Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

I haven't washed my hair in a week

No, I haven't been sick or busy or even too lazy to get out the shampoo. And no, I'm not a person who can get away without a good hair wash for a week - my hair is fine, thin and oily and looks pretty nasty if I miss even one day. Lately I've been trying to find a shampoo that doesn't coat my hair with stuff, since it's so baby fine and doesn't need help laying down and playing dead, thank you very much. I've tried brand after brand, good brands even, volume building varieties...and every last one of them lately leaves my hair feeling heavy and coated. By the end of the day I look like I haven't washed my hair at all. Bad enough to look like this on the rare day I don't have time to shampoo, but on a day when I did? Not fair.

So in desperation I started poking around online. I found a bunch of obviously insane people who wrote glowing reports on how they didn't wash their hair any more. What??? I bet these are people who feel that bathing is optional, too. What a crazy idea....until it started growing on me. I read over and over again about people who found their hair was healthier, shinier, more manageable, and even seemed thicker once they stopped the ol' shampoo habit.

So I gave it a try. Everything I read said there's about a week of not so great hair as you get used to something new and your scalp gets used to no detergents. I figured I'd stick it out one week as an experiment. Each day I took a tablespoon of baking soda and tossed it in a cup of water, then poured that over my scalp and rubbed. Rinse. Then vinegar in more water poured over. Rinse again. I was sure my hair was going to be a gnarly, oily mess by the second or third day and figured I'd be wearing a lot of ponytails.

Day one and two were a bit weird, I'll admit. My hair felt a bit oily and stiffer than normal. After that, each day my hair was shinier and had more body. It looked thicker, too. And when I blew my hair dry and curled the ends under, they actually stayed that way! Oddly enough, my hair felt clean and fresh after the baking soda and vinegar. It even felt lighter.

So I guess I've stopped washing my hair for good. The end result? Take a look for yourself. It's amazing what a week of no shampoo can do, isn't it?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Two ways to tell it's Spring time

Asparagus spear, peeking out of the ground. I just planted 25 crowns and am impatiently watching as all these beautiful green bits make their way out of the ground. Can't wait until next year when I can start harvesting.

Arden and his "Hairy Harry" plant from Kindergarten. He gave it a flat top right before coming home from school. I love it!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shocked, stunned, and amazed

This is what Ryan had for dinner tonight. Voluntarily, even. You are looking at: brown rice, green onion, egg, carrot, nori (tried for the very first time!), sesame seeds, pickled ginger, and avocado, all topped with a citrus-soy dressing. Dan and I thought it was delicious but were less sure Ryan, who is not the most adventurous eater in the world, would want any. Shows how much we know. He had seconds and demanded I make this again soon. The recipe comes from Super Natural Cooking, which I'm liking quite a bit. Can't wait to try more from this cookbook, if only to see what else he'll try.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Ah, the joys of seed catalogs

I just got a housewarming gift from a friend back in California. Since we have a decently sized yard, she figured a gift certificate for seeds and plants would be perfect. Correct! I just spent an hour poring over the pages of the Nichols catalog, mulling over all the different herbs and plants and trying to figure out what to order. It's too late for strawberries, sadly (would have tried some of the new Seascape variety), but they carry a lot of herbs I haven't seen.

What did I get? I wanted some medicinal herbs, so arnica, calendula and chamomile went onto the list. Dan and I love all kinds of Asian foods, so Thai basil, cilantro, culantro (similar to cilantro, often used with pho), and papaloquelite (also similar to cilantro, but I've heard the flavor is even better) are represented. Almost ordered some Delfino cilantro since it's slow to bolt and the ferny leaves are easier to cut, but I've seen reports that it only tastes mildly of cilantro, so that was out. A variant of marjoram - Zaatar - sounded really interesting so I ordered some as well. Supposedly it has a flavor that's a cross between thyme, oregano and marjoram. I also ordered some clary sage because I love the scent, and sweet violets because they're just plain pretty. Oh, and some Sweeter Yet cucumber seeds for summer salads.

I was like a kid in a candy store, drooling over all the possibilities. Though this stuff is definitely better for me than candy.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Finally caught up on sleep

...since I finished the beaded mat! It was down to the wire, but I finished right before leaving for the bridal shower. My sister cried happy tears, so all the hours I spent working on this were worth it. I had the hardest time capturing what the beads and the pearls looked like - the smaller beads sparkled caught the light, while the larger pearls just glowed. The smaller pearl beads were actually from my wedding dress - a bit of something old (and good!) to add to her new life as a couple.

Whew - the beading is finished! I ironed, but many of the wrinkles just wouldn't come out. Proof that it's hand made, I say.
Satin laid out on a pre-cut mat, then trimmed down to size.
Edges glued down to the inside and outside. This took quite a bit of pulling and re-arranging to make sure the beads stayed centered on the mat. I used an acid free glue stick with a pretty heavy hand.
Up against my wall - this is the best picture I got of the completed mat. Sorry about the lighting - it was a really cloudy day. I wanted to get a picture of the mat uprightl, a bit like it will look with a picture and a frame on the outside. I tried to design it so it could hang in any direction since my sister doesn't exactly have her wedding pictures yet.
Close up of the vines and flowers. I really like how the grayish beads accent the pearls and the ivory colored satin. The overall look was very old fashioned, like something made in another era. May have to do *one* more beaded project for myself. There are beads left over, after all...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Half way there

Let's not talk about how many hours I spent trying to thread a needle about the size of a hair, or about how many beads fell off into the couch or onto the floor yesterday. Or about how many tiny needle holes there are in my fingers right now. Or about how late I was up last night trying to sew down that last strand of shiny glass bits. None of that matters. I'm half way there! If I really work today and tomorrow, I should have the beading done in time for my trip to California. Sleep? Sleep is for sissies.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Beading progress

I'm done with one of the four sides and I'm really pleased with how the mat is looking over all. It's a really cloudy day today so lighting is lousy - sorry for the poor photograph. It's hard to capture the sparkle of the tiny beads in any light, especially with such subtle color variations. Back to the grindstone. I need to get this finished by Sunday, so there are many hours of staring at a tiny needle and coaxing itty bitty beads out of containers still ahead of me. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Secret project revealed

Remember this? My sister was so wistful and sad that she wouldn't be getting any beaded love that I had to do something. I'm already making a shawl for her wedding, so a wrap wouldn't work. Tried to think of something she could use, something that wouldn't get stuck in a box and looked at possibly once a year. I thought and thought, and then the idea came. My sister loves pictures and scrap booking and is very sentimental in general. Why not make a beaded mat for a picture frame? The beading would stay under glass, so no dusting (I cringed at the thought of a beaded frame that would gather dust and dirt constantly), and it would be something she could enjoy every day. Perfect! With a bit of help from her good at being sneaky fiance I got the future wedding picture size and off I went. I'm in the middle of insane beading at the moment that has to be finished by Friday afternoon (her shower is this Sunday and I'm flying out to California for the weekend), so hopefully more details soon. In the meantime, a few pictures to tide everyone over.