Friday, April 30, 2010

Official Craft List Part 2

Second on my Official Craft list is
  • drafting a pattern for clutches and actually making them
I think purses are pointless. I carry one every day only so I can carry my clutch and a book with me. And without fail, I end up with a bag full of useless clutter. For example - I recieved an adorable elephant figurine for Christmas that has only ever seen the inside of my purse. My purse has become a magnet for cr*p.

Can I toot my horn for a second and say that the one thing I love about my purse is that it is a bright orange Longchamp (thank Zeus' beard I heard someone say it correctly before I ever had the chance to butcher it by saying 'long-champ') that I thrifted for a grand total of... $3!!! Three dollars, can you believe it? I dare you to beat that!

I'm going to be guilty of repeating myself, but I love Alexis' Valentino inspired Ruffle Clutch.

Beyond being pretty, its too easy to not do (except in my case where I don't do anything). The appealing part is there is no pattern. Just a folded up square of fabric. I can fold squares. And! And! And! Threds Magazine has an amazing tutorial on pin weaving. In short, it teaches you to make a custom size loom, line it with fusible interfacing, and weave fun colored yarn to create your own fabric! Beautiful!! So the plan is to just fold up a square of my very own custom made fabric!!! Yum

Proud of the small things

I'm working on being more productive, promise.  I've actually been upcycling some thrifted spring skirts, but those are to come.  (In the publishing world 'to come' is abreviated as 'TK.' I never understood that.)

Last weekend, Pete told me he needed to get started on a present for his mother's birthday this week - flash forward to yesterday and he was still empty handed.  Keep in mind, all week long I had been sending him email after email with ideas.  I got home from work yesterday and he's in the middle of watching a movie instead of being productive. Errrrrg - although part of me can't blame him because I can be incredibly lazy as well. 

So of course I saved his lazy bum and together we whipped up a pretty darn good birthday gift.  I've been on a jewelry making kick so we decided to make her a nice necklace inspired by all the Mother's Day posts of late. On a sidenote - is it awesome or awful to be born near Mother's Day?  Surely its not like being born near Christmas?

Moving on, the necklace turned out wonderfully (pictures TK) but what I was really excited about was the wrapping!!! Instead of running around the city before dinner trying to find a jewelry box, I decided to DIY.
Now she'll have a cute travel-size bag to keep it in.

I'm in love! It is positively TINY - I had trouble sewing the top seam it's so small.  Look at it in my hands.

(I'm sorry the pictures are so dark - Pete's helping me with the photos and we haven't quite found lighting that works.) I didn't want to just sew two pieces of fabric into a bag so I made this funky little bottom.

And its's fully reversible! 

This side has the same bottom, no pictures of that though.  I love the little flowers and I love the twine tie!  Ha, can you tell what a beginner I am, so excited about a little jewelry bag? 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Going No-Poo

A couple of days ago I ran out of shampoo. “No big deal,” I thought, “I’ll pick some up on my way home today.” A few days later, I was still out of shampoo; “Whatever, I’ll just use my bar soap and pick some up tomorrow.” A while later, my shampoo supply was still nil… You get the idea. I usually can go up to three days without washing my hair with a minimal itchy factor (in fact, when I was still playing waterpolo, I refused to wash my hair on days I didn’t have practice). But since I’ve been using only bar soap, my scalp is itching and flaking worthy of a noreaster. Not only that but my hair (My hair! My beautiful hair. My one beauty!) is greasy and rough to the touch. And it smells. Like dry, hot scalp. But of course, being my lazy self, I still haven’t bothered to pick up shampoo, so my hair looks like this.

Scratching my head, and not in a pensive way, I remembered an article I had read a while ago on a crafting blog about going “no poo”, or no shampoo. She talked about her first weeks not using shampoo as some of her most horrible hair days. She voiced all the complaints I was whining to Pete about. So I spent some time reading blogs of some women who have cut shampoo out of their shower routine.

I have found… Shampoo is not necessary!! (Yay! I don’t have to go to the store to buy more!) In fact, shampoo, in its modern form, wasn’t invented till the 1930’s. Before that, shampoo was a boiled mixture of soap shavings and herbs to give hair shine and fragrance, but even that was only introduced in the second half of the 1800’s! Now shampoo is a cocktail of synthetic surfactants, which is are types of detergents. Look surfactants up on Wikipedia and you can find a list of its applications and sources. Here’s an abbreviated list.

Fabric Softeners
Ski Wax

Oh! and included somewhere in the middle of that list are Shampoos, Conditioners, Toothpastes, and Cosmetics. The FDA doesn’t regulate the ingredients put into personal care products; it only mandates that the ingredients be listed on the back of the bottle. One ingredient, for example, is methylisothiazolinone, which has been linked to nerve cell death. AND methylisohhmmmaannahh is banned in Japan and Canada in certain concentrations. Another commonly used ingredient is Isopropyl, a drying and irritating solvent. It strips hair of its natural moisture and can accelerate the penetration of bacteria and viruses (this elicited a loud 'ewwweehhhh' followed by some shudders).

The real kicker is… wait for it… wait for it… washing away the moisture in your hair CREATES the need for conditioner. Conditioner doesn’t do much but replace your now stripped natural oils with fake oils. Only then does your hair look nice and shiny. Shiny for a few hours before the fake oils turn into artificial grease! And what is needed to get rid of it? More shampoo! Followed by a generous application of conditioner, followed by grease and round and round we go.  OUTRAGE!! I am in an outrage.  I always thought we needed shampoo to clean out hair, and clean hair was naturally tangly and knotty.  Conditioner was heaven on earth for me, my absolute favorite thing on earth.  Silly, pointless, self-promting cycle.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are two other stars in your shampoo line-up. Regularly used in cleaners and degreasers, they appear in most personal care products that foam.

While SLS and SLES are great for pots and pans, I think I’ll pass on using industrial strength degreasing agents on my locks.