Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Random Pictures and Thoughts

Just a few random pictures and thoughts...

I don't typically take pictures of my food, but these strawberries were the most beautiful I've ever seen. Almost too pretty to eat. Almost. ;) They were deeeelicious.

The dogs are enjoying the new landscaping, especially the pea gravel which gets the full intensity of the sun well into the afternoon. Indigo in particular loves the heat. She basks in the sun, and when she comes inside, her fur is practically hot to the touch. Despite this, I have never seen her pant.

As usual, Nook saw that Indigo had a good idea and copied her actions, joining her in the basking. With those two, it's easy to tell who is the brain and who is the brawn. :) Nook is adorable, but not the smartest dog. Whatever her Chihuahua heritage is mixed with, it's not Border Collie. ;)

I enjoy the new landscaping, too, though I'm dismayed at the number of weeds that have sprouted up due to the rainy spring we've been having. Fortunately, rainy weather means overcast days, so I've been able to get outside and keep up with the weeding.

Unfortunately, weeding gets me up close and personal with my yard's insect and arachnid population... estimated at about fifty-two gazillion. :P Ants, spiders, grasshoppers, pillbugs, mosquitoes, and tiny black creatures I call Leaping Speckbugs.

What's interesting are the vast size and temperament differences between Colorado bugs and the bugs in Georgia, where I grew up. Colorado bugs are tiny and docile compared to the huge, aggressive monsters in Georgia. Colorado grasshoppers are about the size of a pinky fingernail; Georgia grasshoppers are as big as a whole thumb. Colorado ants are teeny and will move away from you; Georgia fire ants are enormous and will rally 100,000 of their closest friends to assault you with painful stings. And while mosquitoes in both places are out for blood, you can see the Georgia mosquitoes coming. Colorado mosquitoes are so small, I first thought they were gnats.

However, I did find evidence of one big Colorado insect - the molted exoskeleton of a large dragonfly.

I made a short video of a nighttime lightning storm, from which I captured some cool images.

That's all for now. I haven't been feeling well, so haven't done much DIY lately. I hope that changes soon and I can get back to posting projects.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: June 2017

Oops! June sneaked up on me and I'm a little late with the craft-along post.

During June, I will work on a craft project for the monthly theme. Around June 28, I will post my completed project. You can share a link to your project on that post or at any time during the month on this post. On June 30, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

To participate:
1.  If you're a blogger, add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your post. Link the icon to this page:

2.  On either this theme announcement post or my completed project post, leave a comment with a link to your project. You can link to your blog, webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it.

Your project can be big or small. It can be in any style, goth or otherwise. The fun is in the crafting! :)

The theme for June is It Takes Two. As always, you can interpret this broadly:

  • knit a pair of socks
  • make a pair of earrings
  • sew a two-piece outfit
  • paint a pair of candlesticks
  • draw two portraits
  • decorate a pair of shoes

Monday, May 29, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Repurpose

The theme for this month's Craft Along with GIY is Repurpose. I completed a very simple project: repurposing a queen size bed sheet into a couch cover.

First, I measured the width of the couch seat. I added 2 inches to allow for hems, cut the sheet to this measurement, and hemmed the sides.

Next, I draped the sheet front to back over the couch. This length was okay, so I simply left the factory hems on the sheet ends. I marked along the sides of the seat to indicate where to attach the arm covers.

To make the arm covers, I cut appropriately sized rectangles and hemmed the sides. Then I sewed them to the main cover where I'd marked it.

And my couch cover was complete!

It's not gorgeous, but it keeps the dog hair off the couch and is easy to launder.

To share your Craft Along with GIY project:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your blog post. Link the icon to this page:
2.  Leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

On May 31, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Black and Blue

Several attempts to change my black hair to purple left me with an ugly multicolored disaster. I had a mostly black ponytail; pinkish brown, dark blue, and black splotches all over my head; a greenish streak on one side; and around my face, two small spots of purple along with my natural brown regrowth.

After 10 months, 20+ hours in the salon, and hundreds of dollars, I was DONE with this ordeal. No more catastrophic kaleidoscope on my head. I was going back to black.

Still... after so much time and money... it was hard to abandon the dream. I decided to color most of my hair black but try for purple bangs/fringe.

I bleached my bangs and a small portion of hair around my face. I was briefly tempted to leave it yellow and orange because that would have completed the entire color wheel on my head. :P

But I forged ahead with my attempt at purple. I used Splat Purple Desire mainly because it was readily available. Knowing my hair grabs pigment, I diluted the dye with about 1/3 conditioner and left it on my hair for only 30 minutes.

Instead of purple, I got a combination of pink and blue. Not entirely surprising because mixing dye with conditioner can sometimes give a patchy result.

Though the dye encounter had been diluted and brief, the color stayed on pretty well. Especially on my skin! My scalp remained blue through about five washes with tea tree shampoo. After another five or six washes, my hair had faded noticeably.

For my second attempt, I chose Manic Panic Ultra Violet. In the jar, it's essentially the same shade of purple as the Pravana violet which had twice turned my hair nearly black. But I know that Manic Panic has less pigment... so I took the risk and applied it full strength. I left it on for one hour.

Instead of purple, I got blue. Or maybe you could call it blueple. But it's a pretty color, and it's nice and even, not splotchy.

The rest of my hair is back to black. Despite the bleaching and redyeing abuse it's endured over the last few months, it's in pretty good shape except for the ends. A decent haircut should fix that.

I would have liked purple hair. But the black is easy to maintain, and maybe I will eventually find something that makes my bangs purple. For now, I'm okay with black and blue.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Front Door Color

Trying to decide what color to paint the front door, which is currently white.

Of course, my first inclination is some shade of purple. Or perhaps a warmer berry color in contrast with the cool bluish grey of the house. Or an aqua or peacock blue.

Or maybe Front Door Jack.

Or Beetlejuice stripes. ;)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why Did I Even Try?

For those tuning in to catch the final episode of my melodramatic hair tale...

The stylist bleached the top 3 inches or so (the regrowth that had never been bleached). Knowing from past attempts that violet semi-permanent haircolor would turn out nearly black, she applied a lighter purple.

The result isn't very obvious from the back.

But part my hair and look at those top few inches, and it's obvious that the lighter purple did not cover the reddish tones left from bleaching.

The virgin hair, which had easily gone to pale yellow when bleached, did indeed turn a medium bluish purple. But that was only the top quarter inch. Everything else turned... I don't even know what color to call it. It's rosy, pinkish, and/or brownish depending on the light.

It's definitely not bluish purple.

I wish I had never even tried to change my hair color. I have wasted time and money... and had to cut off several inches... and I'm left with ugly, freakishly multicolored hair. I want my long black hair back.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Stairwell Redo Version 2

A few years ago, I redid my basement stairwell. I removed the carpet from the stairs and painted everything in a lilac and black color scheme.

On the risers, I used black and white adhesive shelf paper.

I liked the result... until I didn't really like it anymore. After a while, I just wasn't feeling the lilac. So I repainted the stairwell in the same grey, black and white color scheme as most of my house.

I used a black and white scroll print paper on the risers.

To complete the set of comparison pictures, the photobombing by Miniature Pinscher version 1 was reenacted by Miniature Pinscher version 2. ;)