Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New England Thanksgiving and Contemplating a Cut

I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving. We headed back up to New England for a very busy holiday.

I wanted to take some more pictures of the New England headstones, but the one time I got a chance to hop out of the car, my camera battery died. That has never happened, especially since I had charged the battery the night before. I was so bummed, but it gives me an excuse to go back to New England sooner.

My very generous mother in law bought tickets for herself, my sister in law, my daughter and myself to see Boston Ballet perform The Nutcracker. The seats weren't bad, but the small child in front of me's strange posture forced me to watch the entire ballet leaning over my seat. Nevertheless, it was a magical experience and reminded me of seeing the ballet for the first time when I was about 8. After that, my mother enrolled me in ballet and I performed in the ballet every year until I was seventeen.

We had to take a bunch of toll roads as we headed up north. We had planned on getting an EZ Pass, but something happened that is making us rethink that. My husband was so upset he asked me to write a blog post about it because "You have a bigger audience than I do."(I don't know how true that is.) I'm currently working on that blog post, but if anyone has any input about the EZ Pass, I'd love to hear it, good or bad.

I've been having this hankering to cut layers into my hair. Every year I get bored and I guess it's happening now. I've thought about bangs (so trendy right now) or just long layers to break up the shape of my hair.

I keep having to remind myself of how patient I've been and how long it would take to grow out any impulsive hair cuts. I've been thinking about how my updos won't be quite as nice looking with layers poking out all over the place. I think as long as I get through Christmas without a cut, I'll be in the clear, so I've promised to wait at least that long before deciding.

Have you had layers or bangs added to your hair and regretted or loved it? I'd love to hear from you!

Also, I'm considering doing a beauty give away for my 100th blog post. I'm putting things together and it should be a good one, so keep checking back. I'm guessing the give-away will be happening around the New Year.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sale Alert: Grahtoe's Black Friday, Weekend and Cyber Monday Sale

Grahtoe's having a sale! Per their email announcement:

"Hello and.... very first of all we want to say THANK YOU!!! for shopping at Grah-Toe Studios and inspiring us to always come up with new and artistically fun and fabulous ways to keep your beautiful tresses in updo fashion! 

And we know the best "thanks yous" come in the wallet, we are having a Black friday, weekend and Cyber Monday sale in our Etsy shop! WOOT!!

There is a new way to do this now, and here it is: Coupon codes!! You type in the appropriate code and it takes the discount off your order before you check out! No more refunds through PayPal!! YIPEEEEEEEEE

On Thursday and Friday use the code and type it exactly like this: BLACKFRIDAYNOV2010 and it will take 15% off your order!

Over Saturday and Sunday the code to use is: FAITHFULGTS1 and you will get 15% off your entire order,
on Monday, use the code CYBERMONDAY  and get 15% off your entire order!

In the future we are also going to be sending you special codes in your boxes on our cards, for you to use when you return to our shop or refer friends! Special surprises in your boxes is always fun!! It could be free shipping, or a percent off, or a free item!!

We look forward to seeing you at the sale over this weekend, and remember, its the Etsy shop only, not the Art Fire shop at this time! Custom orders are not included, only stock items. We will be listing items as they sell too! We have a lot of forks here made and ready so if you are looking for something, please ask! It may be here waiting for you! (That is not a custom order, it will be included in the sale if it is made and waiting!)

And we do have some new products that we will be unveiling closer to the New Year, so be on the look out for a new hair fork look at Grah-Toe Studios !

We are also doing a new series on our woods at our blog, be sure to be watching for those if you are interested in woods. We are researching their status as trees, where they grow, and their properties, magical, physical and visual

Check out their Etsy shop here and their blog here. This sale is awesome and is the time to buy if you've had your eye on a certain something. They've added hand mirrors, detanglers and shawl pins.

I absolutely love this snowflake fork:

And their hand mirrors are stunning:

The loop allows you to hang it up easily to use as a wall mirror, too!

So, dash on over to Grahtoe's shop and check it out.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grahtoe's Amazing Story

Grahtoe just posted an amazing story about Stacy, the man who makes the forks and other wooden items. He lost part of his fingers in an accident and still makes amazingly beautiful items.

Check out their blog for the story here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Arrivals: Haus of Gloi beauty products

I love Haus of Gloi. I've been ordering from them for over a year.

It all started with their Pumpkin Queen scent. I ordered it in soap, sugar scrub and perfume (which, one year later, I still have and still smells fabulous.) (Pumpkin Queen: Gentle hay pillows, pumpkin, ripe peaches dusted with clove and nutmeg, dried summer herbs, and lastly, a lovely crown of amber.) 

**They still have some left on their website as of this posting!**

I'll admit I haven't ordered for a long time because my money was going to hair accessories. (Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't just sign my paycheck over to Grahtoe.)

I've gotten back into the bath product habit (which may or may not be a bad thing. It depends on how much it ends up costing me. Hair forks, after all, last forever.)

Anyways, I've been feeling a little blah lately so I decided to treat myself to some scrubs.

I ordered:

Peach Mama Soap
Samhain Body Butter
Peach Mama Bubbling Scrub
Peach Mama Body Emulsion
Hearth Pumpkin Butter

and I got a free perfume sample in Depravity ( "A bewitching ladies boudoir! Pure corruption: clove, nutmeg lurk amongst the sweetest offerings of coconut, on a bed of rich golden amber, laden with a dusting of sandalwood and spilled wine.")

                                           (Perfume sample not shown.)

Haus of Gloi ("HoG") describes their Peach Mama scent as "Peach nectar and a host of resins: offertory frankincense, styrax, copaiba balsam and ambered labdanum absolute. Warmed with cassia and a barely audible breath of black patchouli.

It's a luscious scent. I love real peach scents (not those over-sweet confections that actually smell more like mango.) This is a real peach scent and the resins really round it out. This is certainly my new favorite peach scent.

The soap is gorgeous and lathers beautifully. I have a hard time using HoG soaps because they're just so pretty, but I don't think I'll have any trouble using this one. It just smells so darn good!

The Peach Mama Body Emulsion (lotion) is very thick. After taking the next picture, I just rubbed it in and I can still smell it!

Even thicker than the Body Emulsion was the Hearth Pumpkin Butter. It's so thick and creamy that the consistency kind of reminds me of ice cream (well, ice cream that magically stayed warm without melting, anyway.)

HoG describes Hearth's scent as "The warm glowing center of any home. Autumns last apple pickings, warm bread, orange rind, various fire roasted nuts, cracked black pepper all nailed down by an oozing sticky benzoin." 

Samhain's scent is a little different. I bought some soap in that scent during Halloween 2009. The soap (if I recall correctly) was a strange pearly gray color with bits of leaves on top (which I actually loved.) Hog says that Samhain is scented of "Rustling leaves, chilled winds ...Freshly turned earth, wet leaves, and a cool herb laden wind carrying spectres and spooks!" I think that description is spot-on. I like the scent of crushed leaves and dirt, but this scent may not be appealing to some.

HoG's products are vegan and cruelty free, which I like. Their turn around time ("TAT") is a very fast 3-5 business days. Considering the demand for these products and the fact that it's a small family run business, 3-5 days is pretty incredible. You can find their products here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finally...Lazy Wrap Bun

I am so excited to announce that I have finally mastered the Lazy Wrap bun. I know, I know; it's the most basic bun that most people learn early on. For some reason, I can do figure 8s and nautilus buns, but the Lazy Wrap eluded me for over a year.

It looks awesome, doesn't it? I love huge buns and this one certainly fits the profile. Plus, it does look complicated.

Also, because I promised pictures, here's my amazing bun from the other day:

Wondering how to do the Lazy Wrap bun? Here's a good tutorial (it isn't mine): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omw2szlWRU8&feature=related

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weird Bubbling

For the past few months, I've been washing my hair separate from showering. I discovered while using a detachable shower head to rinse my hair that I was probably leaving shampoo behind.

It was just the weirdest thing. I washed, then conditioned and it took me about twenty minutes to rinse all the suds from my hair. The more I rinsed, the more bubbles formed in the tub. I rinsed until there were no more bubbles and my hair was so bouncy and shiny that I knew I must not have been getting it really cleaned.

Then, last time I washed, I noticed something even weirder...it only bubbles like that after I condition. I shampooed, then rinsed, and it stopped bubbling. I applied the conditioner, then rinsed, and it suds like crazy for about twenty minutes until I (presumably) got all the (shampoo?) conditioner out of my hair.

I have no idea what's going on here and I'm going to continue to experiment with it until I figure it out. Has anyone else experienced this? What the heck is going on?

In style news, I wore my hair in this awesome equilibrium bun with a Grahtoe fork to a meeting today and got so many compliments. I even heard a woman whisper to her neighbor "Is that all her hair?" I'm going to have my husband take a picture when he gets home because it's just such an awesome style. I seldom get that excited about my daily hair styles, but it really does look impressive if I do say so myself.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Arrivals: Grahtoe Forks and A Gift

I'm hoping this post will catch me up on all the new stuff I have (minus one fork that is hiding in some boxes.)

First up is the fork Grahtoe made just for me when they read here that I wanted one. It's apple wood with a perched owl in my favorite design, the mermaid's tail.

This next fork is the stunning ebony mermaid's tail. It had occlusions in the wood which were filled with silver. I actually really like the little silver spots; they remind me of stars in a night sky.

Although you can't tell from the picture, I'm wearing both mini forks in this picture. These forks really surprised me. They're so comfortable and really hold my hair up. Sleeping in them is easier than sleeping in other forks. I figured these would be too small for me, but they work just like any other kind of hair pin. I really love these! I just wish they sold them in four packs. I'd never buy another hair pin as long as I live.

My sister in law spent a semester in France and found this next one in a street market. I don't know anything about it except that. It's a much more delicate fork than my work-horse Grahtoes. It's not an everyday kind of hair fork, but it certainly is eye catching.

The one that's missing is my cardinal wood skeleton cameo fork. I took it out of my hair while unpacking and set it amongst some boxes. While I know what area it's in, I haven't quite finished tackling all the boxes yet, so the picture of that particular fork will have to wait for a bit.

What  do you guys think of my new forks?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm Back!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween. I really missed you guys (well, I missed writing here, anyway.) I'm back online and ready to roll!

The house situation went smoothly. We've closed and are in the house. The only downside is our stuff hasn't arrived yet, so we're camping out on air mattresses for the time being.

On Halloween, my neighbors came over to say hello. I got so many comments on my hair. People couldn't believe how long it is. It was kind of nice to get such positive attention, honestly. I know that sounds kind of vain.

I have two new Grahtoe forks and two other new items to catalog here, which I will do tomorrow. I also have two new items on their way from Grahtoe.

As soon as I was hooked up, I headed on over to their shop to see what was new. It put me back a nice chunk of change, but hey, I'm sleeping on the floor. I deserve something pretty, right? Right?

I bought this beautiful ebony mermaid's tail.

I'm hoping the black will stand out against my lighter colored hair.

I also bought these:

They're teak mini forks*. Grahtoe came out with them a while ago and I've been curious. I don't know if they'll work for my super long hair, but I know plenty of people to pass them along to if they don't work for me.

**Whoops! Those are NOT teak! They're lignum vitae. Lignum vitae is a really neat wood. In The Once and Future King, Merlin's staff was made of this special wood. Lignum vitae is latin for "long life" and the tree lives up to its name. It's also called "tree of life" and is considered excellent for healing.**

Stay tuned tomorrow for pictures of my new arrivals!