity area.

As well, it makes sense to have a plush chair of some kind here because a vanity area would be close to my closet as well, so I’d probably need something to throw clothes on as I try on several outfits or change out of my work clothes after arriving home.It’s also a place to sit on while you put on your shoes and zip up your tall boots.


 

Credit: http://www.decor-zone.net

 

Credit: http://www.neimanmarcus.com

I talked briefly about lighting but it’s one of the most significant aspects of all to consider, not only for aesthetics but because women require fantastic lighting when putting on makeup and doing their hair.

There is no substitute for natural light and in my dream vanity area, I would have many windows nearby. You never want to walk outside and see you’ve put on your makeup too thick for daytime or used the wrong color of foundation for the season so your foundation ends up appearing orange in the daylight.

In addition, having a chandelier or some kind of pendant light above your dressing table makes it the area appear more opulent as well as making it easier for a woman to see what she is doing at her vanity. A small chandelier, for me, makes the area all the more appealing. It aids in creating a space where would enjoy spending more time and I would probably be spending a lot of time there, so I want a beautiful light fixture.

I had trouble choosing between three different light fixtures. On the Restoration Hardware website, I found this lovely light made of “tiers of translucent white capiz shells” and I love the movement created when light shimmers through these iridescent shells.


 

img_3049
Credit: http://www.restorationhardware.com

Another especially favorite pendant light of mine is the flower pendant light from Arhaus. This light is gorgeous, unique, and sculptural. I think the “Italian glass” crystals hanging down would be perfect for a vanity area. This light fixture is superbly classy with this flower having “dark silver clay finish;” the artist in me adores it.

Lastly, I was drawn to another indoor/outdoor chandelier made from recycled glass and wrought iron from Pottery Barn. The glass circles made me think of bubbles and/or a pair of pretty dangling, bronze and glass earrings. I think for me interior design and fashion often overlap.


 

img_3072
Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

img_3086
Credit: http://www.potterybarn.com

A third issue to consider with lighting is actual lighting where you sit at your vanity, on top your table. Here is the place where you or I would apply our makeup or remove it, perhaps along with our jewelry. I’m not a fan of those big bulbs that go around vanity mirrors, to me they’re a bit tacky (my opinion).

I think I would browse for some trendy table lamps which went with my decor scheme and weren’t too large. My thoughts are that they would appear classier and provide more natural lighting as you can put light bulbs in lamps with more of a warm glowOne lamp might be enough, or you might prefer two, depending on how much space you have. There are a couple of different ones I liked and you can see them below. They’re both from Arhaus,  here and here.


 

img_3070
Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

 

img_3071
Credit: http://www.arhaus.com

One final issue to consider with lighting and mirrors, is a having a magnifying mirror. Yep, the kind where you feel scared when you can see every mark or wrinkle on our face. While I hate that aspect of these mirrors, they can be helpful. They’re especially great when you’re plucking your eyebrows, getting rid of a few stray hairs, or when you’re trying to apply liquid eyeliner or any eyeliner for that matter.

I would buy one of these magnifying mirrors which lights up. It could sit on my dressing table top or be attached to the wall behind my vanity. I prefer one not on the top of the vanity since I need the space for other items.

Certain mirrors with LED lights can be moved closer or a farther away, whichever way you need. There are also various degrees of magnification. You can check out this magnifying mirror below, from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Lastly, ensuring my vanity area is near plugins where I could easily plug in a power bar with more plugins for curling irons, a blow dryer, and my table lamps would be a must for my vanity area.


dream-magnifying-mirror-light
5X Magnifying Mirror with LED Light(www.bedbathandbeyond.ca)

Now to tackle one the largest issues in my vanity area, having the best kind of storage for makeup, makeup brushes, hair devices, and any other products I store in and around my dressing table. A wonderful place for these organizational items is Bed, Bath, and Beyond because they have a ton of well-priced organizational items, many of which are also attractive for certain decor schemesHome Sense is another excellent place for this.

A third place you might consider buying storage for on top of your vanity is an office supply store, as many of their lines for storing stationary work well for storing makeup and skincare products. You can also use decorated or lovely colored trays and special storage from any home store, these products are easy enough to find.

Hanging a few decorative shelves nearby to house some of your personal items, is also an option I would consider for my vanity area, along with this neat holder I found on Pinterest, which is specifically designed to hold your blower dryer, hair straightener, and curling irons and can be found at Home Depot and mounted on the wall. For specifically made to hold makeup organizers on top of your vanity, Amazon is an excellent place to search for these holders at a great price.


 

Credit: http://www.homedepot.ca

 

Credit: Unknown – http://www.pinterest.com

 

http://www.bedbathbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.overstock.com

 

img_3077
Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

For makeup brushes my favorite storage solution is to find a pretty container, it could be a pencil holder a candle holder (whatever fits your brushes) or a couple of each, and fill them half-full with little rocks/beads or a similar vase filler. Stand your brush handles in these containers along with your mascara and eyeliners. Your brushes and makeup products will stay upright and it works superbly well.  I would use the same method on my dream vanity table; however, any pretty container which stores your brushes upright along with eyeliners and mascara, works well as long as they suit your design scheme.


 

img_3078
http://www.stylecaster.com

 

img_3091
http://www.totalbeauty.com

For makeup, you can also find some beautiful trays to put your makeup and skincare products on. Sometimes even trays with divided off sections, so it makes it easier to store certain items such as blush or lipstick. I prefer stylish storage for on top of your vanity, such as silver or gold trays, decorated or colored candle holders, and mirrored makeup supply/brush holders. Below are some photographs of these ideas I liked for my own vanity space.

It’s also helpful to find some see-through jars or containers to hold items such as Q-tips and cotton rounds, used for toner and taking off makeup (etc). For haircare products, a shelf that can fit hairspray, mousse, dry shampoo, and other taller hair products is useful with a shelf on top which leaves you with storage for smaller bottles of hair care products. 


 

Credit: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.ca

Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

Credit: http://www.bouclair.com

 

img_3074
Credit: http://www.bathbedandbeyond.ca

 

Credit: http://www.hautandhealthyliving.com

The last and hardest part of storage is finding containers which will fit in shallow top drawers and in deeper side drawers for a dream dressing table. Since I would like my vanity area to not look so cluttered, I would like it if most of my makeup could be organized in the top drawers at least.

It is possible to purchase makeup dividers which fit inside draws or find your own little baskets or boxes, which will fit different kinds of makeup. Makeup storage also depends on how much makeup you own and should still be keepingAmazon is an affordable and easy place to find this type of storage.

Makeup storage also depends on if you want to store your makeup visibly on the wall or hidden (such as I do) in the drawers of your vanity. I prefer drawers, they appear so much neater than makeup storage in wall-mounted containers or on a magnetic board.  I can close messy drawers if they need cleaning and if my makeup has dirty cases. 

I believe in keeping a vanity top clean and clutter free as possible because it makes it easier for me to find what I need each morning before working or if I was Mom, for instance, before dealing with my children.

For me, I would only keep the makeup I use the most out and put everything else away. I would like the top to be clutter free so I have space to work and to display some of my prettier pieces of jewelry and perhaps perfume.


 

img_3089-1
Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com


 

img_3115
Credit: Instagram – http://www.pinterest.com

 

img_3125
Credit: http://www.walmart.com

It would also like to personalize my vanity space with authentic artwork to my taste, which matches my decor in my vanity area. I have chosen some of my favorite watercolor paintings off of Etsy which work into the blue vanity scheme and have this Chanel, posh and classy feel about them.  Also, I like how this spice wrack became the perfect place to store perfume and display bracelets.


 

img_3069
Credit: Mandibelle16 – Amanda Eifert

 

img_3097
Credit: TiffanyUssery – http://www.etsy.com

 

img_3096
Credit: theArtForYou – http://www.etsy.com

 

img_3100
Credit: LA Scandal – http://www.etsy.com

img_3099
Credit: Maria Ahrens – http://www.etsy.com

 

img_3098
Credit: Cheri Miller Art – http://www.etsy.com

I enjoy purchasing my artwork prints on Etsy because the prints you buy are less expensive and they are from local artists and small businesses. The prints are more unique than art you would find in most home decor stores. I would order the prints I’ve chosen off of Etsy and then visit Winners/Home Sense or the Craft store to find frames to put my art in.

I could choose to search for frames which are all the same style of frame or look for frames which are the same color. I believe what I would do is mix up frame colors and styles, have frames in black, gold, and silver, as long as they fit in with the vanity area them I’ve created and its ambiance.

For me, this would be my perfect dream vanity area; however, as you can tell, it’s difficult to choose precisely what pieces fit and what pieces don’t. Thanks for reading!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: Of Macaroons #quotes #dessert #3LineTales #amwriting


Thank You to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. 

You know, I never tasted macaroons until this year. My friend had some mini ones at her ‘Clothing Exchange Party.’ I never thought they’d be so yummy but they are! My friend bought the mini ones too so the size was perfect. I had a mint one because it’s one of my favourite flavours, not peppermint — mint. Enjoy these macaroon quotes 🙂 

——

Credit: Baher Khairy via UpSplash

———

1. 

http://www.pinterest.com

——

2. 

http://www.pinterest.com

——-

3. 

http://www.pinterest.com

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Part 4: Never Again – New Love for Jolene.


Please read Part 3 of ‘Never Again’ here.

Part 4: Never Again – New Love for Jolene.

“Sorry do I know you?” A handsome man around her age asked Jolene.” You seem familiar. And well, you’re beautiful, who could forget you.” Jolene indulged the man with a smile. She was anxious to return to Kasia and Aunt Cathy. No doubt Auntie Cathy had spilled all of Jolene’s carefully guarded secrets to Kasia.

“I don’t believe we’ve met before,” Jolene told the man. “I’m only visiting Cathy Lumiere, with my daughter. I’m Cathy’s niece. I used to live with Cathy when I was in highschool.”

” High school that’s it,” the man mused smiling. He had beautiful lips Jolene thought and such long dark lashes covered his chocolate eyes. “You were the head cheerleader and Prom Queen, you dated Scott Jeune. I never liked that guy. He was obnoxious and a narsaccist if you ask me.” Jolene looked at the man thinking he didn’t realize how true his opinion of Scott was.

” What’s your name, Monsieur?” Jolene asked the man.

“I’m Luc Devreaux, Jolene. I own Chateau Blanc.” Jolene’s eyes went huge when she learned Luc owned the Chateau. She studied his face, staring. Jolene tried to remember if she’d ever seen a Luke Devreaux at the Chateau.

Luc cleared his throat and Jolene realized he’d been holding out his hand for her to shake. Instead of shaking her hand though, he went in for a kiss on each of Jolene’s cheeks. Jolene blushed. Luc smelt delicious, spicy, and citrus.

“How French of you,” Jolene said and Luke gave her a charming grin.

“You have been gone so long you have forgotten about your French roots?” Luc asked Jolene and she hesitated at Luc’s question.

“Well, I travel a lot for work. I wasn’t from Nice or even France originally. I was born in Montreal, Canada. And except for business I have lived in Ottawa with my daughter for five years now… I’m trying to picture you Luc as you looked when I was in highschool, but I can’t remember you. I’m sorry, I was a wild girl at sixteen and seventeen -years-old. I went out with many boys until I met Scott. Lucky, the thing with Scott was only temporary.” Jolene felt she was rambling but Luc made her nervous in a wonderful way. He made her feel as if it were fine for her to be herself.

“Well we went out a few weeks,” Luc began, “but I wasn’t living at the Chateau then. I inherited it from my father later. Mon pere and ma mere have been divorced since I was twelve and I lived with my Mother, who had custody until I was eighteen. But I visited my Dad here in the summer. I remember you well from when you went to high school. You were amazingly pretty, full of yourself, but what pretty teenage girl isn’t. I wanted to keep seeing you, but Scott asked you out. Even though, I was a few years older than you, all you cared about was Scott.” Luc said sadly.

Jolene thought hard. Slowly, a few threads of memories came together in her mind. She remembered a  handsome guy, older than herself, who resembled Luc. She had met young Luc on the path to Chateau from the beach where she had been sun tanning. Luc had been good-looking in a classically handsome way, lanky and athletic. He wasn’t charismatic as Scott had been. But Luc as a young man was an unwavering presence. He was thoughtful and concerned about what she had liked and wanted to do. He had manners and everything wasn’t about himself. In addition, as he said, Luc had been older than Jolene. She had been attracted to the fact he was a university guy back when she was seventeen-years-old.

” I remember you Luc,” Jolene said happily. “You were visiting your father and we met on the pathway. It was dark and thundering and the waves were splashing high on the path. They waves were making it hard for me to stay standing on the pathway as I ran to the Chateau. You came and helped me across and we had hot chocolate together. We dated three-weeks, you were caring and concerned. I thought you were a real catch — until Scott. I was obsessed with Scott for far to long. I’m sorry if I hurt you, dumping you for Scott. You were the better guy.” Luc laughed and grasped Jolene’s hand between both of his larger hands.

“I’m glad you remember, finally,” Luc murmured. “I heard from some of the other staff that Cathy’s niece was going to be staying here awhile. I’m glad you are. I seem to remember we had quite a bit of fun in my old apartment when you were in senior year.”

Jolene lifted her eyebrows, “I believe we did.” Luc laughed.

“When you have time between visiting with your Aunt, come see me in my office. We can catch up… I never heard you had a daughter.” Luc added.

Jolene grinned her hands still enclosed in Luc’s warm hands, ” Yeah, she is great, fifteen now. I will come see you in a few days. I’m a bit run down from travelling and I have a lot of explaining to do with Aunt Cathy. . . when I left years ago it was quite sudden and we haven’t seen Aunt Cathy since.” Jolene admitted to Luc, unsure why she felt like being so honest with him.

” I’m not used to this again Luc. I haven’t dated or really done anything since my daughter was born. There’s been a few random dates but nothing concrete. It’s hard to trust someone for me Luc. Especially, after Scott . . .” Luc nodded brushing a stray hair out of Jolene’s face.

“It’s okay Jolene. We’ll just enjoy each other’s company while your here and see where things go. There is no pressure to do anything you are not comfortable doing.” Luc assured Jolene holding both her hands again.

Jolene looked into Luc’s eyes which seemed to pull her in and hold her close, like she wanted his arms to do now. She realized she had an affect on him as he tightened his hands around her hands and Luc’s breathing quickened.

” I work, I model a little and I run a chain of clothing stores for woman. I am with Kasia, my daughter as much as possible. I wasn’t always able to be with her when she was a bit younger as much.” Jolene said feeling herself flushing again under Luc’s stare.

“What a lucky girl to have a mother with such beauty and intelligence. I’m sure she inherited those qualities from you. I would like to take Kasia’s pretty mother to dinner, after she comes to visit me in my office. Oui?” Luc said. His voice sounded sexy to Jolene.

Oui, Luc,” Jolene said quietly. ” Kasia will be surprised. She has gone on more dates than her mother has in many years.” Luc smiled at Jolene squeezing her hands in his still. Luc let Jolene’s hands go slowly, trailing his fingers along hers as he let his own hands drop and hers.

Jolene walked away from Luc back to her Aunt Cathy’s sitting room, willing herself not to catch her black boot heel on a carpet edge. She looked back once to see Luc standing where she left him in a hallway, watching Jolene walk away. She gave him a small smile and Luc waved.

Part 5 is coming soon, today even!

——–

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.