Appearance, Transition to grey, Uncategorized

Transition to grey… (?)

I have long been fighting reality, namely the reality that I have inherited my father’s hair genes. I have curly/frizzy hair thanks to him, but I ALSO have his gene for premature grey hair. Yay. 😦

It has probably been 20 years since I first started dying my hair. Originally it started just for fun. Changing my hair colour was for the sake of fashion and variety. But over time it has become for reasons of “necessity”. The necessity of concealing my grey hair. I generally keep my hair a dark brown, which I THINK is what my hair colour should be or would be if they grey wasn’t there, but it is getting harder and harder to keep on top of it. My temples in particular are probably 80% grey/white hair, but over all my hair is probably at least 50-60% grey/white. I’m only 35 years old, it doesn’t seem right to have so much grey hair at this age, but hey.. life isn’t fair.

On top of all the effort I invest trying to keep the grey at bay, I also have the reality of having scalp psoriasis, and hair dye is NOT good for that. I use the “natural” stuff that is more gentle on my scalp but it still isn’t good. I very often end up with very sore bleeding patches after dying my hair, and seriously, that is effed up.

So I think it is time to transition to grey. The question is, do I go to the salon and get them to speed the process along and strip out some of the colour from my length?

FWIW, My husband is not super impressed with the idea. I think he is concerned over how old I may look with the grey hair, but whatever, he’ll deal and adapt.

Step parenting, Uncategorized

My kid, the future NASA scientist?

It is my kid’s birthday tomorrow, turning 10. I’m having one of those “When did my kid get so old?!” moments, but I’m also just proud of who he is and who he is growing up to be. He’s a cool kid and I’m pretty confident he’s going to be a cool adult too. Right now he is BIG into space and is hell bent on working for NASA when he grows up. Hey, I’m not going to discourage that for one second! That is a pretty cool goal for a kid to have if you ask me. Not “I want to be a rockstar” but “I want to work for NASA and discover new planets!”.

As I said, my kid is cool.

For his birthday what he wanted with NASA stuff, especially a NASA t-shirt. I managed to find a NASA tshirt and a NASA baseball cap on Amazon.com, but I wanted to up the ante a bit. He already has Rubik’s Cubes on his wall, but there is still lots of blank space. I put some feelers out and a maker friend of mine knew of another local maker who does custom decals. 50$ and three days later I have these…

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SO COOL! I can’t wait for him to get home from school today and see them!!

Appearance, Uncategorized

Bad choices abound

I cut my hair off in december and loved it. I was feeling like a sassy bitch, unstoppable. Now I’m just… what the hell was I thinking? I miss my long hair so hard, you have no idea. I miss having a bouncy pony tail. I miss being able to pull ALL of my hair up in ONE elastic. I miss giant sock buns (much to the hatred of my husband, who loathes buns). I miss feeling my long hair floop and swish across my back and shoulders while I walk. I miss having strangers compliment me on my hair. I miss fun braids and pigtails. I miss all the endless options I had for doing my hair. I miss it so haaaaaaaaaaaaaaard.

Granted, my hair looks fine now. It isn’t that it looks bad, because it really doesn’t. Some people think I look even better now than I do with long hair, and hell, maybe they’re right.

 

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Me, right now. Very very shoulder length hair.

The problem isn’t that it looks bad now, the problem is how limiting it is. I have so few options for how I can style my hair. I mean, yes, now that it is this short I am able to rock my natural curls much more easily, so there’s that I guess. And yes, it dries a lot more quickly now that it is so short. So I guess it isn’t all bad.

However, I do have the following complaints with my hair at the moment:

  1. There is no easy way to get all my hair up out of my face and off my neck. One ponytail gets about 73% of my hair, which is just annoying.
  2. My hair is too short to stay in any sort of pony at night, so I wake up at night with my hair EVERYWHERE which is uncomfortable.
  3. I don’t have any truly wash and go styles. Even wearing my hair in its natural curly state requires an inordinate amount of fussing and products and frigging about to get it to look good.
  4. I don’t feel young with my hair like this. Dried normally (ie. straight with some volume) I feel like I look like Sally Field or something.

 

Needless to say, I’m growing it back out. I hate knowing how long it is going to take to get it back to a “fun” length but such is the price I must pay for my hasty decision to chop all my hair off.

DIY Projects, General, Redecorating, Step parenting, Uncategorized

Redeco: Rubik’s Cube Room Murals

Rubik's Cube wall mural
My giant Rubik’s Cube mural. So proud of it!

I have been a busy step-mom. My kid is off camping with his bio-mom so I took the opportunity to redo his room. First step, obviously, was painting the walls, banishing the horrid bright yellow from my home. His room is now the same colour as my sanctuary, which is a nice soothing grey (Sherwin Williams Serious Grey). I love this grey so much, to me it is the perfect grey. Not too dark, but still dark enough to feel cosy. Very neutral undertone – not overly warm or overly cool, though I would say if anything it edges towards a slightly cooler undertone. It is a wonderful colour.

Anyway, with the walls painted I then started working on phase two, which was the main event.

My large hand painted murals of Rubik’s Cubes.

Yes, I am insane. And yes, they were fussy and a lot of work, but frankly not as much work as I was expecting.

Here are the steps I took to get this done:

  1. Located and purchased an overhead projector. I was able to get mine second hand off of Kijiji for 40$.
  2. Printed off black and white pictures of Rubik’s cubes.
  3. Traced the pictures on to transparent sheets. (I actually couldn’t find proper transparency sheets, so I just used those clear sheet protectors instead. Made tracing really easy. Just put the page I was tracing in the sleeve, traced it using a Sharpie, and then took the page back out.
  4. Projected the image on to the wall using my projector and traced sheet.
  5. OPTIONAL: Trace the outline in pencil. I only did this for the first one but frankly didn’t feel it helped, so for the second one I just painted from the projection rather than the tracing. Worked well.
  6. Paint the projection on to the wall. I used a matte black paint that we had left over from when I painted our movie theatre room. I found I did need to do a second coat.

DONE!

Rubik's Cube wall mural
Only 2.5 feet high, but glow in the dark too!

The “exploding” smaller one was the first one I did and is about 2 and a half feet high. I think my projector was at a bit of an angle because the cube is sliiiiiiiiiiiiiightly distorted but it still looks good. Doesn’t hurt that I have also painted the inside of the squares in glow in the dark paint. FUN!

The larger one is about 4 and a half feet high and looks way better, in part because it is bigger and therefore the lines and curves were way easier to paint. Small mistakes aren’t so apparent.

And let me be clear, these are NOT perfect. But they are hand painted with love. He’ll always know that I, his loving step mom, painted them using her own two hands. Every imperfect corner and squiggly line just speaks to my having done it myself. Anyone could have purchased a peel-and-stick wall decal. I HAND PAINTED mine, so clearly I win. 😉

Rubik's Cube Curtain Tie-backSo with the murals done I just have final details to finish up. I hung some new curtains and made Rubik’s Cube curtain holder-backer things using some inexpensive slightly broken cubes given to me by a friend/co-worker. Same friend is 3D printing me some glow-in-the-dark cube stands as well, which is extremely awesome. I still have to suspend some Star Wars models we have from the ceiling. And I have some more things to make glow in the dark, like the ceiling fan blades. Small details. The room looks awesome though. I’m really pleased.

 

#workconversations, General, Uncategorized

Don’t insult the hair

Manager to the guy in the cube beside me: So Alan, can you come work on this other project for a few months? [in a stage whisper] Unfortunately you’ll have to work with Lesley again.

Alan: [also stage whispering] Oh man, well, that would be pretty awful. I don’t know.

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My hair really does look good today. Plus, new lipstick! (NYX Indie Flick!)

[they both look over at me. I am oblivious.]

Manager: … does she have her headphones on? Lesley?

Me: Huh?

Manager: You’re missing the jokes and teasing!

Me: Dude, I am deaf to insults and teasing at this point. Unless you insult my hair. Insult my hair and trust me I’ll be paying attention.

Manager: Your hair actually looks quite nice today.

Me: I know. I’m amazing. [goes back to work]

 

2016 projects, Completed (with project notes), General, Real Life, Uncategorized

Welcome Back Mittens

14034838_10157336521250603_2674321381275197185_nSaturday this past weekend I just… needed to knit. I haven’t really had a knitty frame of mind for a few months. Maybe it is because I had sort of overdosed on knitting and my brain just needed a break from it. Whatever the reason, I haven’t knit much in months and had been focusing on other crafts/hobbies to fill the huge gaping void that knitting usually held in my life.

But then saturday, something changed…

[pullquote]Lesley’s Basic Mittens

US9 Needles

Patton’s Shetland Chunky in “Blue Jeans” colourway

  • Magic CO 18 (9 on each needle)
  • KFB the first stitch on each needle, knitting the rest (increasing by 2 each round) until there is 28 stitches total (14 on each needle)
  • K until the bottom edge reaches where thumb meets palm, but the other side also easily stretches to the bottom of palm
  • 6 stitch afterthought thumb
  • K another inch or two, until the mitten top reaches wrist plus a bit
  • 2×2 ribbing for 4 inches or so.
  • stretchy bind off
  • pick up stitches for thumb. Pick up 2 in each corner to close gap but knit those 2 together. If it still looks gappy do it again the next round to close gaps.
  • knit until reaches the top of the thumb, then do rounds of K2tog until 2 stitches left. Pull end through those stitches.
  • Weave in ends.

[/pullquote]

I had a craving for yarn and clicking needles.

I went to my stash… oh my lovely stash… and pawed through it all. I delighted in textures and colours and breathed deeply in the sheepy perfume of my more rustic wool blends. I rubbed various skeins against my face (the only TRUE way to feel yarn as far as I am concerned). I unearthed some long-dormant projects (like my Stripes Gone Crazy sweater) and tsk’d at my failure to show them the respect they deserved. As I mentally re-inventoried I was reminded of all the projects and plans I had made for all of these various yarns and my knitter passion was set aflame once more. Hell, it is a damned blowtorch.

Note the lack of comma in the subject line. I’m not welcoming back mittens. That would be silly. I’m Canadian; mittens are a mainstay in my life and to welcome them back would imply they left at some point. See? Silly. No, what I am referring to is “Welcome Back Mittens”, the mittens I made to welcome myself back into knitting.

14053945_10157336521195603_176939692907972448_nAre they simple? Yep. Dead basic top down mitten with an afterthought thumb. No pattern, no plan. No fancy colour work, cables, or techniques.  Nothing new or complicated or challenging to see here. Just plain old mittens. But hot damn, I made them and I finished them in no time and they are awesome. And for once, they are the same size. When I wing things that come in pairs (mittens, socks, etc) they NEVER end up the same size, but these? These are PERFECTLY THE SAME SIZE. Even the thumbs are the same size!

This has to be a sign.

The knitting gods smiled upon me, friends, and welcomed me back.

General, Outfits, Real Life, Uncategorized

Lipstick Obsession


So,… red lipstick. I only started wearing lipstick about a year ago. Sure, I owned a couple tubes of super bland “natural” colours that I occasionally wore when I went out to a bar or something, but even then I was more likely to swipe on the Blistex and call it done. Now, though, I’m all about the lipstick. The switch happened when I accepted a new job. I decided since I was an unknown there that it was the perfect time to redefine myself and establish a new personal style. My best friend suggested red lipstick, not because she wears it herself but because she thought it would suit me.

She was correct.

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This was my first attempt at wearing red lipstick. This is where it all began… (NXY Perfect Red)

I started wearing every day red lipstick when I started my new job. At first I felt weird about it, worried that I wasn’t pulling it off and that I looked stupid. I had to sort of force myself to put it on, do a bit of a “be brave!” self pep talk every day, but before long the red lip felt very natural. Now I feel a bit naked without lipstick. Well, maybe not naked, but definitely unfinished.

Because it is me, and because I get obsessive about things, I have since amassed a moderately large collection of lipsticks. Most of them are bold bright reds since that is the colour I wear most often, but since summer hit I have found the red lipstick a bit harder to match with my outfits, so I have added some hot pinks and corals to my collection.

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Lipstick is funny. I mean, I went from being uncomfortable wearing it to now feeling weird without it. I do still own a couple natural/nude shades because sometimes it is fun to shake it up, but in general if I’m not wearing red I’m wearing a bright pink. I’ve been lucky so far because pretty much every shade I have purchased has looked good on me (or so I feel). I don’t do well with more purple-y shades I have found, though I do have a couple that edge towards that blue undertone that still work. I actually seem to be able to wear both red undertones and yellow undertones, though the warmer shades do seem to suit me better. I actually own a couple shades that are damned near orange and absolutely love them. And yet one of my favourite pinks (Milani Fruit Punch) is on the more blue side of things but looks really good. Weird.

 

So after a year of lipsticks I have come to the following conclusions:

  1. Lipstick is super fun to wear, but it isn’t for everyone. It does take effort to make sure you aren’t smearing it all over your face, especially if you are a face-toucher.
  2. For me, matte lipsticks are better than shiny/glossy ones.
  3. It is really easy to justify purchasing a new lipstick, hence my ever growing collection.
  4. Straws are your best friend.
  5. If you wear red lipstick other people seem to think one of two things: That you’re a hussy, or that you are super put together.
  6. NYX and Milani are flipping great brands and oh so affordable. BIG fan.
Depression, General, Health, Outfits, Real Life, Uncategorized

I’ll take my victories wherever I can get them…

Current status:

  • Weight Watchers: Derailed entirely thanks to my being on vacation and out of town for most of the past 2 weeks.
  • Current Weight: Somewhere between a full grown buffalo and a blue whale
  • Depression and Anxiety: VERY poorly managed (but have an appointment to see my doctor about it next week)
  • Coping Mechanisms: Eating my feelings

 

I’m basically a wreck, but I’m still managing to pull myself together enough to look like I’m a functioning human being. I’m really got the whole “fakin’ it” thing down pat. Capture.PNG

General, Health, Marriage, Real Life, Uncategorized

Married couples share everything… including stomach bugs. :(

nosharingMy husband oh so generously infected me with his stomach bug, just in time for him to make a miraculous recovery. I’m glad he’s feeling better but I’m pretty unhappy. Stomach churny and nauseated. Jonathan feels bad for infecting me, but no way could he have known and I know he didn’t intend to. It is just part of sharing a home with people, passing sicknesses back and forth. Luckily Noah is with his bio-mom this week so he should be spared this particular bug. And I will recover, this isn’t the end of the world, but in the mean time I’m working from home today, doing what I can, but I feel pretty crap and don’t anticipate having the most productive day in the world.

A side effect of this bug is that I have sort of let WW go by the wayside while I have been sick, and basically just been focusing on eating what doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to die. On top of that, come this weekend I will be on vacation for a week, and while I will try to make good choices I am well aware that won’t always be possible. Basically, WW is on hold for the next two weeks. 😦