Camping Hair a Success, Must Collect Bacon Grease (unrelated to hair)

Just like I thought, it was being sneaky and I woke up Thursday morning feeling faintly waxy.  I mentally resolved to chop it all off at camp after the first bike ride.  Then I proceeded to sleep 2-3 hours while Jesse drove, since the 5am roads hold nothing for me but a bad mood. 

However, by the time we drove a couple hundred miles into Utah, and past a Starbucks, I softened up, and as Jesse was ordering out lunch from Wendy's, I grabbed a handful of those lemons they have (for water, presumably) and squeezed them liberally all over my hair.  Then I packed some more lemons into a plastic baggy (for camp tea) along with plastic utensils (Thanks, Wendy's!) and spent some time in the bathroom splashing water on my hair, in a rinsing-combing through combo under some pretty unimpressed glares.  They don't know what it's like.  Desperate times. 

I figured, if it continued to melt down, I had time and a couple more towns with fast food restaurants before the official Middle of Nowhere to barricade myself in the bathroom and squirt hand soap liberally all over my hair (the offical No Poo Fail) before reaching camp and no running water.

It must have been intimidated into submission, or it likes lemon.  Either way, it behaved beautifully Thu, Fri, Sat, and Sunday, and if it wasn't for dust/bugs/ashes, I could have rolled with it Monday. 

Key points:
1.  No Poo Win.
2.  Hair might like rinses. 

I keep the Hair bound up in Buffs when we camp and ride. 

It goes under my helmet and stretches over my neck for riding (I have a bug phobia, and a perpetual fear one will drop down my shirt when riding), and the rest of the time, and since the helmet wrecks my bangs into a sideways mohawk, it's a headband.  Or an eyepatch, when I'm not sure if I have a scrap of contact lens stuck in my eyelid, or if I've finally rubbed a scab into the inside of my eyelid (piece of contact lens, it turned out).  It prevent windblown hair mess, and more importantly, horrible things like getting hair caught in the bike chain??!  The things you read on the internet...

The Buff and I enjoying a day old pork chop:

The Buff and I resting:

I must not have a picture of where it's pulled over my head, tube like, with a face opening.  Not very attractive, anyway.  Effective for bug control.  I also have a wool one.  So.  Rad. 

Oh.  I also used Dr Bronner Magic soap on the camp dishes, during camp "showers", and Jesse used it to semi-effectively rid his hands of the gasoline smell.  That happens, when you spend all night stuffing gas into beer bottles and making makeshift bombs. 

In a semi related story - some girls came over from a campsite over, and dropped some knowledge on me.  APPARENTLY - if you collect bacon grease into a tin can, and then heat that can over fire till it burns purple, and then spear a water bottle onto the end of a LONG (key) stick, and dump water into grease, you can achieve a 20 foot high grease fire.  I am ALL OVER bacon grease for the next 6 months. 


Camping Chronicles, Hair Suspicious-ness.

I'm in the car moving fast toward Moab, UT (stopping in Vegas for the 5 hour night) and all I can think about is my hair.

It was being atrocious, on and off. This last time, it was really magical. Giraffy has taken to rubbing her head with an intriguing mixture of honey and baking soda (I've tried both separately and the experiences has given me very little faith in their teamwork, but she loves it so far), so she offered for me to try the Peppermint Shampoo bar from BlueBonnet Trails, I have been using random bits of soap, like it, and mostly Dr Bronner's. At the height of madness I went out and got Dr Bronners Magic Rinse, which I'm undecided on. I think it might be a splash too oily for my thin, limp hairycles. But it's also a little magical. And expensive. But as a short term "fix", it worked - I'll do oily before waxy any day.
Anyway, the bar, last friday, and it was all pinkness and fluffyness. (Granted + diluted rinse). It's soft, nice, clean, NON waxy, and has lasted 4 good days, started getting oily today, but still very wearble. Then again, the waxy has r e a l l y lowered the bar, but I think its pretty great.
And now, I'm freaking out - we're going camping, which was 80% reason for starting 'no poo'. I got some liquid Bronner (for hair, body, and dishes) and the Plan is to wash tonight and make it till sunday. It's cold in Utah right now. I have washed my hair out of a precariously balanced jug on my tailgate before in 20' and it ain't pretty.
I think I can hear it conspiring. I will wake up tomorrow, at 5am, for the 6 hour drive, and it will be a giant clump of wax. I didn't pack the magic rinse, either. Trying to really pare down this trip, we always have enough stuff to form a permanent settlement out in desert. Anyway. I have vision of waxy helmet head (if I can pry helmet off). I think it lulled me into false hope and is waiting to strike at my weakest. I have very, very little faith in it behaving. It has officially made me crazy.

But I see Vegas lights! :D

(By the way, we're not staying in Bellagio. We're staying at Econolodge, where they let us back truck to window, and jesse can sleep with a firearm pointed at the window, lest someone rattle one of the 19 chains we got running through our bikes and gear. But, Bellagio does look pretty. Ha)
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Walkaway Dress, continued.

So, I measured Nora, and she matched my measurements on the shoulders, and boobs.  The waist is within an inch.  Hips are smaller by 1.5".  And yet, dress on Nora is not the same as dress on me:

Why does the boob area take a vertical shrink?  Anyway.  It's all very girdle like.

I am supposed to be getting ready for a camping trip and leaving for Utah tonight, so I had limited time.  I had Jesse pin up the shoulders, in a fashion that produced least gaping and puckering in the back, and I cut into the front, to lower it. 

This way, a dress on Nora is still not the same as dress on me, but I think the lowered front looks better?  I chopped two inches off the top of the front in cetner, curving out to sides.  It must be the 3 slices of pineapple pizza, in my stomach they're eating up all the slack.  Again, consult Nora and me.  WTF.  Any lower, and Nora's unmentionables would be bared, but on me, I'd probably be above belly button.   I must remeasure Nora, somewhere an extra 6 inches have snuck in.  I am feeling very stumpy-torso-ed. 

To achieve the look on the pattern front picture, looks like front might need even more chopping:

To be continued..


Butterick 4790 (6015) Walkaway Dress Part 1

I got the pattern (finally!) this weekend, rummaging through the unopened stock boxes in the back of JoAnns, and it's supposed to be super cool because you're meant to start it after breakfast and 'walk away in it to lunch".   I started after lunch, and could have possibly walked away in it to dinner, if the neighbor didn't text about a party she was having.  Even though I left early, it appears I can not sew a straight line after 4 jello shots, (jello shots.  true story) so it is no longer a one day dress. 

I was trying very hard to use up some fabrics in my stash (of random clearance fabrics, garage sale finds, things that possibly used to be drapes, etc).  But I needed two fabrics that went well together, which is hard when you shop by colour, pattern, and shock value. 

JoAnn's had:


I just about fell over at the sight of bright pink, yellow, orange and red, all splashed about liberally.  I spent a considerable amount of time spacing out and staring at the flowers, to see if I could match the pattern at the center back seam of the circle skirt.  May be if JoAnn's bolt didn't run out 20" too short, I could have.  No matter, though, because currently pinned to Nora, it appears I will need to make it a half circle skirt.  It is a lot of skirt as it is currently.  I could seriously sneak small children into movie theaters for free with that thing. 

It's not put together yet, everything is held to Nora by pins.  So far I have done the front (black) piece, all darted, and it all goes poorly, it might make a nice dress all by itself.  If I make a back for it. 

The back top and bottom/front orange skirt are two pieces that I pinned on.  I could manage the pinning on jello shots. 

I also read the 30 reviews on PatternReview.com, and I am now sufficiently intimidated.  It appears that you need either stellar sewing skills, or boobs to pull off this dress.  As it usually goes, I have neither. 

Stellar sewing skills come in handy for the million alteration this pattern (apparently) needs.  I don't know, it looks OK on Nora.  I have made the shoulders narrower and higher, preemptively, since everyone on the internet who's made one before me has had to do this. 

The boobs come in handy, because, in the apron-like construction of the dress, the front is a small sheath thing, and the back is a giant circle skirt, which wraps around to the front and weighs most of the 4.5 yards of fabric that this dress requires.  So, the back, I hear pulls on the front, making it ride up.  Unless you have boobs, which fit into the darts on the front, and I don't know.. weigh down the waist?  As non haver of boobs, it's hard to speculate as to what they might do.  But, it is commonly accepted by people who have made this dress, that having them is good for this dress. 

I plan to:

1.  Make the back a half circle skirt, and if it's unwearable, I will flare out the front, as well, giving it more weight, and room for knees.  Also, I saw on somebody's blog.. which I can't find now, a version of the dress with the wide contrast hem at the bottom, so I think, 4" black hem at bottom.


2.  Keep full circle, still flare the front, and cut both skirts to about knee length.  + the above hem. 


3.  Keep it as is, and only wear it in house, like, when entertaining guests.  That way, if it's gaping, a little indecent and funny looking, I'm surrounded by kind and gentle people who will tactfully ignore it.

I'm also thinking a ridiculous petticoat might enhance any and all of these options.  I have seen these at thrift shops, thinking how sad it was I had nothing to wear over one.

I'm a little torn about altering the skirt.  Making the skirt less full takes away from the 50's look, and might make it even more apron-like.  But I also don't think having that much fabric around my hips is going to be a flattering look.  I'll find out tonight. 

I haven't sewn in a while, so I'm all types of excited.  And, I get to use all the random sewing stuff I continually pick up at garage sales for next to nothing.  30 year old chalk pencils?  I think I will.  Turns out they work!  (I have learned the hard way, that 30 year old thread, for the most part, does NOT.)

UPDATE (Day 2).  Instead of bloggying a whole new post.  The dress is still not done.  With the upcoming Utah trip, it might be a week dress.  Oops.  I spent all of yesterday evening re-cutting the skirt. 

I made it a half circle skirt, so, cutting it in half.  I cheated a little because I freaked out and thought it wouldn't be full enough if I chopped it in half, so, it's like a 200' skirt.  Extra 20' are darted on the hips in the back.  It is plenty full, still.  I got that idea on a vintage sewing website I found, I hope to have their chapter on skirts memorized at some point:

The half circle skirt has grain running down the sides, which makes it fall flat on the sides, and bunch up in the middle and back.  I'm not sure why, but it works.  It ends up rippling uniformly all around.  (I also have the extra darted fabric in back).  Cutting it the way pattern indicates with full circle, the grain runs down the center front and back, causing those areas to lay flat (good thing) but bunch up on the hips (I looked like a truckload when I put it on, which is what spurred the skirt modification before the dress ever had a chance to come together).   I am guessing, and with pettycoats, in the 50's they wanted the ballgown look.  I'm trying to avoid it. 

All the chopping at new waistline will have also brought up the hem 3" or so, which pleases me.  Right side hasn't been chopped yet.  I folded the front in a bit so you can see the "look".  The way it hangs by itself, it looks like a solid skirt. 


And the back view:

It is still a ridiculously full skirt, so I don't feel like I've completely changed the pattern.  Next up is the center back.  When I put it on, there's some gaping happening, everywhere.  It appears if I bring up the shoulders (like all the 30 reviews said) it gets better.  The waist sides and the armpits should come  up, too.  The armholes will need work also. 

2 days and counting. Ha.  


Weekend Randomness and Awesomeness

I had to get up early to win some eyeshadow on Ebay..  Sounds terrible, and was.  No auction should end at 4:53am PST.  Jesse actually set an alarm, pulled up the auction, and woke me up 3 minutes prior to close, to see if I wanted to bid.  So, I won (because I have Jesse, and because nobody else in would consider stalking Ebay at 4am, according to Jesse) and there's going to be some very bright green (Lucky Green) Mac eye stuff coming to my house this week.

I have been fascinated by YouTube makeup tutorials, to the point where my right eyeball 'area' is nearly out of comission - I had put tape across the corner of my eye, but the tape YouTube chicks use must not be my CVS bulk special, cause the tape came off, the glue didn't, and a lot of rubbing later, I have a pretty raw eyeball 'area'.  Fail.  More makeup experiments are postponed till eyeball heals, which works out, since Ebay shadow due to arrive later in week.  I think I got close:

Purple eyeshadow on my eyebrow?  Yep, all planned.  It's part of the look.

Ok, so may be I failed a little.  At the end, when I saw it wasn't really matching the tutorial, I got a little desperate and just started using up all the bright colors and stuff that glittered that I had.  I have been washing my face with nothing but water for months, and finally, I had reason to use up a gallon of those 'free with purchase' Lancome makeup removers.  But, check out that line at the outer corner.  Tape, my friends.    

Anyway. Since I was already up hideously early, and giraffy and I had Farmers Market plans, Jess and I scrambled to the gym for a mini 1.5 mile run/crawl.  Not something I'll likely repeat.   I prefer to gym in the evening, and promptly pass out.  Walking around ALL day, with tired, wobbly legs is stupid.  Despite what Jesse says about being energized, or whatever.  He used to run before work.  If, for some reason, I found myself running before work (rabid squirrel attack in the parking lot, or something) I'd call in sick.  We've been training pretty regularly for an upcoming 5k, but this morning gym stuff is madness.  

1.55 miles = 160 calories.  Not even a Twix bar.  Sigh.  So much pain.  So little gain.  Double sigh.  

Farmers Market was as magical as giraffy had advertised it.  Few things are worth getting out of bed for before 10, but giant beets are.  Especially when coupled with mini rum cakes, Russian tea cookies,  and garlic and herb goat cheese that I can just eat with a spoon.  Their vegetables and fruits were amazing, with larger sample selection that Costco (win!) and super cheap prices.  I don't know what I pay at Vons for three sickly, scabby beets, but I got 3 awesome, giant ones, for $2.  Giraffy also picked up some golden beets, and I'm awaiting to see what she does with them and how it goes.   Her future cooking experiments aside, it's pretty awesome to go with a friend for all the 'one for $6, or 2 for $10' deals.  Hello, goat cheese, at a dollar discount.

I wanted to get a bunch of the sweet pea bunches, fill a bathtub with them, and lay in it all day.  I think it's the smell.  There were lots of flowers.  Pretty flowers, that smelled liked flowers, and so cheap.  Bunches, and arrangements.  I asked the guy's phone number, so I have it when time comes to decorate my after wedding party.   May be I can arrange for a bathtub of sweet peas.

After the market, we were supposed to plant a vegetable garden of some sort, but giraffy panicked last minute and realized she had no plan, and it's unwise to go throw cash about Lowe's with no plan, especially when you have a track record of ruthless planticide.   Instead, we lounged by the pool, got sunburned, and talked about diligently murdering plants and obsessive Ebay bidding behaviors, both of which we share.  And Crocs.  It appears we all.  Love.  Crocs.

To make the most of today, and since my legs gave out, and I was only into stationary activities, I was really hoping to finish sewing a Vogue 8552 dress I have going, all cut out and everything.    (I love the giant pockets!) 

But it turns out I lost all but the French version of the instructions.  My knowledge of French is very casual and has nothing to do with things like "seam" or "hem", and  I considered going forward, but I have seen me mess up enough plan English directions, so I headed to JoAnn's for a duplicate, which they didn't have.  But.  I found, going through a box that had not yet been unpacked, while Jesse muttered stuff about "rules" and "employees only", a Butterick's re-release that I'd been looking for, since summer, the 4790:  

It's called the "Walkaway Dress", and it was so popular when it came out first (as #6015), that production of all patterns was halted to fill backorders on this one.  Apparently, you can start this dress after breakfast, and walk away to lunch in it.  I will test this tomorrow and update.   Since I had to put away the pre-cut 8552, due to to foreign directions and all.  

Meanwhile, and to crown the awesomeness of today, Jesse has been looking for a steamer, the type that smoothes out wool suits, not the vegetable type.  His new job is all about suits, and he's picked up some beautiful suits and sport coats, that he likes..  steamed?  When stuff we need comes up, as a hobby and habit we rarely run out and get it, we add it to a mental list of things to look out for while thrifting.  If that fails, we try Ebay, or Craigslist, and if that fails, we discuss our retail options.  We had just talked about how we hadn't seen one out and about, when the Salvation Army by JoAnns had this parked in the corner:

It was brand new, dusty, but still with plastic stickers covering surfaces, and it was the Storewide 30% off Saturday, so it came out to $8.  Which is a good thing, because I read some reviews online, and the consensus seems to be, its awesome, until it dies after a couple years.  But, if Jesse gets to get steamy with his jackets for a couple years and not dry clean stuff as often, it's worth $8.  The 2 year countdown begins, I guess.  Ha.


Backtracking.. Life's Repair

The weekend is coming up, and my weekends have been full of awesomeness, that I'm completely behind on capturing.  My best friend came out to visit (for the second time ever) from Chicago, on March 17th.  (THAT is how far behind I am on awesomeness).

I think this about captures it all:

Laguna Beach.  Sun.  Taking a Friday off.  My best friend of, like, 15 years, ever since I asked her if I could copy her math homework in high school.  

She has an awesome camera, that I now want.  DS..something.  Nikon.  Last week I wanted Droid, but I'm over it.  I totally want a cool camera again.  (You know, the one that has potential for really awesome pictures, if you know how to use it, which I won't, but I want it anyway).  So we took pictures.  Frolicked in the water.  Did it again Saturday.  

 I forgot to take a picture of our totally awesome matching tatoos.  H + J, forever, with a Cricky and Igget.  She's Cricky.  I'm Igget.  One is an iguana (an obsession of mine) and the other is a cricket (an obsession of her, if you will..)

I wanted an iguana, so bad, my whole life.  And, once, in Petsmart, they had them, just beautiful, with these little tiny green claws, and perfect little pointy nails, and beady little eyes and snouts.  I was in love. 

My mom wasn't having any of it, none at all, so I was on the phone, just crying my eyes out about unfairness of life, when Heidi promised that she would get me an iguana, for my 20th birthday.  (Which seemed like AGES away).  20 years came along, and we were rooming together at college, and didn't really have enough money to feed ourselves, let alone lizards, so, the pact was amended - I was really looking fwd to this, after all - 25th birthday.  This is like, 11-12 years of patient waiting. 

On my 25th birthday, I get a call..  Did I know iguana's grow to be, like a junior dinosaur size?  No, sure didn't.. 
Did I know they tend to me mean for life?  Kinda.  I heard this, but figured mine would be different, even though a friend had one that bit him all the time. 
Not so much said the shop guy.  I guess, they get so many iguanas back, that he was reluctant to sell them, to anyone but the most avid lizard afficionados.  Which, I am.  But, I consider my specialty the little 10cm lizards.  Anything over this size, I start to doubt my abilities.  And the idea of watching TV next to a 100 lb lizard cooled me off significantly.  So, may be when I'm 35.  I'm hoping a friendly iguana strain is bred in time for my birthday.

She took my car and went to San Diego, and took pictures of things I haven't even seen, having lived in SoCal for 5 years now.  Oops.  Like the lizard sculpture above. 

I wish my camera took pictures like this.  Sigh. 

But, mostly, we did a lot of beach strolling, in Laguna.  Jesse and I 'found' this little beach when we were reception beach house hunting.  We almost decided on this cliff house:

It was pretty cool.  And, cheaper than a state beach affair.  It's perched on this cool rock, and below it is the 'secret' little beach. Well, we thought it was secret, cause it looked that way in February.  But, come March adn the sun, turns out a lot of people found their way to it, as well. 

The water at this beach was super rough. 

And, despite my best college efforts, Heidi, apparently STILL can't swim.  I really, can't imagine.  I tried so hard.  I mean.  She grew up in Philippines.  It's, like, all island-y.   Way to not plan for apocalypse.  So, she's not actually happy in any of the photos I took, but I'm not picky about the subject's moods.  Color photoshop work is all her. 

Meanwhile, I tried my best, Victoria Secret Beach Shoot pose ..

I don't look nearly as playboy bunny-ish as I'd hoped.  I also had to keep my bandaged, blender-accident-mutilated middle finger up and above the water, so that was part of the problem.   I really hope she has a better one in the batch that she's saving and framing for a surprise birthday gift.  Meanwhile, more lizards, or close up of the above lizards, in case you didn't consider them enough: 

I miss her..  Stupid Chicago.  Sigh.  She named the Spring Break photo album on Facebook "Life's Repair".  I hope she got well rested and recharged before going back to the cold, the ick, and the med school madness. 


Nora, the Duct Tape Scarecrow Replacement

Months of stalking have paid off, and I now have me a dress form.  I was just about to try and wrap myself in duct tape again (it took months to work up the nerve), and now I can delay that indefinately. 


I mean, it doesn't have gargoyle feet.  This was a little disappointing.  But, it matches my measurements nicely (I'll have to pad the butt-ips area..) And, it was $30, which, to date, is the best deal.  I considered  driving 60 miles to get a questionable $40 off of Craigslist.  Debbie's Dumpster were finally going to sell me theirs for $90.  No, thanks..  This one is much better, even!

Jesse and I had frolicked a relaxed, unmapped trail of garage sales this weekend - i.e. - he drives towards the beach and I make him pull over at every green, pink, or yellow piece of paper tacked to a light post, and our favorite junk shops.  In San Clemente, there's the Pac Rat, a little thrift shop ran by a husband and wife.  They have really cool dresses and suits, the wife picks her stuff carefully, so no junk.  I've gotten some shelves from them, and she once called me about some teacups she found, because she remembered I'm into that sort of thing.   It's not the $3 price tags I am accustomed to, courtesy of G-Marts, but their stuff is nice, and the husband likes to make deals.

Once there was a pretty vintagy red motorcycle Jesse had to drag me off.  I didn't wanna hear that it was too big for me.  It was shiny, dammit.  Anyway.  Pac Rat, had not one, but 3 dress forms.  They were using them as displays, until I undressed and inspected each one.  There was a vintage Wolf one, cast iron base and everything, and a newer reproduction of same, without base though.  I coulda probably negotiated Wolf for $80-ish, (he said $100) but  I skipped home with the newer one, for $30.

Jesse spent larger part of the evening mutilating a lamp I was supposed to Craigslist (procrastination DOES pay off) and making a stand for Nora II.  A couple of ugly "mallot + drill + handful of screws + lamp on a sidewalk outside" episodes later, he did so well, it doesn't even wobble. 

One of these days I'll spray paint the cage and the stand black, and separate gargoyle feet may turn up at some point, you never know.   I think I will also take a paint brush to her, she is clearly in need of some body art.   I'm taking ideas. 

FINALLY, I won't have to try on my hideous creations, and try to swim my way into and out of a half stitched top with 80 pins threatening my various body bits.  I mean:

It's hard to look cool wearing raggedy bits of almost clothing. (I was cutting off and reattaching the sleeves and taking in sides of a sweater that I thought would be cute to buy in XL to wear "camping".)  There are PINS in that there sleeve, people.  And I always have to ask Jesse to leave what he's doing and capture the madness on film.  No more. 

Also, she models clothing, so I have FINALLY, put up some stuff on Ebay, from my "Not a Size 4 Anymore Collection".   I had taken some pictures on the original Nora, let's revisit:

This, by the way, is Nora's most flattering angle.  Ignore the crushed right boob.   Even without scary boobs (but featuring my hand, since, Nora #1 was not a free standing creature), and with my snazzy carpet, a 70's special clearance rack my landlord is very fond of.


I mean, night and day, right?  I am glad I procrastinated (again, see, it really works) and didn't put up all the Ebay auctions.  I'm certain Nora II is going to fetch at least .50c extra, you watch.  The only trick is that, since Nora II is my size, my smaller clothing doesn't really fit (all skirts are unzipped), and Nora I was a collapsible deal (not on purpose, it just was messed up like that) so I could potentially stuff her into stuff a little easier.  But once so stuffed, it wasn't very flattering (reference the crushed boobs) anyway.

As a matter of fact, anything worth picture taking that can be draped or hung, will now be featured on Nora II.  Like, this serape blanket I got in NorCal few weeks back:

And this outfit I picked up last weekend, at the Boutique (Salvation Army - The Boutique).  That's actually what it's called, and not a fancy decoy name I made up, like G-Mart for Goodwill.  Hereafter, all Salvation Army stores = Boutique.  You've been warned. 

I continually see 27 year olds in SoCal that look much cooler than me, and I can't quite pin point why.  Then I see pictures of stuff I pick out, and it becomes pretty clear.  Jesse helped construct the first outfit, finding a long sleeved shirt while I fumbled with dress buckles in fitting room, because that's the kind of Boutique White Horse-d Knight he is.  But, notice how the grandma dress on Nora instantly looks heaps more cool than the grandma dress hanging on a hanger off my track lighting.  Right??