New Conditioner!

I got some new conditioners recently, just before Christmas!  I have been so excited to try something new since my disaster with the last two products I decided to try.  I was so excited I took the box up into my bathroom and opened it right there on the sink!

I got Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner, Camille Rose Naturals SOYlicious Conditioner, and Bee Mine Avocado Balancing Conditioner.  Curlmart also threw in a few samples!  I love free samples, don't you?!  I get so damn excited when I open packages and see free shit!  The samples were Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper, and something by Twisted Sista (but it has silicone in it, so I didn't pay much attention to it).  

The Bee Mine and Camille Rose Naturals are super thick, so I can't co-wash with them.  Luckily, the Elucence is rather thin, and I don't care for the way it made my hair feel overall, so it worked out nicely to step in as a co-wash.  

I've been using the Bee Mine primarily so far, and I really like it. I thought I would like the Camille Rose Naturals better because it's thicker, but the Bee Mine ends up feeling thicker in your hair once wet than it seems in your palm.  A little goes a long way with this stuff, too!  It's a nice balance of everything I look for in a conditioner.  It's thick enough to coat everything nicely and also leave the ends feeling smooth (I have a super huge problem with tangly ends), slippery enough to detangle, and it's got protein!  So far, this is a winner winner chicken dinner.  

I've also been using the Curl Keeper pre-KCCC ever since, which has been about a week now.  I like it a lot so far.  In fact, I've already ordered a bottle from Amazon!  Nothing against Curlmart, but since I'm an Amazon Prime member, many things end up being cheaper and arriving faster from Amazon for me because of the free 2-day shipping.  It claims to be all-natural, but it has a lot of strange ingredients.  Sometimes I wonder exactly what kind of regulations are in place for product labeling...

Right now my routine is:

Co-wash with Elucence
Rinse out with Bee Mine
Pre-gel with Curl Keeper
Gel with Kinky Curly Curling Custard
t-shirt scrunch, clip roots, diffuse dry


Amazing Grass Chocolate Shake

The resident child has been sick for the past few days with a fluctuating fever.  We've been dosing her up with the usual meds (cough syrup, motrin, etc.), but the damn fever just won't quit.  I decided today to try giving her a smoothie with some Amazing Grass GREENsuperfood powder mixed in to help give her body an extra germ-fighting boost.  I didn't think she'd be too keen on the idea of consuming something with the word "grass" in the title, so I kept that ingredient a secret.  I just told her it was a chocolate milkshake.  She was none the wiser, and she loved every bite!

The best part about it is that this is almost raw, and can easily be converted to be entirely so, and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins!  To make this entirely raw, just use raw peanuts (or whatever nuts) instead of peanut butter, and raw nut milk, or even water, instead of  the milk.  The GREENsuperfood powder is labeled as raw, so you're already good to go there!

Amazing Grass Chocolate Shake

1 banana, chopped and frozen (~1 c.)
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 scoop Amazing Grass GREENsuperfood powder
milk, to desired consistency

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy.  Serve immediately with a spoon or a fat straw.  
  2. Sit back and enjoy kicking some serious germ ass!  Or just enjoy...

This recipe is totally flexible and will stand up well to almost any substitution.  If you want to mask the chlorophyll ("green") flavor, just make sure you don't skimp on the cocoa powder!  Otherwise, you could use 1 cup of almost any frozen fruit, 1/4 cup of any nuts or nut butter, and whatever liquid you like!  I think coconut water (or milk) would be a nice addition.  I might try that next time...


Chocolate Chip Cookies

We baked cookies for Santa tonight!  We used my favorite chocolate chip recipe (adapted from Cook's Illustrated).  They turned out absolutely delish.  Ever since I found this recipe, I haven't used another.  It's my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I did change it up a little this time around though.  I used olive oil instead of butter.  I always like to use oil when possible in recipes, and it turned out to be a really nice substitution here.  

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 c. AP flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. olive oil
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 c. semisweet mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the oil, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.

3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.

4. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time (for giant cookies) or a tablespoon at a time (for smaller cookies) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

5. Bake larger cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re done; depending on your scoop size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.


Curly Girl Update December 2012

It’s been forever since I’ve posted about my hair.  A lot has changed since I’ve last posted.  Let me dive right in…

It’s been about three months since I started CG and I really couldn’t be happier with my hair.  As long as I keep my moisture and protein in balance, and avoid those cheap-o products (VO5, Suave, etc.) my hair is really happy.  If you’ve read my other CG posts, you’re probably wondering about that, since I was previously using VO5 as a co-wash and loving it.  I’ll get into that later.  

Currently, I’m using Yes To Carrots Conditioner (I will be returning to One-C when this bottle is empty), Kinky Curly Curling Custard as my gel, and, as usual, I have my Lily Of The Valley Aloe Gel as a sort of leave-in.  Let me just say that I love Kinky Curly Curling Custard!  I was a little daunted by the price at first (a product in this price range is usually a spurge), but I’m realizing the product (from here on out, KCCC) is worth every penny.  I paid about $17 for 8 oz.  That seems like a lot, considering I was previously using LA Looks Sports Gel (LALSG), which runs about $3 for 20 oz.  That’s a big difference in price, but there’s also a big difference in quality.

KCCC is nothing but natural, nurturing ingredients, whereas LALSG is pretty much all chemicals.  My hair feels so soft and smooth since I started using KCCC, it’s unbelievable.  It definitely took me a while to find my balance with KCCC, so if you try it, be patient and experiment.  The product itself is really, really thick.  A little definitely goes a long way with this stuff.  I had quite a few bad hair days when I was first experimenting.  At first I used way too much and ended up looking oily and wet, and my curls were really clumpy.  I don’t really like thick clumps in my hair, so this was not good times.  Then I tried it mixed with LA Looks Sports Gel (LALSG), and that was better, but a still a little too crunchy.  {One thing I’ve noticed with crunch is that there is a fine line between happy-crunch, which can be scrunched out, and over-crunch which just ends up stringy and straggly and your hair is fucked because no amount of scrunching will undo the stringy remains of over-crunch.}  Gradually I reduced the amount of KCCC I was using, and began using it with aloe gel.   Wetting my hair with aloe as the last step seems to help the KCCC distribute.  Usually a few hard scrunches will distribute the product pretty well.  This is by no means a miracle styling combination, but for now until I discover something better, this gives me consistently decent hair days.  I, personally, would rather have consistently tolerable hair days, rather than a few awesome hair days mixed with unpredictably bad ones.  Most products give me the latter result, so I’m happy to have something that I can slap in and go and not really worry too much that my hair is going to flip out at some point and turn into a fluff ball.  KCCC also smells like vanilla frosting, which I love!  I had read that it smells that way, and I was skeptical because I don’t usually care for sweet, candy-like fragrances, but I really like this!

When I first started doing CG and frequenting the NaturallyCurly forums, I couldn’t believe the number of people I saw raving on and on about such inexpensive brands as VO5 and LA Looks.  I knew these to be cheap products made with cheap ingredients which, when I tried them in the past, made my hair thin and brittle.  I figured hundreds of curlies couldn’t be wrong, so I gave them a go with CG.  They worked for a little while, but eventually the low quality ingredients caught up with me and my hair became thin and brittle.  It was taking longer to catch up with me than I had expected, so I wasn’t sure at the time if it was the conditioner causing my hair to be this way.  I experimented with protein since I read that protein deficiency shows similar symptoms.  That didn’t work, so I began experimenting with my co-wash, which was VO5 Extra Body at the time.  I switched to Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut for a while, but my hair reacted even worse to this.  I decided to try a natural co-wash so I purchased Aubrey Organics GPB Conditioner from Amazon.  When it arrived it was a little thicker than I had anticipated, so I ended up using the GPB as my rinse-out conditioner, and the Deva Curl One Conditioner (from here on out “One-C”) as my co-wash since it was, at that time, the thinnest conditioner I had on hand.  This happened to be a rather serendipitous change of plans, because I realized that my hair loves One-C as a co-wash!  Since I realized that, I’ve started using One-C as my primary conditioner for both co-wash and rinse-out, and occasionally add some protein-rich conditioner into the mix when my hair starts to show signs of crispiness.  I do the co-wash and rinse-out all as one step, though.  I just put my normal amount of conditioner in my hair (plus a pump or two extra for the hair line), massage my scalp, finger comb, then tilt forward and scrunch.  When I’m ready to rinse, I put my head under the water and scrunch handfuls of my roots to make sure the conditioner rinses well from my scalp.  As soon as my scalp feels well rinsed, I stop.  At that point, whatever conditioner is still in my hair stays in my hair. 

When I get out of the shower, I scoop a little glob (quarter size?) out with my middle and ring fingers, rub that together in my palms, and smooth it through my hair.  With my head tilted forward, I very gently smooth the gel over my hair in sections.  I start in the back at the nape, then come to the front, then the sides, and finally rub whatever is left in my hands over the canopy.  I leave the canopy for last because it is very easy to overdo it with KCCC and I would look like a greasy mess if I overdid it in such a prominent area as the canopy.  I do the back first because it’s the area on my head most prone to dryness and breakage (so needs the most nourishment).  If your hair is different, I would suggest beginning the application wherever you need the most moisture.  After all of the custard has been applied, I scrunch everything together and finger comb a little, if necessary.  I don’t finger comb every day, but some days it’s just necessary.  Then I get out the aloe gel.  I squirt a little blob - about a dime size blob, I’d say – into my palm and scrunch it directly into a lock of curls.  I continue this throughout my head until my hair is nice and wet with aloe, and all hair has had an aloe scrunch.  Then I shake my hair around and separate any curls that need separating.  Basically any touching that I will need to to…I do that now.  If my ends have started to frizz by now, I get a tiny dab of KCCC and scrunch it into the ends. Then I scrunch with a T-shirt, and clip.  I place 3 clips down the center of my head, and 1 clip to either side (5 clips total).  I just pinch a clump of curls at the root, then loop the curl around a little and clip it all together.  Looping the hair up and including it in the clip keeps the clip from falling parallel to the scalp, which is something I was initially having problems with.  After that, I do my makeup, then remove the clips and blow dry.  Usually that’s about 15 minutes clipped. 

As long as my protein and moisture is well balanced and adequate, this routine really works for me.  Where that is concerned, my new conditioners are a little disappointing, but I’m starting to suspect that has more to do with protein deficiency than any real lack on the conditioners’ part.  I’m eternally on the hunt for a perfect conditioner which doesn’t break the bank, so although I was pleased with One-C, when it came time to re-up I tried to find something a little cheaper.  This time around I decided to try Aubrey Organics White Camellia Conditioner and Yes To Cucumber Color Care Conditioner.   There is a lot of slip in both products, for sure, but they are just not thick enough.  I want something thick like Pantene Pro-V, but haven’t found anything in the natural, CG friendly world that fits the bill and doesn’t cost $3 million per oz.  I do like the way the Yes to Cucumbers smells.  It’s really nice and light.  The Aubrey Organics White Camellia, however, smells disgusting.  It smells very strongly of lemons, but not refreshing lemons.  It smells like awful fake lemon fragrance.  It reminds me of mopping solution.  I do not want to smell like mopping solution while I shower.  Gross.  Its conditioning properties leave something to be desired, as well.  It was very watery.  I will probably finish the bottle, but not buy again.  I’m not sure if I will buy Yes To Cucumbers again, but I don’t hate it.  Combined with a little squirt of the GVP Reconstructor, the Yes To Carrots felt really nice and my hair turned out really smooth and bouncy.  We’ll see how healthy my hair is after the bottles of GVP Hair Reconstructor and Yes To Cucumbers are finished.  


Avocado-Melon Salsa

I've been craving avocado's like nobodies business lately.  One of my favorite ways to get my avocado fix is to make a fruity salsa.  Today I made what might very well be my favorite salsa to date!  It's a combination of avocado and melon, which might sound strange, but trust me when I say that this is totally delish!

Another reason I love salsa is because it is so versatile.  There's really no way to screw it up.  Just chop up a bunch of stuff and toss it together.  Wabash, you have salsa!  I think I will increase the amount of jalapenos next time, though.  I really like a lot of zing.  As it is right now, the jalapenos just sorta balance everything out without adding much heat at all.

Avocado-Melon Salsa

1 avocado, chopped into small chunks
Melon, chopped, equal parts as avocado
1 handful of chopped red onion 
1 tsp minced garlic
6 jalapeno rings, diced
juice of 1/2 lime

Combine all chopped ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Serve over jerk chicken or fish, or eat with tortilla chips.  Personally, I take the chip route.

I have no idea how long this will keep.  Fresh salsa doesn't usually last more than a day or two in my fridge!


Fresh sqeezed orange juice, where have you been all of my life?

Oh. My. God.  Fresh squeezed orange juice.  Can anyone say best thing I've ever tasted in my life?  Seriously.  I don't know what the hell those damn frauds at the orange juice companies have been selling us all these years, because what comes in those bottles at the grocery store labeled as Orange Juice sure as hell tastes nothing like what just came out of my oranges!  Well, technically they are tangerines, but whatever.  Fresh squeezed orange juice is one of the best things I've discovered this year, I do think.  

Due to the whole raw-transition thing, I've been trying to diversify my nutrient sources as much as possible.  I've been reading Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets, which goes into a lot of great detail about nutrition and some of the issues raw vegans have in obtaining some of these nutrients.  It explains how some nutrients work together to create other nutrients, and how being deficient in even one vitamin can, at times, be enough to halt the entire process of conversion.

Now, I'm sure we all know how important Vitamin-C is to our health, but I was shocked by some of what I learned in this book.  I was inspired to start consuming more citrus.  Only one problem.  I hate eating citrus.  I hate everything about it.  Either you peel it and eat the wedges, which is gross in so many ways.  I don't know how anyone eats those gross little peely things.  Blech.  Then there's cutting the fruit in half and spooning out the meat.  My grandfather used to eat his grapefruit like this, and I don't know how he did it, to be honest!  I can't manage it without squirting the whole house with juices!  And apparently they make "no-squirt" grapefruit knives, but do these things really work??  Even if they do, I don't really have time to do that every morning!  Not to mention, you can't prepare citrus ahead of time because of all that darn oxidation.  Damn you nature!

I decided the only way I could get my raw citrus vitamins was through juicing.  So I clicked on over to Amazon and ordered myself a handy dandy little juicer.  I got the Chef'n Juicester Citrus Juicer and Reamer for less than $15!  

The clear reamer piece is detachable so you can juice lemons and limes, too.  The carafe holds just about enough for one serving.  Since this thing arrived, I just can't get enough of fresh juice!  My favorite so far has been combining the juices each of one grapefruit and one tangerine.  So delish!


Curly Girl Days 1 & 2

I went onto Amazon the other day and ordered some Deva Curl products so I can start this Curly Girl thing off right!  I ordered the recommended Deva Curl products for my 3B hair type (No-Poo, One-Condition, Set It Free, and AnGel), and bought some drugstore products in the meantime since I was such an eager beaver to start!  I ended up with VO5 Extra Body Conditioner as Co-Wash, Loreal Eversleek Conditioner as rinse-out, and La Bella Lots of Curls gel.

I may or may not have made great buying decisions that day.  My boyfriend was with me, so I didn't take the time to read ingredient labels as I would have had I been alone.  I found things without silicone and sulfates, and that was good enough for me.  I also bought a clarifying shampoo with sulfates for my last real shampoo.  It was Dove something or other.  You have to wash one last time with a sulfate shampoo in order to have a clean slate for the CG method.

The first two days using these products, I was really successful.  These products left me with a really nice, natural, but a little textured style.  It had a lightweight feel and I didn’t touch my hair once throughout the day (which is unheard of for me, as I am constantly twirling my hair and messing with tangles that form at my nape!). The curl definition was amazing! 

Here’s what I was doing on Days 1 & 2: 

COWASH: VO5 Extra Body Conditioner.  Massaged conditioner into scalp until all areas felt uniformly clean and slippery, then rinsed it ALL out.  My hair is very lightweight so anything left at my roots is going to weigh me down. 

ROCO:  L’Oreal Eversleek Conditioner.  I smoothed the conditioner through my hair and finger combed to detangle.  Then I parted my hair in the back and smoothed the hair down over my shoulders. I further defined individual curls on each side, focusing on the face framing curls especially.  Finally, I placed all hair behind my shoulders and shook my head out to naturally separate and form chunks.  Then gently flipped over and gently scrunched my very-wet hair, at which time I would scrunch in more water and CO, if necessary, to achieve a nice slippery feeling.  I left that in until I was done with my shower, then lightly rinsed the CO out until my hair felt like wet seaweed (as recommended in CG).

GEL: La Bella Lots of Curls. (Shower water is turned off by now, but I’m still standing in the shower dripping wet) I flipped forward/upside down and scrunched out excess water, then (while still standing in shower), scrunched and smoothed a ton of gel over my hair.  (Personally, I like to turn the shower water back on when I’m done to rinse the layer of gel off my body, but that’s just me). 

DRY: scrunched with a T-shirt

CLIP: clipped the roots and then didn’t touch hair until I was done with my make-up

GEL: homemade La Bella spray gel (mix 1/2 c. gel with 1 c. boiled water, allow to cool, then bottle).    I spritzed any areas that looked extra susceptible to frizz

DIFFUSE: pixie method.  Diffuse until all hair is completely dry.  Did not pixie nape area (I have trouble with natural curl shrinkage here, causing the nape to appear shorter than other areas), diffused this area with head and hair in natural, upright position

I forgot to take pictures of my hair.  Forgive me.  I'm not used to documenting my hair yet!  Trust me that it felt really nice, though :)


Introduction to the Curly Girl Method and my hair

This post is basically going to explain in excruciating detail the experiences I've had with my hair for the past few years with trying shampoo free routines, and what led me to try Curly Girl.  My next few posts will actually describe how I apply the CG method to my hair and the products I'm using.  This post does not describe that stuff at all.  

Recently, I’ve started experimenting with the Curly Girl Method.  For those of you who do not know, the Curly Girl Method is based on a book by Lorraine Massey.  The method is based on eliminating sulfates.  Sulfates are what cause a product to lather.  Because sulfates are being eliminated, one must also eliminate silicones.  This is because silicones can only be removed with the application of a sulfate.  The book also recommends eliminating parabens.  I think the idea is to promote an all-natural way of caring for your hair. 

First of all, let me just say that I’ve been down the all-natural road, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.  For anyone who knows me, this might come as a shock since I’m half a tree hugger and all, but I’ve experimented for years and years trying to eliminate artificial ingredients from my hair care routine.  As appealing as it once was to think of going natural with my hair care, I’ve discovered that my hair can’t live on a bunch of freaking extracts!  I will say though, that my experience was probably hindered by my continued use of silicones throughout.  I had no idea what I was doing back then!  

Back then, I was attempting a shampoo-free routine.  I heard that it was really good for curly hair (all hair, really, but especially curlies) to shampoo less frequently and let the natural oils build up.  I was hoping this method would help me to grow my super-prone-to-breakage-and-split-ends hair.  So I started experimenting with washing my hair less.  I was using the full line of Infusium-23 products at the time (shampoo, conditioner, leave-in, no product), which were unfortunately laden with sulfates and silicones. 

As I progressed through my shampoo eliminating journey, I naturally realized the concept of conditioner washing (what most curly girl method users call CO-washing), which is basically using conditioner in the same way you would use shampoo…massaging one’s scalp with conditioner to loosen and eliminate any build up.

By this time, I was also experimenting with all-natural (aka: sulfate free) shampoo’s.  I eventually settled on Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap as my shampoo of choice.  Once I started CO-washing, I could go much longer in between shampoos than I ever could before, but still needed a weekly washing with Dr. Bronner’s.  Unfortunately, I still found that my scalp often got itchy and accumulated build up at my roots after extended periods, even with CO-washing and Dr. Bronners once per week.  I usually had to lather up with a sulfate rich shampoo at least once per month.  Little did I know at the time, but the build-up issue was all probably due to the fact that I was using products with silicones!  

My hair was really, really, super healthy using these products, but was a little hard to style.  I never knew what to do with it, or which products to use!  I finally settled on Infusium 23 Leave-In treatment followed by a mousse (can’t remember which one I was using…might have been pantene curl).  It was a winning combo for a while.

Then I got a hair cut by a new stylist.  I expressed to him my feelings surrounding my hair and the issues I was having (frazzled ends, limp roots, no manageability).  He suggested a new styling routine.  I had no idea at the time, but he was essentially recommending the Curly Girl Method!  He told me to stop shampooing (which I already was), only condition, finger comb only (no brushes!) in the shower, rinse lightly (leave some product in your hair), then (while still dripping wet in the shower) apply gel by scrunching and scrunch dry with a T-shirt (he also recommended a shamwow for drying).  The one thing he forgot to mention?  Stop using silicones. 

So here I was, using this new method.  (Let me just say right now that having slippery, sticky, humectant-rich liquid spilling down your body and face is NOT a comfortable feeling.)  I was actually loving this new method!  My hair was healthier than ever.  I was getting these really nice chunky curls and I had some volume at my roots for once!  But I was still using the silicone-heavy Infusium-23 Conditioner and Leave-In (because I didn’t know any better, just knew that my hair seemed to react very well to them!), so I was still having issues with itchy scalp and build-up. I went down the herbal road at some point and started using Auromere shampoo and oil treatment.  Did wonders for my hair, but left me sort of itchy after a time.

Eventually, a day came where I just could not deal with the itching anymore and I caved and bought some sulfate shampoo.  I was really sad to see all of my healthy hair “progress” go down the drain (no  pun intended…lol), since I was having some pretty decent hair days of late, but I just could not stand it anymore.  I washed and washed and washed until my head didn’t itch anymore, and OMG did it feel good!  Now looking back, I’m not surprised one bit that it felt so good!  I was washing away years of silicone build-up!  Blech!  So I was officially a daily shampooer again.  Sometimes I wouldn’t even condition because my hair was so soft from the shampoo. 

About a year later, I started having issues with breakage and split ends again (probably the resulting damage from long term sulfate use).  I’m at my wits end and start googling for remedies, which is when I found a blog post about someone else using the CG method.  This is the first I’ve ever heard of CG.  I was intrigued, but held off on buying the book while I scoured the interwebs for as much CG info as I could find. 

Well, about a week ago I finally bought the book, and am finally ready to begin the Curly Girl method! I’m a little sad to say good-bye to silicones, but now that I know silicones were the problem I have high hopes for returning to a shampoo-free routine J

For the record, I do recommend buying the book.  Everything I've found on the internet regarding the method is very helpful, but there are still things that I learned from the book which I would not have as easily come across on the internet.  


Box Trio Makeover

Remember those primed boxes I shared with you last week?  

Applying coats of yellow paint

I first became acquainted with this set of boxes while aimlessly browsing a thrift store for fun stuff to repurpose.  They were hideous and baby-themed in pastel blue, yellow, and pink.  Absolutely hideous, I tell you (forgive me, I forgot to take an unadulterated “before” photo).  At the time I had no plan for them, but just knew I couldn’t pass them up for under $3.  Hidden storage/organization space such as this is always a valuable commodity, and with a little paint I knew these things could be great someday.  So I purchased them, threw them in the basement with all the other cast-off someday-crafts, and forgot all about them.  Until recently. 

Recently, I decided I wanted some sort of storage in my bathroom for things like q-tips and cotton balls.  Currently, I keep all of these things in a drawer in their original packaging, which looks like crap and isn’t really all that convenient.  I wanted something that I could keep out in the open, perhaps on the back of the toilet.  So, like any good hoarder, I check the basement to see if I have a suitable forgotten someday-craft castaway.  Turns out I did.  Enter the ugly nursery themed box trio.  It’s a perfect size for behind the toilet.  Imagine my joy. 

I decided I would decoupage some fun cardstock to the sides of the tray, and paint the trio to match the paper.  Easy enough.  I head to the craft store, and I find (and purchase) this lovely paper. 

Cute, right?  Obviously, I found this paper so wonderful that I went off track entirely.  You see, my bathroom is not gray and yellow.  My bedroom is.  My bathroom?  That’s sage green and brown.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, but I decided to go with it.  Plans be damned.  I’ll work it into the bedroom somewhere.  Perhaps for jewelry?

Anyway, this paper will go around the outside of the tray, maybe even lining the bottom. I’ll paint the tray and boxes dark gray, and let the stencil design peek through in yellow. 

Currently, the boxes are painted yellow awaiting their stencil application and final coats of gray paint.  

Progress now relies on finding a stencil.  So, sadly, this project is officially on the backburner until I find a stencil.

On to my next project: Painted Vases

Does anyone else have crafting ADD?  I seem to always have multiple projects going on at once.


Going Vertical

So, it’s been an aggravatingly long time since I’ve had time to veg out and craft.  I’ve been maddeningly busy as of late.  I started going back to school during fall of 2011.  I also work a full time job and said full time job has been requiring some overtime for the past few months.  Most people with any semblance of time management skills would be able to manage this without issue.  But me?  No time management skills to speak of.  Literally zero.  So I’ve been deprived of all those sweet hours of interweb browsing, pinning, and crafting that I used to take for granted.  All work and no play has made  Jack Heather a dull boy  girl.  In order to prevent a quarter one life crisis (I could hardly call it mid-life…I’m only 27, after all) I decided to take a break and forgo summer classes.

I think it will be well worth it.  I’m only less than a month into my leisure time and I feel like a new person already.  I have 9+ months’ worth of accumulated ideas sloshing around and incubating in my brain.  I need to get them out. There is an overpopulation of craft ideas and they are starting to overtake my thoughts.  It’s not pretty in there.  I must make the most of every sweet, precious second.

I spent the day Tuesday shopping for supplies.  We have 5 thrift stores , 2 craft stores, and 3 discount stores (Target, Ross, and TJ Maxx).  When I'm seeking out cheap supplies for projects I usually try to get to as many of these stores as possible.  I didn't manage to hit all 10 stores, but I did get to 3 of the thrift stores, Ross, and AC Moore.  I found a lot of really great stuff that I'm really excited to start working on!

My living room already looks like a war zone.  I do not yet have a dedicated craft space (other than the basement, but the lighting is depressing down there), so I am forced to do my crafting throughout the house in areas like the living room and kitchen.  This doesn't bother me one bit, but I think my boyfriend wants to catch my craft supplies on fire.    

 I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to organize my mess of ideas into a cohesive design plan that I can actually work on and put to use within my home.  I realized recently that for as much as I craft and try to decorate my home, I often neglect my walls somehow.  I was sitting on my couch, looking around my house taking stock of what I wanted to accomplish…and I realized that the only walls I’ve decorated are the ones I can see from the couch!!  I literally have neglected to decorate almost every single wall in my home!  My work is cut out for me.  My goal this summer is to get vertical with my projects and get some stuff on these barren walls!

I need to create something for the following areas.  Some areas I have something specific in mind for, others it’s completely uncharted territory.

  1. Living room above the couch
  2. Office space above my desk
  3. Kitchen above table
  4. 3 walls of my bedroom (2 walls/br)
  5. Entryway (3 projects)

That makes about 15 potential projects, give or take.  Plus, I have a few things I’m working on now which are things that I’ve been planning for a really long time, but have put off for one reason or another.  The fact that these are really old ideas finally coming to life is making me all that much more eager to see them to fruition.  I’ve been so eager to get the ball rolling that I already have 5 projects in motion!  Only one of which is for the walls.  Can you tell I get side tracked easily? 

The things I’m working on right now consist of a lot of painting, which means a lot of drying time, which in turn means a lot of multi-tasking.  Spray painting also means that I’m at Mother Nature’s mercy.  This is the real reason I have 5 projects going at once.  I need reliable indoor projects to fall back on.  That, and I’m basically a crazy person.  Or so I’m told.  Here's a sneak peek at one of my current projects.

More to come on that some day soon.  If you're wondering, I'm using a gigantic box from an amazon order as a paint shield.  Worked fairly well, but I'll line the deck next time with a plastic drop cloth.  I’ll have individual posts for this project, and the other projects as I get them finished…or as they progress, depending on how long I take!