Thursday, May 28, 2020

Cross Stitching onto a Linen Shirt

I was asked to do a cross stitch pattern onto a linen shirt by my mom. This project was a first for me. I had done jean jackets, skirts, and baby onesies but never linen. 

I was both nervous and excited about how it would turn out.

To ensure the project would not be off-center, I first ironed the shirt and performed the same process I had  used in the past with the jackets. Then I pinned the waste cloth with small safety pins so it would remain in place.

The pattern my mom had selected is from Vladaxstich on Etsy. I loved the blend of a butterfly with flowers. 

I slightly altered the pattern and used metallic white in place of another floss to add a little sparkle, and my mom selected a light pink for the daisies in place of a light blue.

Once my hoop was in place, I started from the center and moved outward. All of the patterns from Vlada come in PDF. For this pattern, I had to print four different pages. Therefore, it took a little figuring out to find the center although once I had it the rest was really easy.

I found it easier to stitch onto linen than denim. Jean jackets are much heavier and, over time, my hand and fingers would grow tired and sore. 

On the other hand, it found it more difficult to maneuver the hoop around a shirt rather than a jacket. 

I believe it only took me about a week—give or take—to finish this project.

Once I finished stitching, I followed the same final steps as with my previous projects. I wetted and removed the waste cloth. This was rather difficult as the surface area was large and removing the pieces of waste cloth fiber is a tedious process. 

Once not one length of waste cloth remained, I once more ironed the shirt—inside out—to remove moth of the wrinkles.

Lastly, I gently and slightly sprayed down the stitched area to "close up" the holes I had made with my needle.

I recommend washing such projects either in a lingerie bag on the delicate cycle or by hand. Furthermore, I don't recommend putting any cross-stitching project in the dryer.

Below is a picture of the finished project.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Aloe Vera Hair Mask

About a year ago, I tried out an Aloe Vera hair mask and quickly realized that my hair really liked it. The astute observer will notice that this mask recipe is eerily similar to my protein hair mask recipe.

This new recipe is not mine. I found it on YouTube and it belongs to Haartraum. I have modified it a smidgen to tailor to what my picky mane favors. 

You can follow the directions to the original mask here.

I follow a lot of what "Haarrtraum" suggests in the video. I do dampen my hair before applying the mask but, unlike her, I put the mask on my scalp as well. 

I recycle a plastic bag—instead of using a shower cap— which I cover with a bandana since I don't have a beanie.

Keep in mind that these measurements are for my hair length (classic) and will cover all my hair including my scalp. If you have longer or thicker hair, you may need to add a little of everything. Likewise, if you have shorter hair, you may need to do a little less of everything. In short, tailor this recipe to your needs. Remember that it may take a few tries to figure out your soft spot and that's okay as it is all part of the Journey.

What you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • A couple drops of oil
  • Conditioner to thicken

  • In a small bowl. combine the aloe, honey, and oil together.
  • Once you have a smooth mixture, add the conditioner—I recommend only adding a little at a time—until you have a consistency you like. 
  • Separate your hair into two sections and detangle so that no knots remain. 
  • Dampen your hair and spread the mixture throughout your hair. I start at my ears and go down then use the leftovers on my scalp. Because my ends are still thin, I don't need to use a lot of the mask in that area. 
  • After you have used all of the mask, take your brush or comb and gently brush threw your hair to distribute and spread the mask evenly throughout your hair. 
  • Once you are done brushing, put your hair up in a bun and secure it with an acrylic hair stick. I then cover my hair with my plastic bag—you can use a shower cap—and my bandana—you can use a beanie. 
  • Leave the mask on for a minimum of 1 hour—you can leave it on for as long as you like.
  • Washing this mask out is very easy. Simply rinse it out with water. You can then continue your hair washing routine. DO NOT USE any products with cones to wash out! Using cones after this mask will make your hair considerably unhappy.

My washing out routine is as follows: 
  1. I rinse my mask out with warm water, shampoo my scalp —only—using Grandpa Soaps shampoo and my scalp scrubber, and then, rinse out the shampoo letting it run through the rest of my hair. 
  2. I then separate my hair into two sections and allow the water to flow through my hair and then very slowly and gently brush my hair starting at the ends moving up to my scalp. 
  3. Once my hair is free of tangles, I apply a little conditioner through all my hair including my scalp. Once again I brush my hair to spread the conditioner throughout the length. I allow the conditioner to sit in my hair while I shave so my hair has time to soak it up. 
  4. I then wash the conditioner out of my hair, towel dry my hair a little with my microfiber towel and then allow it to air dry.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Frontier Hardware Cross Stitch

I had actually bought this cross stitch kit a couple of years ago on a mother-daughter trip.

I fell in love with the vintage theme and the fact route 66 goes through Arizona. Plus, the coupon helped... 

If you know me either personally or have read the about me section, you know that I love old trucks so I am actually really excited to finish this project and get it framed!

I started this cross stitch a few times and each time I had to start all over because I kept messing up and I could not figure out how to fix it.

Finally back in June 2019, after my mom injured her leg and was on bed rest, I purchased my new cloth so I could start all over once more. 

Since then, I have been religiously working on it almost every day with small breaks here and there. Otherwise, I have been consistent and intent on finishing it. 

This has been a hard, but also fun, project.  I think this is my biggest project thus far. I did do one piece that was about as big but it wasn't as filled in. 

I have made over a dozen—literally—mistakes but this piece is for me personally and the mistakes in it make all my pieces unique and beautiful. When you think about it, it's what also shapes us as people as we are also all unique.

You can buy your kit here.

As you will see below, I have attached photos of my progress. The last photo is of my project finished, washed, and ironed.

I will do an update post once I have it framed. As you can see I didn't take a picture before I started—my starting date was in early June 2019.

August 18th, 2019

September 4th, 2019

September 12th, 2019

October 8th, 2019

October 17th, 2019

October 28th, 2019

November 16th, 2019

November 26th, 2019

December 31st, 2019

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Micro Trims for Thickness

In this post, I'll be sharing how I was able to increase my hair thickness—in the bottom length—and grow it out to classic length at the same time.

I can't remember exactly when I started doing micro trims on my hair but I believe it was at the beginning of 2016. Below I will show pictures of my hair in July of 2018 to this year 2020 so y'all can see for yourself how much the micro trims have helped the appearance of my bottom length.

Keep in mind that the micro trims are not the only thing that has helped thicken my hair. I also started taking better care of it around the same time. I know that, for me, without doing the micro trims it would have taken a lot longer to thicken my ends and grow my hair at the same time. Doing these trims also helped me get rid of a lot of the split ends I had from old damage.

The micro trims I did—my mom actually did them—was simply to even my hair out on the ends so that they were always straight. About once a year, we did a bigger trim of about an inch at most.

I trust my mom 100% to trim or cut my hair because she understands how much I've wanted to grow my hair out. She has helped me a lot with my journey to classic length. I actually never really told my mom how much to trim each time as I had complete faith she wouldn't cut too much.

About once a month, we would even out my hair. I did this for a while before I realized that my hair growth was slowing down a little at the same time my ends were getting better. At this point, we decide to trim every two months.

By following this method, I have seen the thickness in my ends drop from the middle of my back to the ends. My hair still isn't as thick as I would like it to be at the end but I am getting there. I plan to continue using this method until I have reached the thickness I want at the end of my hair.