Browse Author by purplerampart
Arts & Crafts, Etsy

Handmade Soaps

I was sewing in the afternoon, as I normally do these days, with the quarantine blues, and listening to the audiobook, The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman as I stitched along. It’s a book that was written after Practical Magic, however is a prequel to the book. If you’re into magic and love stories and are not familiar with either of these stories, stop what you are doing, watch the movie or read the books, or perhaps do both, and then come back here.

Ok, so now that you’ve done the required reading, we can move on.

In both of these stories (as you now know) the Owen’s women make a special clarifying black soap — made to heal the complexion. The book mentions that the soap was made twice a year, and it would make their skin milky and glowing.

I absolutely loved the idea of this, and did some research on how I could possibly create this soap myself. I also thought it would make a great birthday gift for my lovely mother. Needless to say, it was a very nice break from the continuous sewing I’ve been doing making hundreds of masks for my Etsy shop during my unemployment furlough.

Of course I have to put my own spin on things, so I found a few recipe’s and concocted my own remedy that includes pure rose oil as well as tea tree as the main essence. The main ingredient is activated charcoal, which is what gives it the beautiful dark black magic color.

I also made an organic lavender goat’s milk soap (with fresh lemon and chamomile) so I guess you could call it lavender-chamomile-lemon soap, but I think I’ll call it, “Lavender Dreams,” or something like that.

I’ve only made a small batch, but some are available in my shop here:

“There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” 
― Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic


Old Hollywood

Recently I was chatting with my dad about old Hollywood classics. We were on a FaceTime call, both admiring a scene from the 1938 movie “Holiday“, Starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The value of the monochromatic faces, clothing, and the scene as a whole, is purely captivating. You really appreciate all the tiny little details: the texture of fabrics, the contrast between light and dark, the intricacies of the architecture. “They don’t really make them like that anymore”, (says my father), and I agree! Of course if you know me, you are no stranger to the fact that I love vintage glamour, so being inspired by these movies and the actors is quite a daily occurrence.

I was scrolling through Instagram, and a post from one of my retro/vintage accounts I follow had posted a high contrast photograph (see above) of Marlene Dietrich taken by Milton Greene in 1952, and I was reminded again of the beauty in the subtlety.

It’s an odd time to try and find inspiration, but I kind of just decided to go with it, and create something modern with a vintage flair with my self portrait photography. Got my tripod out, and my remote with timer, did my hair, and made some magic.

More can be seen over on my Flickr page!


Seamstress Stuff

I’ve been trying to stock up my Etsy shop, so I have been busy sewing in my spare time. I’ve been slowly trying to make more clothing rather than accessories. After purchasing a few vintage patterns I found on Ebay, and using some modern “vintage” style patterns I sorted through, I have found a few patterns that really work well with most fabrics. I started my journey with this fun bee dress, which was a personal project.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces

I eventually want to make more Disney inspired pieces, for those who like to be “bounding” at the parks. Like this:

stay tuned for more! follow my instagram @purple_rampart

Photography, Poetry

Follow the White Rabbit

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Follow the white rabbit,

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into enchanted valleys of wondrous nonsense.

Our world is Our own.

A mirrored sanctuary, begging us to question which left is right.

Falling down to get back up.

Through the sense we know, into the abyss.

Take the pill that shatters the sky into a sea of diamonds.

Late to follow, too early to go.

Photography, Poetry


Red as the Rose

Red the dress I wear

the letter I bare

Melt into the flames with me,

I’ll free your tortured soul.

Burning Fire, fades into silent embers

Don’t let the light go out.

The taste of desire, a slow dance underwater, where the undertow will drown you willingly.

My kiss: your last breath.

Photography, Poetry

Moody Blues

There’s that rain again, fogging up the kichen window…

I drowned into the smokey glass, finding your face in the condensation. Half of the heart you drew upon it has started to fade

A traffic hazard to my left.

I like how the street lights fade into droplets, hypnotizing oneself into the asphalt’s inviting emptiness.

I painted my nails “Moody Blue” today…

Photography, Poetry

Dressed, Undressed.


Play your song for me…I know it well. I’ll be lazy here on blue velvet clouds of forgotten promises. Laughing on the outside, split ends know me well. As they crept up onto my freshly dried hair, I remembered the moment within that moment when you first looked at me.



Parched for your affections, dressed in my undressed mind. Hooks and eyes that one has only seen.

An additive, not necessary, presumptuously preferred.




And so, I’ll sink away into the tide, just as I was, I will be, renounced into the deep.



Photography, Theatre


Oooooooklahoma! Where I’ve been spending most of my evenings and weekends in rehearsals for the past couple of weeks! We opened last weekend over at Simi Valley Arts Cultural Center. I play the role of Gertie Cummings- Get tickets!  Everyone in the cast commits great energy to their roles! I love to take behind the stage photos, and for some reason film photography makes it all that much better. Using my 35mm Minolta, I captured these photos using fujifilm 800iso color film. These are unedited, straight out of camera shots.

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Stage manager Dean!

Me having an mid show costume fix!


To see all images visit my Flickr!

Photography, Poetry

Princess Gena


She woke up in a sea of green. Tracing her steps back from where she came…enchanted by the golden hue that the sunlight left on her hair…curious how far off the path she would wander.



Embracing the warmth of the earth beneath her, she stopped for a moment, to feel the trees brush lightly atop her skin, whispering their melodies of a sweet summer breeze that dances through their branches and flow through ones soul.


Echoing tides of a blue bird’s song remind her of her happiness…an obsolete path.



A woodwind’s song of playful curiosity; a dance of sorts.






Baking Adventures – Challah Bread


Today I’d like to share my process for making Challah bread. Let me start by saying the most important thing about making this bread…YEAST. Make sure the yeast you use, whether it be active dry or instant, is fresh! Don’t risk it…and pay attention to if it’s instant or active…I’ve made too many oopsies in the past when I breeze through that step and pay for it later, because yes you guessed it…the bread doesn’t rise, and bakes like a rubber ball.

If you are using active dry yeast:

1 and 1/2 cup of warm water, a spoonful of sugar (tbs), and a packet and a half (1.5 tbs)- mix this and set it aside for at least 10-15 mins to activate the yeast.

If you are using instant yeast- mix all the ingredients together!

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I use olive oil)
  • 4 eggs (plus 1 more for brushing the dough before baking!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons instant yeast 6-8 cups flour, plus additional flour (may take 8 or 9 cups of flour total…I use King Arthur’s bread flour!) you want to add based on the dough texture…it should be pizza dough consistency.

1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl in order listed. Add enough flour and knead to make a smooth dough. Knead for approximately 10 minutes. Now, I used my Kitchen Aid mixer and the dough hook, so It really is about 7 minutes of kneading, but if you’re doing it by hand, go for the 10 minutes

2. Oil top of bread and cover. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 1 hour, punch down, and let rise an additional 30 mins.

3. Divide dough into 2 (one for each loaf).

4. Braid…google how to braid…there are so many ways to braid!! I use 4 and 6 strand techniques How To Braid Challah


5. Place loaves on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for an additional 30 mins. They say…let it rise in a “warm place” I usually just set mine on the kitchen table in the sunlight, or other recipes have suggested warming the oven to 110 degrees F, and letting the loaves sit in the warm oven. This would work if it’s really cold in your house I suppose, but the warm window is just fine.

6. Preheat oven to 375 F. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Optional to sprinkle sesame seeds on top! Bake for 30-40 minutes. I bake mine side by side, so I rotate the pans 180 degrees halfway through, so they bake evenly. It’s ready when it’s a pretty golden color, and your kitchen smells of deliciousness. Let cool for a bit…but I encourage you to pull off a piece from the top of the loaf you intend to keep for yourself(or keep both of them all for yourself, that’s your business), because nothing is better then warm bread out of the oven after all that hard work!