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· The Weekend Blogger: Supima fever
· The Weekend Blogger: Close a door, open a window
· The Weekend Blogger: Bit o' honey
· The Weekend Blogger: Happy 4th of July!
· The Weekend Blogger: Bit of hauling
· The Weekend Blogger: Mixed bag
· The Weekend Blogger: A bit of randomness
· The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petals preliminary review
· The Weekend Blogger: Back to work
· The Weekend Blogger: This, that and the other
· The Weekend Blogger: Back to work
· The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
· Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger

Comments
· August 3, 2008 11:10 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 26, 2008 11:36 PM by Blogger Dain
· July 5, 2008 4:18 AM by Blogger Perfumeshrine
· July 8, 2008 11:34 AM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 29, 2008 12:08 AM by Blogger Dain
· June 29, 2008 2:20 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· June 22, 2008 8:38 PM by Blogger Dain
· June 7, 2008 3:12 AM by Blogger Dain
· May 27, 2008 4:06 AM by Blogger Dain
· May 27, 2008 4:28 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 27, 2008 11:21 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 24, 2008 1:31 PM by Blogger Dain
· May 24, 2008 4:11 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi
· May 25, 2008 5:45 PM by Blogger Joy Rothke
· May 26, 2008 3:42 AM by Blogger Dain
· May 26, 2008 3:57 PM by Blogger Colleen Shirazi

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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog


The Weekend Blogger: Supima fever
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 03, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)


I'm becoming intrigued by Supima cotton.

Mind you, I'd never heard of Supima until a few days ago, when I came across it in a clothing catalogue. At first I thought Supima was a patented type of cotton, but it's not:

Founded in 1954, Supima is the promotional organization of the American Pima cotton growers. The Board of Directors of this non-profit organization is composed of Pima growers from the states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. All members pay a voluntary per bale assessment to support Supima's marketing and promotional activities.

Supima's primary objective is to promote the increased consumption of American Pima cotton around the world. Supima is a major sponsor of research programs to improve the quality of American Pima. Supima also works closely with cotton industry organizations and government agencies to ensure a fair and viable marketing environment for American Pima cotton growers. Supima also provides timely crop and market information to its grower-members and licensees.

At the core of Supima's promotional activities is a licensing program in which select, high-quality textile mills, apparel and textile manufacturers, and retailers are granted a license to use the Supima® trademark. Licensees use the Supima® trademark to market and promote their textile, home fashion and apparel products made of 100% American Pima cotton. Over 300-fine count textile mills, manufacturers and retailers from around the world are licensed to use the Supima® brand.

In order to promote its awareness of the Supima® brand, Supima advertises in both consumer and trade publications. Additionally, Supima staff members regularly make presentations to customers both in the U.S. and abroad. To the extent possible, Supima staff personally visit major fine-count textile mills in locations around the world. Supima regularly participates in major international home fashion and apparel exhibitions and events.


Okay, I was going to bust this down to a bite-sized blogger blurb, but I think it's interesting. One of my chief complaints about clothing which doesn't cost hundreds of dollars, after all, is poor material. Not poor construction, which I can fix myself in ten minutes with a needle and thread. Shoddy material, you can do nothing about; you simply watch in horror as your clothing dissolves in less than a year.

Is Supima licensed cotton better?

Scanning their merchant list, I see the familiar Brooks Brothers and Land's End. Not listed is Eddie Bauer, where I first stumbled across the Supima reference.

I will say a word about my small obsession with made in the U.S.A. products (or in this case, grown in the U.S.A.). I don't think it translates to people who don't remember when Americans...manufactured, when we made stuff.

I don't propose we return to that era; the cost would be prohibitive for certain things, it wouldn't make sense. But we've been far too quick to throw out every kind of manufacturing, to not give our own citizens something to do.

On a more personal level, my own industry, software engineering, went out the same window as all the rest, the making of shoes, steel, of...dishes, of major appliances, of everything. Pure consumption is not the same thing as production. It's not only the dignity of earning a paycheck, it...kills your brain, if all you do is consume. When you make something, you have to make the decisions...the materials and sourcing them, the design and engineering, the actual process of fabrication.

We've lost that, we have become incredibly impatient as a nation, because all we do now is buy, which takes less than a minute.

Hence I have taken an interest in whatever is made here. It's a personal thing, it's based on my budget, and I'll emphasize it's hardly altruistic. I live here. If there's some small way I can support whatever people are up to here, I'm in.

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August 3, 2008 11:10 PM, Blogger Dain said...

Hey cool, I was thinking of getting Brooks Brothers shirts, now I've got good reason to. They look real nice, and the non-iron aspect is pretty awesome.

 
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The Weekend Blogger: Close a door, open a window
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, July 26, 2008 11:06 PM (Eastern)

Hm, there's nothing quite so magical as the hour of 5, post meridian, on a Friday. Eyes begin to sparkle, steps wax lively; there is harmony of motion, towards the elevators, towards the street, towards mass transit.

So, what have I been up to? There are masses of summer sales going on right now, just when you're being mauled by the exorbitant prices of gas, health care, water (I kid you not; after years of pissing rain around here, our municipal utility district has the nerve to cry "water shortage"), rice ($20 a bag at Costco for the good stuff), oh, what else...it's cheaper to be a cocaine addict than to be an ordinary citizen.

Hence, the extraordinary summer sales. No one has cash to spend, so, logically, retail has to cut prices or else sit on their summer merchandise. Banana Republic, The Gap, J.Crew, Eddie Bauer, Land's End...those are the obvious ones...now have prices comparable to those of way crappy stores. Like any other good sales, you have to dig, and the sizes do tend to run from extra small to small, then jump straight to extra extra large, and the white blouses tend to be, in the words of Lloyd Cole (ask your mother)...gone, gone, gone, pretty gone.

I had this cute number in my cart today:


...a bit stunned at finding a nice-looking white top at a good price. It's rayon, not the cotton I was seeking--The Gap has some nice white cotton blouses on sale right now, but not the ones I want in the right sizes--and it is sleeveless, which is okay I suppose.

I had this number in the cart along with some stuff from their 30% off sale. The latter are not clearance items, so all the sizes are there. Plus it's a flat $7 shipping. Plus you can use the same $7 for purchases across The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime.

It's all been a bit of a shock.

Take this yellow dress:


Isn't it nice? I'm talking about for someone who isn't twenty years old. Pima cotton/modal rayon/spandex, machine wash, that sweet detail of tiny ruffles at the hem. It's really pretty darn decent.

I went to Eddie Bauer recently and got this...creamy...pima cotton tank top, with all the details: smaller arm-holes, so you don't get "side boob"; slightly higher neck, wider straps, longer length with these teeny side vents. Lovely light yellow (a killer clothing color for blondes) and a light aquamarine blue--for $10 each. The same price for dreary tank tops at Target, which don't cover bra straps, don't conceal "the vault," straps fall down, et cetera, et cetera.

That's probably it for clothes shopping for me, until cooler weather sets in. What I'd like next entails boots, possibly shoes...more planning involved. I'll likely tap the outlets in Napa for those.

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July 26, 2008 11:36 PM, Blogger Dain said...

It's $30 more expensive, but down from $443, so a much more designery option: Madame a Paris, elegant and simple and a cool color.

 
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The Weekend Blogger: Bit o' honey
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 18, 2008 11:45 PM (Eastern)


An Earnest Sewn Co.'s invitation to A NEW HIVE

...An art installation inspired by the worldwide en masse disappearance of honeybees
by Derrick R. Cruz of Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons

Proceeds from A NEW HIVE support the establishment of beehives in public gardens, educational programs focusing on the importance of bees and the art of beekeeping, as well as research for the development of sustainable beekeeping practices.
...

I've often commended the labor of bees (but then I ponder the engineering of spiders). What you see is the honey, and it's simple, and you eat it. But how many bees travelled how many miles to gather nectar from hundreds of flowers, to alchemize said nectar into what you see. I prefer honey to sugar, myself.

What I've been up to...
  • Face. The Zia pressed powder of a few posts back...meh. And I seldom say "meh." If it's not the worst powder I ever tried--and it's not--still I miss my MAC Blot pressed. What's in that stuff, that can't be replicated anywhere else? I've decided to repurchase Blot after all. Not sure what to do with the Zia...I don't like returning used cosmetics even to stores which accept them...but until I update my review...meh.


  • Clothes. Made it out to the City last weekend, to visit both Golden Gate Park and Stonestown Galleria. The park has a certain amount of sentimental value; once, I lived within walking distance of it, and I've seen much of it. It's still good, though they recently decimated the children's playground, replacing funky old swings, merry-go-rounds and see-saws with sterile New Age-y constructions. I don't know what they were thinking, beyond fewer lawsuits, and fewer things for older children to play with, but it's hardly worth going to the playground any more.

    Stow Lake still rocks.

    Stonestown was surprisingly lovely. I got a couple of items--a sky blue hoodie, and an aquamarine blue skirt.


  • Perfume. Still using up samples. I retried Annick Goutal's Les Nuits d'Hadrien EDT, after reading Dain's review of the EDP (I doubt they smell different, particularly, but the Annick Goutal EDT's don't last well).

    I can smell more clearly these days. In Les Nuits... there lies the same exquisite lemon-and-cypress heart of Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien, only prettied up with frills of more traditional perfumery. I haven't smelled Eau d'Hadrien in ages, but there was something geometrical about it, the way they managed to trap sunlight and evoke whitewashed houses, narrow streets, lemon groves, and pretty dark-haired girls, in a scent perfume mavens don't seem to particularly care for lol

    It's a good thing I don't do decants. I think I'd end up with a hundred, easily.

Not much else to add; I may go to a bead show this weekend, although I'm not sure.

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The Weekend Blogger: Happy 4th of July!
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, July 04, 2008 10:04 PM (Eastern)


You'll really like this song.

Now that I've rejoined the 9-to-5 culture, I can admit this holiday has become, well, okay, a paid holiday, yet it is still Independence Day of course, and let it ever remain the magnificent celebration it is.
  • Jewelry. Today we did what we do every year; we went to the Fourth of July Fair. I don't buy readymade jewelry that much anymore, but I always find something at this fair (I have for years). Particularly rings, since these cannot be made without metalworking. People have made lovely rings with wire, and I've made them too, but it's not the same.

    I got a ring of heavy silver set with a rough ruby. I like this style; they also use rough emeralds. By "rough" I mean a fairly low-grade stone, translucent at best, but somehow, I just like it. I also got a spectrolite ring and a blue topaz ring, both for my daughter.


  • More jewelry thoughts. Making jewelry has now become almost too easy. lol! Okay it's not actually easy, but I've become better at it. For one thing, I've gotten accustomed to the idea that even a simple piece of jewelry can take all day, two days, or longer to make.

    And the same piece usually has to be redone several times. Unless you're copying an existing design, there are quite a few variables at play, and no hard and fast rules about anything. You have to go with the materials at hand (I've long given up the romantic notion of having everything you need at hand, because that never happens), so you need to be versatile enough to bend half-hard wire as easily as soft, and use whatever gauges you have.

    Tried my hand today at making post earrings. Not intentionally--I had the idea of making a hammered silver spiral to cover the ear lobe, and hanging something underneath it. I've felt in a rut; most of my earrings are french wires or hoops. I have tried my hand at making kidney wires (and should make more), and have used argentium silver leverbacks, but anyway...I made the spiral, and realized it would never sit right unless it had a post back, rather than the french wire style I had originally.

    It was a matter of cutting the french wire and straightening it, and digging up some earring backs, and getting them to fit the wire (I used a piece of stiff heavy wire to enlarge the earring backs slightly).

    For the spirals, I couldn't use too-heavy wire (this works for necklaces but not for earrings, where you need more delicacy and less weight). But I decided to hang teardrop-shaped hoops from the spirals, and these should be heavy wire. I used 18 gauge but would have been happier with 16 (as I say, you have to use what's at hand, otherwise you'll never make anything, but I have plans to try thicker wire later on).

    It's a sort of...gestalt (I'm envisioning dudes with elbow patches and pipes, bear with me). The spirals would be wrong without the post, or made in heavier wire (or lighter for that matter). The hoops would be wrong without the spirals (I've tried many times to make heavy wire hoops, to no avail). The shape of the hoops can't be too perfect (which would make them appear prefabricated), nor too crude (making them look amateurish, by someone who can't intimately bend wire, with tools including fingernails, mandrels, the handle of the chasing hammer). It's crossed my mind I love nothing so much as working with metal. It's my dream to do metalworking someday (silversmithing is more attractive to me than goldsmithing, though the latter would be more lucrative). It's the sheer physics of it.


  • Face. The Zia pressed powder I bought last weekend...hm. It's not as good as MAC Blot pressed powder, for all-day oil blotting goodness. Yet it's not bad enough that I'd toss it and head out to the MAC counter, either. It's a decent pressed powder, better than a Dior one I have in ability to suck up oil. More coverage than MAC Blot pressed (not something I look for in powder though). I got the "Smoky Quartz" shade; it's definitely darker than my MAC Blot "Medium," but then Medium was getting too light anyway. (The "Quartz" shade might be more similar.)

    I'm not likely to repurchase it, but have decided to use it up.


  • Clothes. One of my favorite dress shops bit the dust, just like that.

    I was in the neighborhood and decided to drop in and look around. Cripe! They used to have two solid aisles of dresses, each aisle comprised of stands, each stand with four kinds of dresses...and yet more dresses, further in. All they kept was the aisle bordering the display windows, and this aisle was sparse, buddy, it was sparse. I used to grab ten dresses at a pop to try on, and walk out with two or four. This time there was one that looked nice (sheer layer with a print, over a solid layer of the same print; the interplay was interesting), but I hesitated, as it was similar to dresses I already own. But that's it. One dress in the "tempting to try on" category.

    To replace the dresses, they'd put separates...crappy separates (this shop never had good separates, only good dresses).

I hate to finish on a sour note, but I've run out of things to say.

Have a great holiday!

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July 5, 2008 4:18 AM, Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

Happy 4th to you!

It was very interesting reading about making jewellery: I love the finished product although I haven't much invested in actually trying to replicate. You make it sound fun though :-)
And enjoy your new found little trinkets!

 
July 8, 2008 11:34 AM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Thanks!

There's a point where making jewelry becomes insanely fun. As soon as you can make one kind, you want to make something more difficult. It takes time to get where you want to be...it's a long term project...but at least you always have something cool to wear in the meantime. :D

 
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The Weekend Blogger: Bit of hauling
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, June 28, 2008 11:47 PM (Eastern)

I shop rather strategically now; long gone are the days of carefree middle-class browsing. An item is either astronomically expensive, requiring months, even years, of planning to acquire, or else it tends to be junk, worth less than the space it occupies. It's truly an art to figure out where to shop, and to emerge with something of value, without blowing half a week's paycheck over it.

This time I went to a b & m bead shop, something I don't do often anymore. But sometimes it's worth the markup to be able to choose individual beads, particularly for earrings. I got some carnelian and some jade beads. I had this odd impulse to make red earrings, and I've wanted for some time to use green jade for something.

On to our local health food store, where I repurchased Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream. Normally the price would have been a tad appalling, but I tried this out first as a sample, loved it, bought a full sized tube, found it lasted five months and noticeably improved my acne-prone skin. I felt it was a good purchase.

On a bit of an impulse, I also bought a Zia pressed powder compact. I'm almost out of my traditional MAC Blot pressed, and was planning on the trek out to the MAC counter to repurchase it, but if this stuff works, I'd rather buy it instead. I've long fallen out of love with MAC in general, so the Back to MAC isn't much of an incentive to me anymore, plus the customer service at our local MAC Counter isn't much of an encouragement to go there. The first two ingredients listed are mica and cornstarch. I've used Zia liquid foundation for years, to make tinted sunscreen, so I'm fairly optimistic about the powder prospect.

Finally, I picked up Avalon Organics Lavender shampoo, since I had run out of their Lemon Clarifying one. The Lavender is more moisturizing, but then I often use two shampoos anyway--a little tea tree oil shampoo on my scalp (Giovanni, but I'm thinking of trying the Paul Mitchell one when that runs out), and a different one on the rest of my hair (it's not as complicated as it sounds, just slap on a bit of one and a bit of the other, and lather).

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June 29, 2008 12:08 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I want to try those Avalon Organics now. I really need to get myself to a Whole Foods soon, and root around the products section.

 
June 29, 2008 2:20 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

There's a lot of bath & body at health food stores...and some of it is really good. Some of it is bad--Jason shampoos are terrible, imo, and Kiss My Face is only eh.

Avalon, Alba Hawaiian, Giovanni, Nature's Gate Organics...all good. There's one I always look at called Desert Essence. It costs a bit more but it smells stupendous.

I rotate shampoos, since I wash my hair every day. Otherwise there's no way to prevent buildup. I like to have three shampoos in the shower at a given time, and two conditioners. :D

 
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The Weekend Blogger: Mixed bag
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:38 AM (Eastern)


A photo tour of Iran...the music is killer

I suspect I have nothing cohesive to say, so have elected to use a bullet list.

  • Skin. Finally used the last squeeze of Dr. Hauschka's Cleansing Cream. The tube lasted about five months, used once per day (I use the Cleansing Milk at night). I tried going without it for several days to see what would happen, and have decided my skin was better off with it. I was going to repurchase it today, then got caught up finishing some earrings I'd been fiddling around with for weeks, so I'll probably shoot for tomorrow, but it's a keeper.

  • Clothes. Here's a tip I got from the administrative assistant at my job. You can get rid of static cling by spinning your clothes in the dryer--no heat--with a dryer sheet. These are clothes you have to line dry, so line-dry them first, but it really does work.

    While I was at it, I tossed in some clothes I'd normally have to iron. If they're not super wrinkly, you may not need to iron them.

  • Perfume. Debating between Patou's Joy and Sublime as my next perfume (after I've used up Etro's Heliotrope). I've been wearing Sublime as a layer...it's a tad too sweet worn alone, but so what, so is Montale's Aoud Blossom. It's a sentimental choice, as would be Joy, but Sublime is the more significant of the two to me.

    Sublime is about Washington State in the early 1990's, when Kurt Cobain was still alive, and Nordstrom still had superior customer service (okay, they probably still do in Washington State, but it's lousy here). I was a starving student and loved passing by the perfume counter at Nordies, and this was one of the fragrances I coveted most.

  • Shoes. I've been okay with the shoes I got. They're not my dream shoes, which would be Cydwoq, Jim Barnier or Taryn Rose (in that order). Something more beautiful, more durable.

    I'm not really against high heels, I just don't wear them. I can see the point; they are a sculpture. For something like a party or occasion, I would consider wearing them...I had some when I was fifteen or so, that were genuine stiletto heels (not super high, but actual heel-heels).

    My gripe is finding shoes that look the way I want them to look, yet allow me to walk eight city blocks in half an hour, or break into a run to catch a bus, and the like. I hate feeling constrained in shoes. In that regard, the ones I have are not it either. "It" starts at $300, so, my shoes should last until I feel like paying that much. :D

    I can admit I like them all the same. The strappy ones are good for hot weather; your feet don't get sweaty. I'm still stretching out the pump toeboxes, off and on, when I have nothing better to do.

  • Jewelry. I've made some good earrings lately. I keep hoping to take pictures, but jewelry is one of the hardest things to photograph. You'd need a small area reserved just for taking pictures of it, or a whole lotta time.

    I can describe them, but, eh. One is three lengths of oxidized textured silver chain, with the shortest length on the outside and the longest on the inside. I hung three colors of tourmaline faceted "hearts" (the "pear" is the flat teardrop shape, while the "heart" is the fat bottomed flat teardrop)--deep pink, green, and lavender, one at the end of each chain.

    The next was my first attempt at a theme: a simulation of falling rain. So I used lengths of silver flat cable chain (the flat surfaces catch the light when they move), small green amethyst faceted pears, and small aquamarine faceted drops. (It's funny, you always think to buy the bigger stones, but earrings often require small ones).

    The third pair I finished today. Were they a pain to make! I'm already planning to solder soon...I've heard you can buy a soldering iron at the dollar shop; the real cost is the solder and flux, both of which I now own.

    These are hammered golden hoops, and I wanted to hang a bar across the center. Hanging the bar is relatively easy, but without soldering, you have to devise a means of keeping the bar stable. Squashing or hammering the bar on the hoop doesn't do it.

    I came up with two ideas. One is to use a crimp bead--a tiny round seamless metal bead--you thread two beads on the hoop when you're making it. You use crimping pliers (as they sound, special pliers to neatly press and fold the crimps) to crimp a bead under each end of your horizontal bar. I've done this with crimp tubes because I had no crimp beads on hand, and it works well, but the crimp beads would look nicer than the tubes.

    The other involves wrapping fine-gauge wire on the sides of the hoops above either end of the horizontal bar. The idea is to block either end of the bar from moving up the side of the hoop. This also works, and the fineness of the wire makes it unobtrusive.

    Okay...so on each horizontal bar, I have a metal fringe, made of pieces of wire...you make a loop on one end of each piece of wire, hammer out the other end flat, then file the edges of the hammered end to make them smooth and rounded.

    I'm trying out some wire-intensive ideas, because I'm thinking of getting karat gold wire. You have to be sure of your design because you can't make mistakes with the spendy stuff. Not sure if this design is "karat-worthy" yet. It's nice...the swinging golden fringe sparkles like fanciful sun rays. But the construction turned out to be more involved than I'd thought. I like the fringe and hoop; perhaps I could come up with a simpler version, or even just start out with a plain heavy hammered hoop.

  • Reading. Technical manuals, such as "Lasso for Dummies" (just kidding, I think the only book written on Lasso is the manual the Lasso people publish). Lasso is a scripting language. I don't think I'll ever read anything but technical manuals until Dain publishes her book, then I'll be happy to read that. I haven't heard of anything tempting to read lately, at any rate.

Have a good one!

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June 22, 2008 8:38 PM, Blogger Dain said...

That's sweet. I haven't really started work on it yet, though. Shhhh. The blogging gets in the way, so I guess I'll just have to stop once we do CoC.

That video's pretty awesome. Iran seems sad, though.

 
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The Weekend Blogger: A bit of randomness
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, June 08, 2008 11:55 PM (Eastern)

Sitting here in my newly Foot Petal'd shoes--the model at the bottom:

shoes

I ended up using both the Heavenly Heelz and Haute Heelz for this pair (the other two didn't need 'Petaling nearly as much). I'm glad I didn't stick the Haute Heelz, because for one shoe (apparently my feet aren't exactly the same), the Heavenly Heelz wouldn't have done it. The Haute Heel lifts your heel up a bit, which is good when you have a rubbing-at-back-of-heel thing...but I pushed the Haute Heel back more in this shoe, so it not only lifts slightly, but also covers the entire back-of-heel area (I jacked the Haute Heel up right under the Heavenly Heel).

I'm saving the Tip Toes...I could cut them up and use them for the other shoes--there's a slight heel issue with those...but the issue is not bandaid-worthy, so I have it in mind to try higher heels later on, and use the Tip Toes then.

Got to make some earrings and a pendant. The pendant is a carved lotus in a light green, slightly yellow stone (I don't remember now if it's prehnite or "green gold"). I made a bail for it on the jump-ring principle--jump rings use tension to work--my next phase will definitely involve soldering.

The earrings...I had the notion of making earrings to look like falling rain. So these use lengths of silver chain, watery green amethyst briolettes, and small faceted aquamarine drops.

Otherwise...mmm...I added another snap to my dress that had shrunk in the wash. The idea was to have at least two snaps placed horizontally, so the inner snap could take most of the stress, while the outer one functioned to cover the inner one. Still it's not a perfect solution, you're still working on an area where there isn't enough fabric (there isn't much extra in the side seams either, so that's out). Eventually it occurred to me to find the most minimizing bra in the closet and go with that. It looks to work, i.e., having a minimizing bra on hand isn't a bad idea.

I'll try to take photos of some of these things later on (I haven't photographed any of my newer jewelry).

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The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petals preliminary review
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, June 07, 2008 1:54 AM (Eastern)

My Foot Petals arrived in the mail today. It's best to buy them from the Foot Petals site itself since there are several coupons about (coughretailmenot.comcough). I didn't have time to truly trick out my hurtin' pumps, but I did attach the Heavenly Heelz, and started to play with the Haute Heelz and Tip Toez, erm, Toes (all in Buttercup, as I'm wary of the 'Petals potentially discoloring my stockings).

So far: the Heavenly Heelz have no doubt already paid for themselves. Mind you, these were pumps from hell when I first wore them. I have to walk two city blocks in the morning, the same at the end of my shift; and, in these shoes, this brief walk totaled my heels. Once the Heavenly Heelz were in place...it was like a different pair of shoes.

I'd bought the Haute Heelz on the idea I could cut them up and 'Petal some other shoes, but I tried them out as the bottom-of-heel pads they are, without sticking them...these feel really good. I mean they're only these thin pads, but somehow they genuinely cushion.

Still toying with the Tip Toes. These were the least dramatic of the three for me, because I've had more heel than ball-of-foot issues. The Tip Toes seem a bit trickier to position; with the two Heelz, there's only one way to put them in. I'd advise trying them without sticking for a while to see what works.

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June 7, 2008 3:12 AM, Blogger Dain said...

They sound good. I could use something like that.

 
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The Weekend Blogger: Back to work
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, June 02, 2008 2:04 AM (Eastern)

I fixed the dress which had shrunk enough to gap at the bust; the hook and eye didn't work (impossible to place horizontally without showing, didn't bother trying it vertically). What's better, are snaps. I got some beautiful snaps at Michaels...and nearly got sucked into the "wallet's black hole" of their beading section. Not top drawer beads, but many and varied; almost bought a strand of amazonite (an inexpensive light blue-green Chinese stone residing on my beading wish list). But impulsive bead-buying usually doesn't work nearly as well as planned; you can buy much better amazonite at bead shows, so I passed.

And they had things like German scissors which screamed "Buy me!" I have a pair of German haircutting shears I bought while still in Virginia, in the early 80's, that remained haircutting-sharp for at least twenty years. German scissor-buying impulse purchases can be better than planned ones, but I didn't really need scissors, so...

I can't make much in the way of jewelry until my room gets cleaned out (it's currently functioning as a sort of storage). So I took some tools out, and some stones and wire. Made a couple of bails for two pendants my grandmother had given me. One was Mexican sterling silver and turquoise. When I was a kid, this type of jewelry--sterling silver with a few stones such as the turquoise, coral, or abalone, was always made in Mexico. The other pendant frankly looks like fake turquoise to me, and indeed fake turquoise was pretty common before, but the design is nice.

Also starting fiddling around with earrings--oxidized chain with tourmalines. At first I went for the prosaic combo of blue sapphires and green tourmalines, but it occurred to me...color, is expensive.

By this I don't mean literally; it's not that certain colors cost more to produce. But they can cost more to sell. I was thinking of Dain's American Apparel shirt comment, about the wide range of colors for basic tee shirts, and contrasting with, say, Target's Mossimo shirts. The latter have good quality, but the color choice is so bad. The last time I bought Mossimo tee shirts, I didn't like any of the colors and ended up with white, black, and brown tee shirts.

But Target had probably picked colors that were so generic, they could sell them all, and not have to produce new colors next year (why bother, when this year's hues were so forgettable?). It does make sense in a mass-marketing way.

So...I thought, let's do something different. Let's not do the Mossimo thing, let's be more American Apparel. I ended up with some pink tourmalines...not the hot pink you usually see, but more of a pink with a little orange...and blue-green tourmalines. Not colors I'd normally pair, but somehow they look good together.

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The Weekend Blogger: This, that and the other
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:51 PM (Eastern)

I'm here at home, playing Simon and Garfunkel for my daughter. Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me... Subtly, their songs have entwined my memories more than, say, those of The Beatles (as much as I was crazy about John Lennon when I was a kid). Likely it's the American-ness of their music. Unlike many of my fellow citizens, who swim within the sheer breadth of our country, I've always had the ability to see the U.S. from the outside in. It's never been perfect, but the music is to die for.

I finally placed an order for Foot Petals. Didn't get the black ones; one of the Foot Petals reviews stated Foot Petals had turned the reviewer's pantyhose black. I don't know if it was the black Foot Petals what did it (she didn't say), but why take the chance? I got one set each of Tip Toes, Heavenly Heelz, and Haute Heelz. They look as if you could trim them to fit, so I'm endeavoring to find the most economical way to do it.

Still tinkering around with this piece:

chalcedony necklace

Most of my jewelry has, admittedly a bit surprisingly, worked, at work. This doesn't; the back chalcedony stones are too high to show enough, and the front might lie better with the wire component here:

turquoise and labradorite necklace

Planning to do the "tinkering around" part of the weekend today and the laundry part tomorrow (the weather should be sunny on Sunday).

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The Weekend Blogger: Back to work
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, May 27, 2008 12:34 AM (Eastern)

hauschka lip products
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick Novum, Novum LipGloss, and lipstick

Being an eternal cheapskate, I went shopping today to replace...a lipstick, Dr. Hauschka #09 Dolce...at Elephant Pharmacy in Berkeley. It's not an inexpensive lipstick, but my old one is now the sheerest sliver, too slight to even apply much of much. (I don't do lip brushes, otherwise I'd dig.) So the price of the lipstick--same as Chanel--didn't faze me.

The most expensive lipstick is typically the one which you don't use up. Not that it's always possible to use up a lipstick. A specialty lipstick, perfect for the occasion, may pay for itself in impact rather than in actual wear. But an everyday lipstick has no such excuse.

While I was there, I swatched TerraNova of Berkeley Pikake lotion. Hm. As much as I like their Pikake cologne, the lotion is only eh to me; my ten-years-old-plus Giò lotion smells quite a bit better.

When did Elephant Pharmacy's customer service deteriorate? I remember when they first opened. And for quite a while, it was cool...the cosmetics section still is cool, but somehow the rest of it makes me feel like ordering online, in the same fashion as our local MAC counter.

Next I replaced my L'Oreal Feria deep conditioner, at Sallys Beauty Supply. And I got some flip flops for my daughter at a shoe store; these were decorated in front with small monkey faces.

Now I'm home, pondering--should I iron, mend, or finish the necklace my daughter designed for me? I don't have enough items to iron this week, only three casual tops and a spare dress. I've tried to engineer my part-new, part-old work wardrobe around not having to iron each week...indeed, I'm still tweaking it to include items which can be dryer-dried rather than line-dried. (Not a problem in spring or summer, but we do get a rainy season.) Drycleaning is out of the question. I asked at a local "green" drycleaners and they quoted me ten dollars for one dress.

The mending is more valuable--one of my dresses shrank when I washed it. I hate shopping online? The measurements should have fit, but ended up just fitting, and washing shrank the dress just enough to make the bust gap. So I hatched a plan to sew a hook and eye to it, rather than opt for the more time-consuming "tiny safety pin solution."

But I'm tired, so I'll probably finish the necklace; it's short only two stones (it's a simple row of small tourmalines).

I never did find Foot Petals Heavenly Heelz locally, so those are slated to be bought online. I may throw in some Tip Toes, but the Killer Kushionz seem, ah, like overkill. It would be a matter of one or the other at any rate. I can admit it's fun tinkering around with shoes, but I am also experimenting, on less expensive shoes, to find potential solutions for more expensive future models.

Until next weekend then.

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May 27, 2008 4:06 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I like what you say about "he most expensive lipstick is typically the one which you don't use up".That's very true. Even if a lippie is $6, if you don't touch it, it's wasted money, and even if you spend $22, it's worth it if you get use out of it, even if you use it for special occasions.

In my experience, most "dry-clean only" can be washed by hand. In fact, that's really what wears down clothing, machine-washing, and the tag's there to discourage machine-washing more than anything else. I've found a good compromise is to use a cold cycle and air-dry as much as I can.

 
May 27, 2008 4:28 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Yeah...one of the less-talked-about budgeting tactics, "cost per wear." I read about it when I was a kid, in a book called Cheap Chic. (There was a Cheap Chic II at one point, I think, which I haven't read, but the original has been out of print for a long time.)

There they actually calculated the cost per wear of two dresses; one was $20, the other $80, but the $80 one got worn a whole lot more, and ended up "cheaper." (In those days, an extravagant price for a dress.)

There is a kind of rayon fabric which shrinks, when washed in water rather than drycleaned. It's happened to me a few times...it's matte in texture. For whatever nutty reason, smooth rayon doesn't seem to shrink nearly as much.

Hence, the precaution could be to buy clothes made from this rayon, in one size up, on the notion it's gonna shrink one size anyway. :D

I do mine in the washing machine, it's too many to hand wash. At the end of the week I have a full size load...cold water, Woolite, delicate cycle.

 
May 27, 2008 11:21 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

I'm still dithering about the Foot Petals. You can't find the dimensions for them...they sell something called Haute Heelz, which look more practical than Heavenly Heelz, for some of my shoes--if the Haute Heelz are as big as they look. You could cut them in half and stick them into the backs of the shoes.

Thinking of trying several kinds out...the price per pair is all the same.

I remember now, it was Insolia that people said worked better for high heels, not Foot Petals. Insolia is a gel insole supposedly engineered to transfer more weight from the ball of the foot to the heel--where Foot Petals are basically just pads, from what I can tell.

 
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The Weekend Blogger: Foot Petal ruminations
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, May 25, 2008 12:08 AM (Eastern)

heavenly heelz

Do these things work? I still don't know, it being impossible to find a single package of Heavenly Heelz around here. I've given up buying them locally; I'm doomed to order online.

I have seen Tip Toes--the flower-shaped ball-of-foot pads--aplenty...and now, I'm beginning to recall the initial buzz about Foot Petals was for the Tip Toes. The claim was that these would make high-heeled shoes comfortable. Most Net reviews for these concede that was a bit of an exaggeration; the consensus appears they make high-heeled shoes wearable longer, say two to three hours.

Great, but my issue is with the backs of my heels. I did make it out to Berkeley today to try the toe-of-shoe pads...the lady was nice enough to give them to me to try out. They do help, but the heels are still an issue.

Oh, for the days of frantic Internet product reviews! Have you noticed there are fewer and fewer detailed reviews of things online? There's no money in it, granted, but now we're almost back at square one. I did find a review stating Heavenly Heelz made someone's pantyhose turn black. I'm assuming, or hoping, these were the Black Iris Heavenly Heelz only, so I'm planning to try the Buttercup shade myself.

And what about the Killer Kushionz? Someone said she tried the Killer Kushionz (I'm not making these names up, see for yourself) and didn't even need the Heavenly Heelz, which speaks well for the Killer Kushionz I suppose, but only adds to the confusion. None of these products is outright cheap, if you think about it. Killer Kushionz run $12.95 a pair, which certainly puts a bit of a dent in the price of your shoes.

Oh well, I will have worked out something before the (blessedly long) weekend is through. I will have sat down and ordered at least a pair of Buttercup Heavenly Heelz, even having to buy them online, which still seems wasteful, a delivery van trekking all the way out to my home, bearing a pair of U.S.-made pads to stick inside my shoes. Yet--what if they work? What if the shoes, which had felt fine in the shop, transform into the same wearing perfection as the other pair I'd bought? The same effortlessness as my old Cole Haans?

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Just Notes: The Weekend Blogger
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, May 24, 2008 1:09 PM (Eastern)

shoesContemplating trying my hand at a regular feature, titled--surprise!--"The Weekend Blogger." But let's see if I can produce something intelligible on a weekly basis, in the first place.

Shoes. I finally got some shoes, having no choice in the matter: my beloved Cole Haan woven shoes, which I've worn for...ten years? more, no doubt...finally commenced to spring a leak. The uppers are entirely woven, so it would be possible to mend them with E-6000 (or GS Hypo Cement, haven't worked out which would be better), and I haven't actually thrown them away. It would require time and patience to do the repair, and the shoes would need to dry the full 24 hours...I didn't have another pair of shoes on hand, so elected to shelve the project for now and just get some new shoes.

It's impossible to replace the Cole Haans. New Cole Haans, which don't seem nearly as nice as old Cole Haans, are in the nefarious $300 range, at which decent shoes begin these days. I realize our economy is a comedy, and our dollar is in the toilet, but if I wanted to pay $300 for shoes, I would buy U.S. made Cydwoqs--which I am still planning to do, as my next shoe purchase, along with Joy perfume and a Nars eyeshadow (single or duo); something quite neutral.

I ended up with the working-girl's kit--you get some reasonably priced leather shoes, and you stretch them with one of those wooden shoe forms. You don't need a specific stretching device; you can use a plain old wooden form (doesn't have to be your size either). You just have to be careful not to damage the shoes or over-stretch them.

Along with this, Foot Petals...I don't need them for one of the pairs I bought, but the other pair definitely need padding in the heel. I turned down numerous Dr. Scholls made-in-China heel pads because I wanted to try Foot Petals, but they're absurdly hard to find, particularly the heel pads. I found some of the ball-of-foot pads at Shoe Pavilion...on a side note, our local Shoe Pavilion has became a small Indian market, with inexpensive Indian tops and dresses...interesting...hmmm...I'm determined to try authentic Foot Petals, but I'm hoping to find them locally.

So I've been wearing these pre-stretched shoes, and looking for Foot Petals so I can wear the other pair. I'll have to admit they don't have the same pizazz as my old Cole Haans, but they'll do for now, and I've made at least the first pair ridiculously comfortable (they have a small wedge heel).

Skincare. Thinking of ditching Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream once it's used up. Its chief attraction was its exfoliating property, but the Salux Beauty Skin Cloth I've been employing is far superior at that. The Cleansing Cream is yet great as a moisturizing cleanser for oily skin, but then their Cleansing Milk is fine for that, and more economical. What sucks is the Cleansing Milk is bottled in glass, rendering it useless for the shower. I suppose I'll think of something when the time comes.

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May 24, 2008 1:31 PM, Blogger Dain said...

That's a very sensible plan. I take a very long time to make any expensive purchases myself, and you can get a cheap pair for the mean time. I've had good luck with Banana Republic. They're nicely styled and sturdily made for the price. I have a pair of espadrilles that I got for $68 that are still going very strong, and I've worn them everywhere.

Err... or if I misunderstood you, perhaps you got some shoes already.

I've been curious about Foot Petals too. If you get them, please let us know how they work out. I have a couple pairs of shoes that might need them.

Yeah, I definitely agree, you probably don't need both exfoliators. The appeal of the Dr. Hauschka is that it exfoliates without abrading, but if you don't mind rubbing away at your skin, then it doesn't really matter, right? I think it's a good plan. And you could also always move the cleansing milk into a plastic bottle. I wonder how you'd feel about the Eve Lom balm cleanser phenomenon (obviously, there are cheaper options): just one product to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize?

 
May 24, 2008 4:11 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Hehe, this gets more interesting...I did some calling around about Foot Petals. One place in Berkeley told me they don't recommend back-of-the-heel pads...what they do, is give you a pad to put in the toe of your shoe. The idea is if the heel is loose, it's because the shoe is big, and the toe-pad should push your foot back far enough to make the heel fit.

So, I'm going to check that out today. Yup, I got some shoes. They are the ones in the pic, I just photoshopped some commercial shoe images together.

I've seen the ball-of-foot 'Petals around a lot, wondering how good they are for high heels. The shoes I got don't need padding there...they had some nice-looking flats, but I turned them down for that reason. Now I'm wondering how good the 'Petals technology is...some people swear by them, as a means of turning a cheap shoe into an expensive one. lol

That Salux cloth is interesting, from an engineering point of view. You don't feel as if you're scrubbing...and you're not scrubbing...yet, it lifts off what feels like years' worth of dead skin. It's eerie. I'm not sure I need a cleanser at all...thinking of trying the cloth with a mild body wash, like the Jason one.

 
May 25, 2008 5:45 PM, Blogger Joy Rothke said...

I'm staying loyal to Dr. H! I think the cleansing cream does more than exfoliate, and is exceptionally good at gently drawing gunk out of one's pores. I'm also having good luck with rhassoul clay soap, which I'll be writing about. [Colleen: I can send you a sample.]

Some of the ingredients in Eve Lom cleanser:

paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), cetearyl alcohol, peg-30 lanolin, bis-diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, aluminum stearate, theobroma cacao (cocoa butter), peg-75 lanolin, chamomilla recutita (chamomile oil), eugenia caryophyllus (clove oil), eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus oil), humulus lupulus (hops oil), phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, p-chloro-m-cresol, eugenol, isoeugenol

are almost as appalling as its price [GBP 48 for 100 ml]. I wouldn't touch this stuff with a 10-foot pole.

 
May 26, 2008 3:42 AM, Blogger Dain said...

I don't mean Eve Lom exactly, I just thought Colleen may like the idea because it's got a similar feel to the cleansing milk and may work well in conjunction with her Salux cloth. I was really thinking of the LUSH Ultrabland, which I think is a great product, except for the dreaded peanut oil that clogs my pores.

 
May 26, 2008 3:57 PM, Blogger Colleen Shirazi said...

Dain: Right now I'm using soap with the Salux cloth. I got some Canus goat milk soap on sale, so I've been using that. (It smells really good btw, it's the marigold extract one.)

After I do that, I use the Cleansing Cream...mostly because I feel I should use it up, and also because it is handily moisturizing. That's why I was thinking the Cleansing Milk would do just as well, but I haven't thought of using it with the cloth, which actually makes more sense.

Joy: Thanks for the offer. Not sure what I'm going to do yet... I'll look forward to your writing about rhassoul clay soap (which admittedly I've never heard of). It sounds Arabic?

I've found the Hauschka Cleansing Milk good...I use it at night, and it seems to last well. I might just port some to a plastic bottle and see how that flies.

Their lipstick is good too, it is up there with Chanel.

 
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