Booty Shorts and Arm Warmers

So a lot of people who are close to me know that I love spandex, like a lot. A lot a lot. A what do I love even more than spandex? Booty shorts. (editors note: I NEED EYEBALL PRINT SPANDEX BOOTY SHORTS!) A few months ago I decided that high waisted booty shorts were THE WAY OF THE FUTURE. Sometimes manufacturers skimp on the booty short fabric and you end up getting poked and jabbed and squished into really funny and uncomfortable ways, or you end up showing your butt crack or other parts that you may not want to show. I have owned many assorted pairs of booty shorts in my life, and made many pairs, and have formed some opinions about the way things should be.

This spring when I was in NYC I finally made the grand pilgrimage to Spandex World. I’ve ordered from their online store, and had folks give me fabric from there, but going in person was simply amazing. To be quite honest, I was in shock. It was hard to pick just a few prints. I try not to hoard supplies *too* much, moving cross country 2x has taught me the value in keeping the possessions to a minimum.

Anyway, after much searching, I picked a few prints to make into booty shorts and just finished them up. Sadly all of these are already gone but I’m working on digitizing my pattern, grading it to different sizes and cutting the fabric on the laser cutter. Stay tuned for more pairs this fall when I return from a work trip to Boston!

For now enjoy these photos that Audrey took!


Holographic, animal print, psychedelic, and more. The high waist looks super flattering and there is lots of room in the seat for a variety of different shaped people.  These can be worn with tights for more coverage, or without for extra sass!! Here are some pics of the shorts in action at Aimee’s going away picnic last month:

Psychedelic booty shorts are the new cut offs.

High waisted booty shorts are the new cut offs, just saying.

Booty short picnic. #bff #booty #picnic

Psychedelic booty shorts and my hand painted sparkle sigil from the Necronomicon  #sparkles #necronomicon #picnic

Prints on prints.

And a shameless iphone makeup shot for good measure!

Pastels,  denim, booty shorts. Aimee's going away picnic. #picnic #moving #friends

Man, I screwed the corner of my mouth up at Juplaya. Accentuated with hot pink lipstick!

That’s all for now folks! Oh wait, I made unicorn arm warmers recently, too!

Unicorn arm warmers for the show tonight :)

Sadly, they are all gone, too! I love these and I’m definitely making more :)


<3 Tess Aquarium

Posted in Daily Fashion, Portfolio, Projects | 1 Comment


So it’s been a crazy 8 months since I moved to SF! I have been keeping myself so busy there has been barely time to check email let alone pay attention to my blog.  Well, I’m about to change that and do some major photo blogging updating. Up first, some fun pictures of new eyeball products, my new display and kitties.

So eyeball brooches are an old Miss Tess Aquarium Staple. Something about the insouciant gaze of the teddy bear eyeball, the unexpected pop of crin and the jaunty flowers.  I love making them and I recently turned them from simply brooches into a brooch/hair clip combo! Surprisingly I don’t have a lot of pictures of them being worn as hair pieces, though someone did get this adorable snap of Nadya and me at the Rookie Mag picnic (which was THE FUNNEST btw, I met so many awesome ladies and I didn’t feel that weird to be 2x older than most of the girls!)

I love this one of Nadya at my bday tea party.

The goth and the cowgirl. <3 w @nadya_lev  #goth #cowgirl #ladiez

Bilateral Symmetry!

Here’s some completed eyeball brooches. I’ve been trying to make more black/red/white combos + natural/darker colors, too.

What I made last night!

And 10 eyeball brooch/barrettes.  Thanks @aerialdomo for all the help!!

2:24 am. 9 pairs of unicorn arm warmers, 25 eyeball clips, and 20+ eyeball brooches complete + ready for show tomorrow.

A little while ago I needed to make a display to send to an underwater themed party. I wasn’t able to watch my stuff so I need to make it easier for someone else to mind. I have used old luggage in the past to make displays but decided to get a little fancier and make a little under sea scene. I want to add a little net to the back but other than that I’m happy with it and it’s ready to go! Thank you to my roommate  Audrey Penven for snapping these photos for me late one night!

Around my warehome I have lots of wonderful people who help me out during a crunch. Two of my best helpers are Puck and Christina.

@aerialdomo and @1eyedmew help me craft.

Christina is much more helpful than Puck.

Puck is into surrealism. #cat #eyeball #cyclops

Besides eyeball brooches I’ve been making a few other eyeball things. I made this eyeball eyepatch for Nadya, stay tuned for more soon!! I have all the supplies to make a bunch more, I just need a second to sit down!


I’ve also been making outfits for quadrocopters for my roomies Mike and Christina.

Helping pimp out @aerialdomo 's 'copter :) :)

I'm declaring myself the world's first fashion designer for robots. I hope my robot overlords will show kindness to me in the future.

This last one is in progress. When it’s done it’s going to chase the lil white one around.

Realized I never posted this in progress pic of the hat I'm making @mikeestee 's 'copter.

Whew, that was a big eyeball update! Not surprising considering how much of my life faux eyeballs take up. I was looking for something the other day and found 4 different kinds of fake eyes: teddy bear eyes, googly eyes, taxidermy frog eyes and glass human eye.  I never actually found what I was looking for, btw.  On a final note, my  Audrey noted that I love eyeballs and got me these socks.  They are the best thing ever.

@y3rdua gave me the best socks ever ever ever!!!!! #eyeballs

My kinder whore/Goth look wearing them.

Today's outfit. 1 part kinderwhore, 1 part disaffected goth, and 1 part eyeball. #goth #eyeballs #eyeball #fashion

<3 Miss Tess Aquarium

PS I’m not selling a lot online these days but if you see anything you like or are interested in a custom piece get in touch. I can totally ship + I’m happy to do private studio showings of my work! When I’m in SF that is, lately I’ve been very bi-coastal. More on that later.

Posted in Portfolio, Projects | 1 Comment

Fafi Girls

Last month I went to Hawaii to visit my dear friend Jamie who is doing her medical residency there.  What started as a Tess and Jamie crafty vacation turned into 6 of us hanging out and having tons of fun in the sun and surf.  One day while chatting we discovered that both Jamie and I dressed up as Fafinettes for Halloween. Both of us had the same problem, no one knew who we were so we kept pulling out our iPhones to show people who we were dressed up as.  Inspired by this cute coincidence Jamie, KT and I all decided to have a little party and dress up as Fafinettes!

Fafi Girls

As you can see, things got pretty adorable.

OMG so fricking adorable


Le Pout

And then they got even cuter!

Oh my!

Super cute faces!

And a bit silly :)

Silly faces :)

More Silly face

Mickey Mouse Shades

You can see our outfits a little better here, we decided to forgo the traditional striped stockings as it was quite warm in Hawaii.

Our outfits

While we were playing it starting raining and looked amazing!!

Rainy Sunset on the Balconey

We left our makeup on for the next 24 hours and ended up inventing a fake band (JP and the Fafinettes) because we knew people would ask. Sure enough Saturday morning at the farmers market someone asked me if we were a band and I said “Yes!”  We kept the ruse going on the entire time, the story getting more and more elaborate. I eventually gave the girl my card for my personal stuff. I have no idea whether she will ever see this…but if so we did make some music later that night!!

If you aren’t familiar with Fafi, here are a few good places to start poking around!
Cool Cats
Fafi Facebook

<3Tess Aquarium

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Make Your Hair a Funny Color

Part 2 in my 4 part hair series! Remember I’m not a professional but I’ve managed to make my hair pretty funny colors for a while now! Follow my direction at your own risk.

So now that your hair is bleached to a platinum white, now it’s time to dye your hair! Technically dying is a 1 step process that lifts old color out and puts new color in, and staining is just depositing color. Even though we are staining we are still going to call it dying but now you are armed with knowledge and we all know what that means. Trouble.

How to Dye Your Hair, the basics:

My hair in process! I have eyebrows again!!!!


  • Dye-Special Effects, Jerome Russel Punk Colors, Pravana, Manic Panic,Splat, etc….I’ll be leaving reviews on each brand later. This list is in order of my preference just FYI :)
  • Gloves
  • A bowl to put your dye into
  • A tint brush
  • Vaseline
  • Plastic Wrap
  1. If there is anything you definitely don’t want dye on, make sure it’s covered. Change into clothing that isn’t sentimental, put vaseline on your hairline so your skin doesn’t get stained, lay down a drop cloth–whatever you need to do! Personally I’m just careful + I’m usually doing this in places with bathrooms that aren’t super fancy. I have done my hair in all white bathrooms before and a combination of being really careful + bleach pens works wonderfully.
  2. Dump some dye into your bowl.  Using your tint brush and working methodically through your hair paint dye onto hair.  I like to start on my part and work my way down each side of my head, 1/2 an inch sections at a time, then do the other side and work my way down the back.
  3. Wrap head in plastic wrap and wait 30 min + for hair dye to take.  Some people swear to leave it on overnight but I haven’t found that to be necessary with super saturated dyes like Special Effects and Punky Colors.
  4. Rinse head under faucet to remove as much color as possible, then shampoo, condition and style as normal.  You can wait and wait forever for the water to run clean but it’s not going to happen, eventually give up and move on with your day! I don’t like to let my wet hair touch light clothing, and you will get hair on your bed clothes. This is a risk of having cool hair!

KT has new sunset hair!

Maintaining Color

Now that your hair is all pretty and colorful you want it to stay that way, right? My suggestion is two-fold. 1. Wash your hair as infrequently as possible.  You can train your hair to be washed less frequently, believe me! I used to be an every other day girl and now I’m a once a week or so girl, usually washing after I’ve made my hair into some big crazy bouffant for an event and it’s a matted nest of butterflies and hairspray. 2. If your hair is 1 color mix in some of your hair dye into your conditioner and use it every time you wash your hair! This will extend your dye job.

I’ve found since I switched from doing super saturated colors and to doing pastels I don’t have to worry about fading as much, more on that later! I mean now….

How to Make Your Hair Pastel

Bold parrot colors aren’t for everyone, perhaps you want something a little less intense (but no less noticeable).  If you wait long enough your bright colors will fade, but maybe you don’t want dark roots to go with your pastel baby chick locks.  The solution is very simple…dilute your dye with conditioner! For my super pastel turquoise hair I’m rocking lately I diluted things about 6 parts conditioner, 1 part dye.  With some experimenting you’ll figure out the right dilution for you.

Better detail on my new super pastel wonder-fluff hair :)


So what happens if you don’t bleach all of your hair? Your natural color will get a bit of a rinse effect. Sadly this doesn’t last very long (because you aren’t burning holes in your hair and then filling them up with yummy color) but it looks pretty rad!

112:365 Tess, now with 65% more pink!

 How to Color Block

Not content with just 1 color of hair? Why not have all the colors! Keep in mind that the more colors you have the more of a pain in the butt the procedure + maintenance will be, but you are a brave soul and you are prepared to accept the consequences of your fashion choices.  I like to section my hair out first using bobby pins, hair elastics or clips.  If your hair is very short you can get creative: use vaseline, make a stencil, use a paint brush for greater detail etc.   However you want to section it out, do it! Different stacks of color will have different effect. The picture underneath the top half of my hair pink and the bottom half divided into 2 purple and blue.

7:365 Outtake

Once my hair is sectioned out and pulled back I undo one section at a time and paint that the color I want and put it back up.  You can do this on a piece of tin foil as well and wrap your hair up in the tinfoil which helps maintain the sectioning + protects the other hairs!

Advanced Dying Techniques

Instead of thinking in color blocks, think down the length of your hair. You can start with one color and fade to another, or just do the tips.  Basically you want to plan it out, where are you starting and where do you want to finish…and what are the steps along the way? If you are fading white to pink, mix a few small quantities different dilutions of pink/conditioner and paint them in order of darkness down your hair. If you are fading from one color to another do the same thing but with as many iterations of the color as your need to transition smoothly.

New Hair

Just for reference I have about 7 different combinations of pink, purple and blue in my hair here!

The Internet is For…

Research! Browse around these great sites to see what other folks have done and to get inspire. Many even have resources + comments along with pictures so you can know exactly what people have done.

Hair Color Ideas




We Love Pastel Hair

We Love Bright Hair

Pink Hair Livejournal Community

 I Want Your Hair

That’s all, folks!

This could really go on forever, the creativity you can explore with your hair is nearly endless. Hopefully this gets your imagination spinning. As usual feel free to leave comment with any questions you have and I’ll do my best to answer!

<3 Tess Aquarium

Posted in Good Lookin', Hair Hair Hair!, Self Portraits, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Hair Bleaching Basics

There are many lovely tutorials online for how to bleach and dye your hair funny colors.  This series is mainly for my friends who frequently ask me for advice :) Rather than retell everyone the same info over and over again I want to be able to link them to one place and maybe people on the internet will find this useful as well. I’ll be writing a series of articles: How to Bleach, How to Dye, How to do your eyebrows and how to troubleshoot!

***FYI I am NOT a trained professional.  Your mileage may vary. this is what works for me and keeps my hair healthy and happy. I have medium/thick hair that is quite dark and a scalp that is not too sensitive. This is a pretty aggressive bleaching method so you’ve been warned! ***

194:365 Clown Hair

Shopping list

  • Bleach Powder. I use Clairol BW 2000
  • 40 level developer, any brand is fine.  For finer hair use a lower level, or just keep your eyes on your hair so it doesn’t melt!
  • Ardell Red Gold Color Corrector Plus
  • Tint Brush
  • Bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Neutral Protein Filler


  1. Mix ingredients by following the directions on the bleach powder tub.
  2. Mix the Red Gold Color Corrector into the bleach following directions on box. This will help your hair getting bright and white without needing to do another process.  This product is really amazing! It will make your bleach a pretty purple color
  3. Apply to hair with a tint brush for best coverage, a helper is good for this! I like to start in the front as that is where people see when they look at my face :) Try to keep as much of the bleach off your scalp as possible, it can burn! If you are touching up roots on already bleached hair try to avoid getting bleach on already bleached hair. It is more damaged and will be very sad to get bleached again. Wipe off any bleach that isn’t where it should be.
  4. Wrap hair is plastic wrap and set a timer for 15 minutes. Your hair will get very warm, this means it’s working. You may also feel very uncomfortable from the bleach. Try to bear it but if you are in MAJOR pain then abort the mission. This means you are getting chemical burns.
  5. Check your hair! If your hair is not platinum, and not falling out in large chunks, leave bleach in for 5-15 more minutes.
  6. Once you have achieved the level of lightness you want rinse all the bleach out and shampoo. DO NOT CONDITION! This will make hair less receptive to dye. That is unless you just want platinum hair, then condition away.
  7. Towel dry hair and apply neutral protein filler according to instructions on bottle. Basically when you bleach you are putting big holes in your hair! This will fill in the holes and make your hair feel like real hair again. Magic!
  8. Add dye.  I will go into this more in detail in another article :)

Wasn’t that easy?

What does improperly bleached hair look like?

67:365 Dye Day

Oops? How did this happen? I didn’t leave my bleach in long enough and I didn’t use a toner.

What does properly bleached hair look like?

28:365 In between hairdos

Baby ducks! Soft, fluffy, white clouds! Country Snow! Magic!

Thanks for reading! More info soon and ask any questions you have here!

<3 Miss Tess Aquarium


Posted in Good Lookin', Hair Hair Hair!, Self Portraits | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Edwardian Ball!

So I arrived in San Francisco last week.  Everyone kept asking whether I was attending the Edwardian Ball, but I’d never heard of it! Apparently it’s a super duper amazing and decedent ball with an Edward Gorey theme! I wanted to go SO BAD but having no costumes here I resigned myself to staying home/doing something else/flopping about dramatically pouting (a la the character in the opening sequence of Masterpiece Theater).  Fast forward a few days and some friends had an extra ticket + another friend (Calli!) (and her facebook)lent me an outfit and things were allllll good. No flopping or fainting needed, until it came time to tease my hair in a rush.

It was really awesome to dress up in somebody else’s clothing + try out a new character.  I sort of imagined that I was a goth, flapper gone back in time to bring the Edwardian women bathtub gin and talk to them about voting. All in all much silliness was had, my companions were beautifully dressed (complete with bejeweled cockroaches), and we made an awesome photo flip book (that I should video and put on here are some point, it’s super cute!).

Here are a few pics from my iphone of my makeup! I decided to do simple but dramatic makeup inspired by flappers. I used eyeliner on my eyebrows, lids, waterline and lips. To get the shiny look on my lips I just dabbed some loose MAC pigment on there to set it. It lasted all night, even after applying lip gloss!

Edwardian Ball Makeup

Edwardian Ball Makeup

And here are some picture taken by my friend Broxton!

Yay! What a fun night! Special thanks to Todd and KT for being my super swell escorts :) I can’t wait until I’m more settled and know the cool places to go and make costumes for :)

<3 Tess Aquarium

Posted in Costumes, Daily Life Adventures, Good Lookin', Self Portraits | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Cemetaries and fancy ladies

Aimee and I went to the cemetery in December and got some great shots! The weather in New England had been uncharacteristically warm so we wore our baggy belly shirts (super hot for winter), push up bras  and lots of layers..but no coats, just jackets!

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Fringe is always hawt. Love the hearts!

Woonsocket, RI

My new years resolution: over accessorize. It started in early December.  This earcuff was super hot but I sadly lost it the week later :(

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

I love the pictures on these tombstones.

Woonsocket, RI

Woonsocket, RI

Aimee, overlooking the cemetery. So dramatic.

These pics are from Aimee who shoots black and white film. Consider me officially goth now.

I don’t know if I mentioned it yet but I’ve moved to San Francisco officially now! More on that later. I’m grateful that the winter in New England was so mild…though it snowed 12 hours after I left! I got out just in time but I’m totally missing my friends in Boston.  Come and visit!

<3 Miss Tess Aquarium

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Figment 2011

Let’s go back in time to June for Figment. It was awesome. Check out some of my pics from the event.

This is how I did my makeup!

Figment Saturday makeup

People happily making tutus!

Figment 2011

And a pic by my friend Emile which shows more fun!







Tutu pup!

Tutu Pup

And another fancy pants doggy!

Fancy doggy

This series is probably my favorite part of the whole event :) These little girls loved my booth and they really loved it when I put my stilts on!! A lot of time kids are interested but a bit intimidated but these kiddos wanted to give me a high high five!

Figment 2011

Figment 2011

And a double high high five!!

Figment 2011

Me attempting to hoop and stilt at the same time :)

Figment 2011

Very dramatic stilting shot!

Figment 2011

And another photo by Emile in front of the Automatic Subconscious dome. The Figment organizers ended up using this for their thank you cards :

Thanks for reading! These pics make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! I love bringing the joy of crafting to the world, tutus and the sunshine looks so yummy right now :)

<3 Tess Aquarium


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Danger Twins, Part 2!

I just realized that I never posted the pictures from the photo shoot I alluded to in this post. Madelaine and I have done a few fun modelling things together, most notably this photo shoot for the Pride page for my work. Oh what fun! This is a follow up, I needed some photos to fill in gaps in my work’s website and wanted a bit of a play on “fancy” and “punk rock”.

First we went for retro glamor with big shades and pretty dresses.

Punk Rock Vintage

Punk Rock Vintage

Punk Rock Vintage

Then we went for vintage dresses and cowboy boots!

Punk Rock Vintgae

Punk Rock Vintage

Punk Rock Vintage

Punk Rock Vintage

New Hair

And lastly we put on some Betsey Johnson dresses. We only got a few photos in when my lens died!!

Retro Betsey Johnson Dress

Betsey Johnson dresses

Not a bad way to go out I must say.

Man, this makes me miss summer so bad!! As I recall we were boiling hot which barely seems possible right now…my fingers are so cold they’ve gone numb!!

<3 Tess Aquarium

Posted in Good Lookin', Modelling, Self Portraits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Apple Picking

So 2 weekends ago I went to visit my friend Aimee and her adorable kittens! No kitten photos just yet (besides the one I posted the other day) but I do have apple picking pictures! Aimee and I met at Garment District a few Halloween’s ago, Sandra worked there before I started so we never met…until now! Sandra and Aimee are super fun so we had a total blast! It was such a warm day that we went tubing in the river afterwards, a great summer fun rerun to get us through the fall and winter.

Apple Picking Oct 2011

I love their hairs :) Blue <3 Red & Red/Teal

Apple Picking Oct 2011

No climbing the trees.

Pictures of people taking pictures.

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Moccasin twins. I feel like I’m the only person who has worked at Garment District who doesn’t have a pair of these.

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

So many feather earrings.

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Apple Picking Oct 2011

Gotta use all those apples now!

xo Miss Tess Aquarium


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