Saturday, September 25, 2010

Five Hours... FIVE HOURS! And all I got was this...

It took me 5 hours just to get to this point. I knew that the art of the chainmaille would be difficult to learn. It finally began to look like something around 5:45 am. I'm encouraged. I also know that with all the manpower, the new and improved "Rearden Metal Bracelets" will probably be $75.00. Price increase due to cost of the blue/green niobium jumprings (and the difficulty getting them), the blue/green niobium bracelet clasps (if I can find them), and the LABOR. Chainmaille is labor intensive. If I can't find the niobium clasps, I'm either going to make them, or I'll use copper.

I love the full persian weave. When I look at it, it reminds me of the railroad. I've been staring at other weaves, which I will do, but for now, it's the full persian for the Rearden Metal Bracelet. Back to the bench!

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Had To Do It!

I had to textlax my edges today. I warmed the relaxer (top left picture) in the microwave for 1 minute (should have done it for 30 seconds - lesson learned). I waited until the mixture cooled, then squirted it on my edges only. I left it on for no more than 3 minutes. I didn't want completely straight edges, but I didn't want the beady beads I had.

I should have taken pictures before, but I wasn't thinking. I did part my hair so you can see the beady beads in the center (and the devastating breakage on the back left side). I refuse to cut my hair. I'm going to let the breakage catch up with the rest of the hair, then when the breakage reaches my shoulders, then cut the older hair the same length. That's my plan. I think I'm going to totally hold off textlaxing the rest of my hair, until I get some significant growth in the breakage areas (I am scheduled to textlax again on Oct 15th, according to my textlax calendar). As long as I keep my edges manageable, I think I can handle the different textures, since I'm not flat ironing my hair. Just water, conditioner, and my oil mixture (to seal)... and to keep doing the Aphogee 2 Step Treatment every six weeks.

The First Batch Of Earrings Are Done!

I've been at it since 11:00am this morning! All of these are handmade. Once I got started, I couldn't stop. I even made my own earwires, out of copper (bottom right). Here are the results:

I've found my new passion. I had to physically push myself away from my work table. I'm supposed to be making the new Rearden Metal bracelets, but I'm scared to tackle assembling the jumprings (into chainmaille). I'm going to post these earrings on my Esty page. Some of them I've decided to keep (the middle picture, and the picture on the right - my mother's old pearls). Once I got the loop making down, I was off and running. I'm still having trouble with my wrapped loops, but today was only the first day... the first day. I'm not posting until I have enough to sell. I need more silver and gold euro lever earwires. I also need an anvil and nylon hammer (I slammed my finger today - still hurts). I need more pliers, at least a pair of bent chainnose and a pair of flat nose. At first, before I started, I didn't know what they were for, but after today, now I know!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello Fall!

Where do I start? I changed jobs! Hopefully, my new job will be a much better fit than the last job. It will free up a lot of time in the morning for me to do "my" stuff (writing, knitting, making music, and my new passion: jewelry making). From what I've learned over the last 3 years, I will not become this job. This job is just a means to fund my life. I will not take the job home with me. I do wish to get better hours though.

On the hair front, my hair is still coming out, even after the Aphogee 2 Step Treatment. To protect what I still have, I decided to go back to basics, and put on a lace wig (see above photos). Hopefully, I can grow out the weakend hair (my fault - I've pinpointed it to the color remover fiasco from a couple of months ago). Since I haven't gotten around to getting my new 12" virgin malaysian straight (from Rex, of course), I decided to cut my old 18" RVMS and cut some bangs into it. I'm happy with the results. I didn't paint the inside of the cap. I just put the self adhesive bandage around my head. I don't even have a wigcap on. I was being lazy about it, but very happy with how it turned out. My skills are still there. I thought I would have to add some lace to the back and ventilate some hair back there, but it fits my hairline perfectly. I will probably need to redo it the Sunday night before the first day of work.

Okay, even though it's knitting season (yeah!), I'm getting into jewelry making. It started with the sale of two of my Rearden bracelets. I still have enough blue metal to make several bracelets, but being proactive, I started to look for more blue metal. From there, I found jumprings, which led to learning how to make chainmaille (think Dark Ages, Middle Ages, King Arthur), which led to wire wrapping. I have an (empty) Esty store and I will sell bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and anything else I can think to make. My Esty store will also carry my handknit goods, and eventually my music (mp3s), my photography, my lacefront DVDs, and my books. I love knowing that I have an outlet for all this creativity.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2nd Aphogee Treatment

Before the treatment:

The breakage on the back left side:

The Aphogee 2 Step Treatment:
The last time I did this was six weeks ago, to the day (I put it on a calendar, and I've scheduled them out). I have the bigger bottle, so I was was liberal with the application. It has the weirdest smell. I can't describe it, but I'm so glad that I have to do this only every six weeks. I followed it up with the Balancing Moisturizer and Mega Tek scalp treatment. I can't tell if the Aphogee 2 Step Treatment is working. I'll keep doing it every six weeks though.

Let's talk about the breakage. My hair is still breaking off especially on the left back side (see middle pictures). The top pictures show that the rest of my hair can cover the spots, and they're growing in from me putting Mega Tek directly on those spots. I'm so tempted to cut it all off and start again, but I'm not going to. The new growth is NATURAL. I haven't textlaxed since the disastrous last time, and I'm not due to do it again until November 15. I may not even do it then. I'm so scared. I just want to baby my hair until it stops breaking off, or until it's double the length, and I can cut off all the over processed hair. I have to say that my hair is the longest it's ever been , in my life, curly or straight. Other than sitting under the dryer to dry the Aphogee treatment, I've not put any heat on my hair since April 2009. What a journey. I have pinpointed the breakage to be from when I used the dye remover a couple of months ago. I shouldn't have ever done that. Big Lesson learned. Luckily, with my new growth as curly as it is, I can disguise my bald spots. I haven't worn a LF since August. I'm still working on getting a shorter one.

I received the greenish blue niobium jump rings, so I will start making the new Rearden Metal bracelets, in a chainmaille pattern. They will be a bit more expensive because the niobium is expensive. I love how all of this has led to me learning how to make wire jewelry. I can't wait to set up my Esty shop with all my stuff. I have to break out my knitting needles. That's what fall and winter mean to me. Knitting season.