Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sock Curls

What the heck are sock curls?
Like on Little House On The Prairie, how they used rags and stuff to curl their hair. Only with socks. Because once I tried the rag method, and it was hilariously awful. Tiny little frizzy kinks all over. The socks seem to work because they're so much bigger maybe? And I only did six instead of six hundred. I got the idea from this:

And then I browsed a few other videos with a similar technique, except you do it all over your head instead of one big one. I loooved how hers turned out, but I'm afraid it wouldn't work so well for me because my hair isn't quite that long. And because it's not smooth and straight like hers. And because I'm not drop dead gorgeous like her. And because I don't have a really neat accent. But after the horrid sleep I had lastnight, I'm willing to give it a try! The hair, not the accent.

That's the technique I used. I put one on the very top in the center, pulling hair from both sides. Then I did two on the sides and ... three on the back? Something like that. I also used a shiny hair lacquer spray stuff before I did the rolling/tying. Here's how it looked:

Truly frightening, right? I woke up with a cramp in my neck. Even though I slept really deeply, I must have been trying to alleviate the trauma to my head in my sleep by laying at a really awkward angle.
Anyway, when I took them out in the morning, some were still a little damp. I think next time I'll blow dry it a little first, because this was just towel-dried. Here's how they looked:

Not that great. Especially that part in the front that didn't make it into the bun. And especially because it's morning. ugh. Then I ran my fingers through them a bit, fluffing them up and switching some of the volume to the other side of my part:

Wow so much better. I'm really tempted to brush them out to see how they'd look. My hair is naturally curly and very thick, but it also has an unpleasant frizz factor which makes the good things into obnoxious things. To get pretty curls, I have to blow dry with a diffuser and define with product, which I really hate. I want to be able to run my fingers through it and tuck it back off my face throughout the day without that heinous crunch-crunch-crunch. So usually I just let it air dry and it's wavy but puff-ball-ish, with absolutely no shine whatsoever.
Even the back turned out pretty!

Which you probably can't see because of the terrible photo. I was trying to angle two mirrors. And did I mention it was first thing in the morning? This is pretty good for pre-coffee, I think!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Ok, so it's been.... three weeks? Since I started counting every bite of food I put into my mouth? It's been almost a month, and I'm officially down one pound.


Um ok what??
How can this be happening?
I walk almost every day. I've had a non-stop headache for weeks from the hunger. What is going on here?

Oh wait. I guess I haven't been eating as healthy as I thought. Geez look at that green calorie line! It's like... out of control! Like my jean size. Seriously, I must have been eating like 7,000 calories a day before.
I just said "like", like fourteen times in one paragraph. The starvation is setting in and making me stupid. And unreasonable. Take a scientific guess at which days I cried and threw tantrums, based on the information from the second graph. And guess which days I was sublimely happy with a full tummy. It's the weekends that ruin everything, I think. Sigh.

This picture has nothing to do with the topic. That show is hilarious. And I love Saffy's sweater, which she wears in like every episode. Rainbow sheep teehee!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Official Best Outfit Ever

You know how I've been obsessed with Mary's deer headbands for, like, ever? I found a reason to get one. Not that I needed one before, but this is just too perfect to pass up. Serendipitous, I call it. And I love calling things that. It's a lovely word.

Ok, so imagine this dress:

With this headband:

I can't stand it.
The dress is just... I mean come on, it has GIANT SAILBOATS on it. But it also has a 26" waist. I have a terrible idea for cutting off the bodice and letting out a few gathers and turning it into a skirt instead, but I just don't think I could bring myself to hack up that dress. Raise your hand if you think I can lose 4 inches in 4 weeks? Come on people have a little faith. If I bought the dress, it would be my motivation to lose the 4 inches, right? Right? And if I reach my goal, I get the headband as a reward. Right? RIGHT??

Too bad I just got the most expensive speeding ticket in the history of the world yesterday.
Anyone want to be my sponsor? ;)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Best Deal Ever In The History Of Best Deals Ever

I'm in such a tizzy I don't even know where to start. Ok you know how you have this favorite thing on etsy, like your favoritest of favorites? And you know you'll probably never get to have it, but it's still up there on The Favorite Of Favorites pedestal? Right, so this was my Favorite: (Actually, I have like four Favorite of Favorites, but this was the winner for the Home Goods category. Other categories include Animals On My Head. So you can see why I needed categories.)

Anyway, Knock Knocking is definitely on the tallest pedestal of Shop and Blog Aspiration. Not to be confused with AsFIXiation, but that's pretty much what happened when I got an email from Heartsy this morning to notify me of an impending deal for Knock Knocking.

Agnes, the gorgeous genius behind it all, is just so fantastic. Her blog is packed with cute finds and inspiration, and I could just stare at her shop all day. I've see her work imitated, but nothing else has the same polish and zing. With a new baby and a hugely popular shop, I don't know how she does it all! But she does, and with the sweetest and most cheerful personality you can imagine.

I think I've had all of her pieces in my favorites list at one time or another!

Thanks to all you lovelies who have been using my referral link to sign up for Heartsy, I had a nice little pile of vouchers just waiting for the perfect deal. The fact that it turned out to be for my most favoritest shop ever, well, just.. tizzy. That's all.I was in a big fat tizzy.
If you want in on this, you'd better be quick, because sometimes the deals sell out right away. Sign up here, and you can buy it before it goes live tomorrow if you fork over $8 to be a VIP. I think it's an excellent deal because you get $10 extra to spend in the shop and $10 credit for a later deal. Of course, you can still sign up for free and pounce on the deal the minute it goes live tomorrow.

Anyway, I had the hardest time picking which wreath to get. I know right where I want to hang it, so it had to match the living room:

So we've got kind of a vintage farmhouse feel with bright, primary colors. (This is when we first moved in, so pay no attention to the clutter, stray wiring, and un-hung stuff! Also we're missing a yellow coffee table.)
The zebra wreath was the first one that popped into my head when I saw the deal, but I just don't think he'd go. I love the bird one, but the pastels might not look right with all these bright colors. But the rainbow one was perfect! Agnes is going to give me a string of mustard yarn instead of the pearls, too. I can't wait to see it!! It's going to go to the left of this shelf:

I might need to move that green desk and the lamp and mirror so it's not too cluttered. OR I could hang MORE stuff on the wall EVERYWHERE and call it eclectic :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Color Inspiration

So as it turns out, Pinterest is a fantastic source of inspiration for evils other than Diet Wreckers and a bad case of the I Wants. Since starting a color inspiration board, I am off and running with new pieces in colors I never would have considered using before...

This collage-style brooch was inspired by this image:

And this bit of lace just happened to be laying near the buttons, and so out came this necklace:

Then I saw this image:

And was inspired to make this hair clip:

Now that I've gotten into the habit of seeing colors where I never noticed them before, my mind is racing with possibilities!

It's interesting how much easier it is to visualize a finished piece when you actually pick apart the colors in an image. Just staring at an image in its entirety, I think I have a hard time separating the feeling invoked by the subject matter from the colors that could be applied to different styles. But sometimes, I want to imitate the theme of the inspiration completely, like that luxurious pink velvet and gold chair- Can't you picture those colors in a little floral collage embroidered with gold thread and embellished with tiny rhinestone buttons?
The palette of the flea market collage is perfect just as it is, in a fun, carefree, summertime style. Maybe simple polka dots and stripes? 
And the painted door makes me think of an exotic culture, with intricate architectural carvings everywhere, maybe some Mehndi motifs? Those colors would look amazing in a henna design!

I can't wait to go home and get to work!

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Amazing Recipes

I am loving food bloggers! They are so creative, and the photos are fantastic. I don't like to make any recipe that isn't accompanied by a ginormous, highly detailed photo. Actually, I don't really like to make any recipes at all, but I do enjoy eating them, so it's a necessary evil. Here's what we made over the weekend:

(photo used with permission of author)
They were amazing. I don't even like blueberries that much. And they were even better leftover for breakfast!

These are from my latest favorite food blog, How Sweet It Is. And she doesn't just have incredibly creative desserts, but some awesome real food too. Here's the next thing I want to try:

I just so happen to have two bottles of Baileys getting lonely on top of the fridge. I don't even know why I have two bottles. I promise this never happens.
And I thought this would be perfect for our next movie night, which I think is going to be 50 First Dates with tropical-themed food:

How awesome is that??
Seriously, get over there and check it out :)

Oh yeah, and I'm still eating healthy, tracking my calories, and doing my best to get a good brisk walk in every day. It's the weekends when that all flies right out the window! I've lost two pounds though, and not even a rack of baby back ribs from Outback and dessert at Panera ruined it yet! Woohoo!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baby Bird Is The Magic Word

I'm having a fantastic morning. I slept in until nearly nine, then read one of my favorite books from childhood while I had cookies and coffee for breakfast. When Carly got up, she put on a CD of Tchaikovsky and sat next to me and painted while I made....
...drumroll please....


I'm SO so excited. It's the best feeling in the world. The power of controlling the laws of physics is intoxicating, like I just invented fire. I feel like I should try controlling a spoon with my mind or something. It's still not anywhere near perfect, of course, but maybe passable. Like I may be able to actually knit something with it. 

Not that I really have an interest in knitting with my handspun yet. Oh my gosh, I just said my handspun! Eek! I really just like the way it looks all wound up in a pile. Maybe I'll just make a whole collection and display them on the wall or something. OR I was thinking of using a bit in a fiber journal. Do you ever make something, a craft project or whatever, and then years later you can still remember what CD you were listening to or what the day was like when you were making it? I love that. I was thinking my journal could include a tiny little skein of the handspun and then a little knit swatch to match, and in that entry I could record what the fiber was, where it came from, which spindle I used, and any notes to remind myself later of what it was like to work with that kind of fiber, or any tips I learned that I could use again. Also I could include a more literal journal entry, with what I was doing that day or something funny Carly said. Maybe I'll actually get my photos printed for once and stick those in, too.
I'm pretty excited about this idea. I used to keep a real journal years ago, but I tend to get a little carried away with, you know, feelings and awful stuff like that. This could be lighter, just a record of the happenings of life and an inspiration to keep spinning. Whenever Carly does or says something adorable, I always wish I had written it down because I forget so quickly. And I know it's cliche, but she's growing up so fast! It makes me so sad that I won't remember any of these things in a week, let alone years later when she's gone.

Ok wow get a grip lol.
So anyway, this the the first actual real yarn that I've been able to make on a spindle. The first that actually even remotely resembles real yarn, anyway. It was so weird, because I just couldn't get the hang of it, and everyone else made it look so easy. Then Mom taught me how to spin on a spinning wheel, and the whole concept just sort of clicked. I enjoyed using the wheel so much that I thought I'd never even want to make another attempt with a spindle again, but the hundreds of beautiful spindles for sale at Stringtopia last month made me want to give it another whirl. Or whorl. Get it, whorl? Like on a spinning wheel?

So here's my first real yearn from the spinning wheel. This is what it looked like pre-spinning and as a spun single:

And here's what two bobbins plied together looks like:

But it's still pretty scary when you break it down:

I'm pretty sure all those crappy parts can be attributed to the times when I had to start and stop. Like if I get too thin and have a break, or if I have to put it away for awhile or whatever. When I join or start again, it takes a few minutes to get the hang of it, know what I mean? So every so many yards I have a blob of crap. And there's the issue with the consistent thickness. The thing that I had to remember was: Baby bird. I was gripping wads of fiber so tightly that the strands wouldn't come out, so eventually I'd have to feed in a sweaty clump or nothing would happen.
Baby bird. 
Cradle the wool like I'm holding a baby bird. Don't be scared that the whole darn thing will get sucked up into the wheel. Not that it hasn't happened to me a couple times, but I've finally learned to feel the balance. Once I understood that, spinning on a drop spindle finally made sense. *shrug*
Now I'm focusing on getting a consistent thickness. And recognizing how thin I can get with a certain weight of spindle. Using llama has helped immensely. The strands are so short that they just come apart like a wispy cloud. I'm almost worried that I'll never want to use anything but llama again!

This came from a local llama, btw. Check out Martha's shop if you want to try it.
I can't wait to finish this so I can see how it looks plied! Wait I don't even know how to ply from a spindle.

So many things to learn! I'm looking forward to being able to spin so proficiently that I can take my spindle with me everywhere, and turn every spare moment into an opportunity for productivity. I love that. Already I don't want to put it down once I get started!
I'm curious to know how many of my readers are spinners, or if you are a knitter and are interested in trying it, or if you have no idea what I'm talking about but would like to learn more. Let me know!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It will all be worth it, right? Right???

It's been almost a week since I started tracking my calories and exercise, and I haven't lost a single pound. Of course, I totally bombed over the weekend so that might have something to do with it. Dorothy Lane Market was calling me. Douglas was working, so Carly and I had a "girls night". This means I pick up the latest kids movie from Redbox and drag her mattress out to the living room and let her pick out whatever snack she wants. Of course she picks the softball-sized mini chocolate cake with three inches of glitter frosting on top. I vowed to only get one macaroon. But there were pink, and green, and cream, and chocolate and I just lost all control. I should have just gone all the way with a Killer Brownie.

That, my friends, is a third of a pound of sin that tastes so good it hurts. Literally, my mouth hurts after I eat one of these. But in a hurts-so-good kind of way, you know? One day, when I just can't take it any more, I'm going to buy a whole brownie, cut it into tiny cubes, and eat nothing but brownie all day long. Actually I might have to stretch that over two days because I think there are close to 3,000 calories in one. They also come in german chocolate, blondie, extra chocolate chip, cream cheese, peanut butter, raspberry, ohmygod why am I doing this to myself??!!

Ok, regroup. Focus. Eating healthy.

I think I'm ok.
Let's continue.
So anyway I'd like to give a special shout-out (is it still cool to say that? Was it ever cool to say that?) to the good folks at Wendy's for making the Berry Almond Chicken Salad.

This is fantastic. And it's salad. And I'm saying it's fantastic. So you know it has to be. And the very filling half size only has 270 calories. The raspberry vinaigrette dressing is amaaaaazing. The only thing I don't like are the dandelion leaves. I swear that's what they are. And they taste exactly like dirt smells. But there are also big purple leaves, which I can gag down if I tear them up smaller. And spinach. I like spinach. I know, crazy talk. Last year when they came out with the Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad, I was all about it. To save money, I tried making my own but it just wasn't the same. So now I'm on a fruit-with-chicken kick, but Douglas doesn't like that. Hey more for me, right?

I've also been walking. I picked up a new pair of Skechers Tone-Ups, which aren't as intense as the Shape-Ups, but they are much lighter and breath-able for summer. I do three miles at lunch on days where the temperature stays under 90 degrees. And I hate every step of it. I listen to my iPod, but I still hate it. There's a lovely walking park near our house, so I've been to that a few times this week.

I think the hardest part is when I get home from work, when I'm so hungry I feel too faint to park the car and get out. When I finally drag my jiggly body up to the third floor, I'll eat anything and everything. Also breakfast seems to take up an unpleasant amount of calories. This morning I tried a skinny latte with protein powder, and it was delicious. Unfortunately I don't have $4.05 to spend every single morning on flavored hot water :) I'm thinking of using  The Pioneer Woman's technique for bucket-o-iced-coffee, and then mixing in my own protein powder. (She also has a DLM Killer Brownie knockoff! mwahahahaaaa)

Anyway, I really hope this weight starts coming off soon because this is kind of taking over my life. It's all I think about, all I talk about, I'm getting so boring.

But it will all be worth it in six months, right?