Renewal of a blogger…

This blog, it sits out here unused…  something began and forgotten.  Sort of like a Christmas letter or knitting project.  I have been toying with renewing my blog and using it as not only a pathway to my craft ~ spinning and knitting, but also for my interests in discovering natural beauty, products or absence of products, if you will.

Let’s see how it goes!

I have been doing a ton of research over the last couple of years on HAIR.  Yes, hair.  I have that hair.  You know, hair that without product and heat is a curly frizz ball.  When I find the right combination of products and diffuse it just so, I have pretty, natural curl that lasts, hmmmm, a few hours before a nice halo of frizz develops and then I decide to just throw it up.  With the added health hazards being identified surrounding personal care products I have been trying to stay away from certain chemicals in products, more frizz.

About a month ago I made the jump to “water only washing”.  I have read a bunch about this method of cleaning hair.  There is a ton of information out there and I will site my favorite two blogs, Minimalist Beauty and Almost Exactly Blog, on the matter and not regurgitate the information those smart ladies have provided.  One mistake I believe I have been making, however, is continuing to use styling products while I go through transition.  I have been selective choosing products that are of natural ingredients and that will rinse out with water only washing.  I started to wonder though, if I am coating my hair shaft with product, how successful will I be at coating my hair shaft with the natural sebum my hair is to eventually produce and over the course of a month or so?

Today I decided to jump again to truly “water only washing” and completely cut out the use of styling products – except natural butters/oils to condition my ends and help with MINOR frizz control.  The butters/oils I have chosen are recommended for “water only washing” and I have created a mixture of shea butter, jojoba oil and fractionated coconut oil.  I added a little rosemary and lavender essential oil.  Hopefully this “balm” will help keep my ends moisturized as my scalp produces it’s natural sebum and I work on the distribution of that down my hair shaft.  Because my hair is naturally curly I anticipate needing to wet my hair in the morning and hopefully that will aid in the sebum moving down my hair shaft.

Over the course of the next month my only hair products will consist of:

Wooden hair brush – brushing daily, before shower in the morning and before bed to stimulate the scalp and pull the sebum down my hair shaft.  I am choosing a wooden brush as opposed to a boar bristle brush because of my curls.  I may use my boar bristle brush occasionally.

Wooden hair comb – for detangling in the shower

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse – I make this with Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and essential oils of rosemary and lavender.  I combine this with water and rinse my hair with it a couple of times a week.  This helps with shine and conditioning.

Hair balm – I made this myself and it contains 3 teaspoons of shea butter, 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil, 1 teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil, combined using a double boiler.  I add to the melted mixture 4 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oil.  Just a tiny bit of this is used on my ends and to control frizz.  This is a new mixture and may need tweaking.

Turby Twist towel – or bar towel to get excess moisture out of hair.

Diffuser – if I need to dry my hair.

Satin pillow case – this really works.  I didn’t believe it until I tried it.

To kick of the NEW month of water only washing I decided to do a hair detox.  I did a bit of research on this and decided to make sure I have all product build up off of my hair to make the transition a bit easier.

Hair detox – 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of bentonite clay.  I wet my hair and then put this mixture on my hair and left it for 30 minutes under a plastic cap.  I rinsed my hair in the shower and did a final apple cider vinegar rinse (as mentioned above) for shine and conditioning.  So far my hair is drying with really defined curl pattern and very little frizz.

Hopefully I have inspired you to look at your hair routine and see if maybe there are some things you can do to chose a simpler and healthier way to take care of your mane.  I will keep you updated on how this month is going…


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The luck of the Irish…

I hadn’t planned on running the race but how can you say no when it involves knitting this oh so cute Shamrock hat. Farrah tempted me and clearly I am easy.

The race is the first of the season. It was 17 degrees as we all gathered for the 5K. It was a beautiful almost spring clear morning and I am so glad I did it. I ran more than I thought I would and stopped along the way for photos. What a fun event to kick off a fun St. Paddys day weekend!




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Do you ever start a project, start the project again, and again, and again?  Well this has been the do over project for the last week but I am on a roll and moving right along.  First I bought beautiful yarn.  No way I could get gauge with it.  Then I tried bigger yarn.  Not pretty.  Then I tried Rowan Felted Tweed, gauge was off but I was determined…  I love Rowen Felted Tweed.

So, I cast on, be damned the consequence.  I was getting more stitches per inch so I should knit a bigger size, right?  Well, about 5 inches in I decided to pull this baby around my hips to see what the fit was like, was it tight, naw, it was huge.  This didn’t make any sense at all…  ribbit, ribbit, ribbit…

I cast on again with a smaller needle.  now I am moving right along.  I tried it on last night, the fit is much, much better.  The gauge on this project is weird.

So this is my “challenging” project…  I hope to have it done in time for my trip to Sonoma!  Yes, I said it, Sonoma!  It is just a long weekend but how wonderful the long weekend is going to be!

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Sunday night ramblings, what the weenend is almost over…

It is the end of another seemingly short weekend.  I feel like weekends go faster and faster the older I get.  I am sure it has to do with all of the responsibility we have during the work week.  That has to be it.  It seems like we just cannot have enough time to do “nothing”.

What did you do this weekend?  If you are in Alaska I am sure it was something indoors.  The temperatures in Anchorage for the month of January have been record lows.  For my son attending college in Fairbanks, it has been even worse.  I think this morning’s FB temperature post was -50, YIKES.  It makes me so thankful that I have a roof over my head, a place that is warm whenever I want it.  So many are much less fortunate.

This weekend started on Friday night for me…  I went to Starbucks to knit with my Friday night knitting friends.  It was a nice large group.  Cathy told me that one of the new regular workers arranged all of the comfy chairs for us around the fireplace.  How sweet was that!  Saturday I vegged around the house for a bit before the nagging reality set in that I had to get the Dimond West Little League postcards ready for the mail!  Registration starts on February 1.  It would be nice for these cards to be in mailboxes at least by then.  It will be close!  Printer problems, color issues, blah, blah, blah.  450 postcards sit neatly on my bedside table cut and ready for labels and stamps – TOMORROW.  Today was here before I knew it.  I colored my hair (the grays were taking over).  I spent way to much time knitting a new project that soon was frog-ged because it inevitably was to big.  Stupid gauge!  Elliot and Cameron needed to be delivered to Baseball Academy in Mt. View so hubby and me loaded them up in the truck, delivered them, had a bite to eat at Table 6, picked up dog food at Pet Zoo, fetched said kids from Baseball Academy and headed home.

So when I have had free moments I have been perusing the inter-webs.  You know, that is what we do to get out of reality.  I stumbled upon some blogs this past week that intrigued me.  One about cleansing your face with oil, the other has to do with organizing all of the paper that surrounds us – I am saving that one for later.  The face cleansing blog was so interesting that I went to FM tonight to pick up some castor oil, to mix with my Orange Flower Facial Oil and try!  I might be a convert but time will tell.  My face feels clean, tingly and soft.  The best part of this is that it will be incredibly affordable if it works.  I can still use NYR Organic products as well, as they sell a base oil I can use in my recipe.

So it was a busy weekend, full of activity.  Another work week starts tomorrow.  Life will surely be busy until January is over.  Yes, two more days to breath and then deadlines are over.  Have a good one my friends.

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Sleep. Who needs sleep.

So my bout with insomnia last night resulted in a new block for the quilt. Instead of sleeping I cut the templates and fabric pieces for the Windblown Block. My boys sleep near the machine so sewing was out but I got up bright and early and cranked it out.

I have also cut and pinned a couple filler blocks but will sew those tonight if I can stay awake. 3 hours of sleep is hardly enough to function rationally on!

If this was not enough, I also worked on the sweater sleeves. Another inch on both sleeves done!

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I figured it out…

Here you see a block called the Criss Cross Block – numero 7 of the 49 I will be making (I need to reverse and make a couple I missed)…

Criss-Cross: block 7 of 49

This block was another learning moment for me.  I have barely gotten through the first chapter of this book and it is hard for my brain.

Lesson learned.  When dealing with triangles and adding 1/4 inch seam allowances to templates you cannot just add 1/4 to the right angle.  If that makes sense.  I tried this twice before figuring out something was wrong, wrong, wrong with my finished block size…  The good news is, 3rd time is a charm and it is good now.

Oh, I learned another lesson.  Pins are my friend.  They take time but they work!

Happy dreaming…

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I am a knitter, yes I am…

I have not knitted in a few days!  Tonight I have a terrible shoulder ache.  I think from sitting in my work chair and staring at my computer and or sitting in a chair and sewing… therefore, I am taking a break tonight and decided to grab a project that has been sitting in a bag.  Renewed interest in my sweater project.  Maybe I will get these sleeves finished so I can don the alpaca/silk warmth on these cold, cold days we are living with (tonight it is supposed to get to -20).  What do you think…  can I get it done in the next few days?

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