Monday, July 23, 2012

laser cut earrings!

warning: this is going to be the worst how-to ever because i'm going to share with you a really cool and exciting thing, and you probably won't be able to copy it because it requires the use of a $18,000 piece of equipment. now you know. i apologize in advance.

you're probably heard a little bit about a project i've been involved with, sparktruck.well, sparktruck came to portland this week and before they left we took advantage of the amazing equipment to make some new jewelry.

step one: design the jewelry! i used adobe illustrator, but this is a picture of zoe designing her earrings on adobe ideas, on the ipad.

next, we made the designs laser-cutter friendly on illustrator. this is a mix of magic and computer nerdery. 

next, we pressed the little green button and let the laser cutter do it's job! this is an action shot of the laser-cutter etching the ginkgo leaves. 

then, voila!! we popped the designs out of the wood and punched out the in-between parts. this is how they looked! this was an extremely exciting moment.

after being cut out, it was time to snazz things up...i used copper wire to string the wood onto earring backs. then, i used watercolors to paint them pretty colors! i went a little overboard on the bubbles pair, so i need to deal with that somehow. these turned out well though!

needless to say, i'm pretty proud of these. they're also super light, so even though they're big, they don't weigh down my ears. if you have access to a laser cutter, you should definitely try this out. if i had more dependable access to one, i may never do anything else ever again. but in the absence of your own laser cutter, you can just admire my creations. so cool!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

your new favorite thing

so i am compiling a large number of crafty posts, but in the meantime, i want to bring your attention to my new favorite thing. somehow this hasn't blown up all over beauty blogs, as far as i can tell. that probably means i'm a trendsetter.

overall, i love my hair. it's heavy, but it has great volume. it's coarse, but it curls and straightens with equal ease. it can't hold hair color, but my natural color is dynamic and deep. my only real complaint is that my hair is dull. it's lack of shiny brightness has been the drain of many of my dollars, sunk into various serums, gels, and pomades.

recently, my mom purchased moroccan argan oil and IT'S AMAZING. i put a dime-sized amount through my hair and when i dry it, voila! shiny shine. and softness! so much softness. it's fabulous. also, i read in wikipedia (so you know it's true) that argan oil is produced by women's cooperatives from tribes in morocco that split the profits. i'm pretty sure that's a good thing.

i've been using the organix argan oil. organix has a whole line of argan oil shampoos, oils, etc. i may try out the other stuff eventually, but i'm really liking just the straight up oil.

now my hair is perfect. yay!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

my cherry week

oh HEY.
so...oops, i guess it's been like three months since either haylie or i wrote an entry. desole!! to make up for it, i'm going to write an entry every day this week. so awesome of me!

today's entry is about nail decals!

this blog makes it look like i'm a little obsessed with my nails, which i (a little bit) am. my life is a constant war of wanting to bite my nails because it's calming and wanting beautiful perfect nails and to not look like a crazy person who gnaws on her nails all the time.

today at target i picked up some nail decals - i was intrigued by a) the instant drying-ness, b) the pretty patterns, and c) the clearance price.

Salon Effects
i did not get the cheetah print, in case you're wondering. i got white with black polka dots.

the box makes this process look ridiculously simple. all you do (ostensibly) is peel off the little strip, put it on your nail, and marvel at how awesome you look. let me assure you that this was not my experience, exactly.

the strips come in a variety of sizes for your different fingernails. i started with the thumb first, which is apparently the opposite of what you're supposed to do, according to the directions. oops. anyway, instead of giving you the play-by-play, i'll just cut to the chase.

the pros:
- the nail strips break easily, and you can use one nail strip for two nails if your nails are embarrassingly short, like mine.
- they look pretty if you don't look too close

the cons:
- it's really hard to get a secure fit around your nails. i still have some unwanted bits and weird folds where i don't want them.
- sometimes when trying to remove the excess, i almost removed the whole decal. problematic.
- it somehow took me 45 minutes to do this, which might be as long as it would take me to paint my nails white and add little black dots.

the bottom line:

it's possible that i would try this again, it kind of depends on how long it lasts. i had to frankenstein some pieces together at the end for some nails that looked a little disastrous, so we'll see if that makes a difference. i would also add the disclaimer that i am historically bad at these kinds of precision tasks, so if others are more adept at things like this, they may have more successful results.

c'est ca!