Thursday, October 29, 2009

Unexpected treats...

Two nights ago it started snowing... and it hasn't stopped. Two days worth of snow and slush and cold closed work at 7pm and school for two days.

Here is a picture of the pumpkin that I carved yesterday evening and the one I cleaned out for Sean. (He hasn't carved his yet.) I also made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.

The finishing touch on the cupcakes will be some red-cornsyrup for blood drizzled on top. (Because I'm a vampire for Halloween.)

So, needless to say, even though I didn't have school, I stayed nice and busy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A somber and silent blanket of thick snow has fallen over the world tonight.

Its fitting, actually, since Sean and I were informed today that our neighbor has passed away.

Good luck and best wishes, John. Hopefully you're in a better place and have found the happiness in the next world that you couldn't find in this one.

Rest in Peace

Sunday, October 25, 2009

...I'll cut you!

Welcome! These are a few pictures from my first week of being able to cut real-live people's hair!

This is Su. She was my first haircut of the evening of October 14th. I gave her a blunt cut (0 degrees elevation)with deep v point-cutting at a 45 degree angle in the back to create movement. She liked it so much that she wants to get it shorter.

Above is Kirstin's before photo. Below is after.

Kirstin had an all over 90 degree haircut. Its usually referred to as a "layered" cut. She has a lot of hair, but it was lots of fun to cut!

Sean's been a real big sport about this whole school business... he even volunteered to come in a second time for a shorter haircut to help me. I think it came out really well... and its the first time I've cut his hair and it was even! Hurray for clippers!

Here are a few pictures of a short hair-cut on one of my manikin heads.

Thanks everyone who's come out to be a model for all the various services! Please come in again soon!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Excuses... excuses...

Just thought of this as I was biking home from work today...

Here's the thing: I'm late a lot... you could say that its one of my big faults. It is what it is...

Generally, its because I don't get up early or I dally around the house until I've fettered all of my free time away... and I realized that most of the time, its not that I don't have the time... or that I don't manage my time well. Though that can sometimes be true.

Its an excuse. I can't be on time because I wake up late... why? Cause I don't want to get up. So yep!

Excuses are just reasons we give ourselves not to try in the first place.

So, why not just try?

This is my new mantra... starting today. We'll see how long it lasts til the new one, but for now, I'm optimistic.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scissorhands! No, not the movie...

Scissors! Scissors! Scissors!

So, on Tuesday this week, we had a special guest come and visit our class in a sort of celebration of our finishing cutting class. It was great!

Heres the deal: There are two kinds of scissors; Beveled and Convex.
I drew them in photoshop for ya...

Guess which one is sharper... Yep! The one on the right.

There are also two kinds of metal that these scissors are made out of:
Forged and Tempered.

Forged is worked and compressed into its final form, much like a good sword..
Tempered is melted, put in a mold to cool and rough shod into form.

Another interesting thing that I learned was in addition to rinsing your shears after every client, shears need to be lubricated with shear oil(he said that it has a small amount of wax in it) and then re-tensioned.

The key to good tension, it turns out, is finding the optimal balance between too loose and too tight. Too loose will round the blades out, while too tight will wear them against each other and both will limit their life span.

The way to test tension is to hold the finger tang and open the shears so that they make a cross. Let go.

If they don't move, or only close about half way, they're too tight. If they just flop closed they're too loose. The goal is to close about 2/3rds of the way.

The gentlemen who did the presentation also showed us some stretches and taught us about how a lot of scissor sharpening people will ruin good shears trying to give them a bevel edge, instead of sharpening them correctly.

Of course, I want to buy one of their shears, are you kidding?!?!? Trouble is, I don't have the money... yet.

I know exactly which model I want, actually... I want to get the 6.5 inch swivel scissors. You can see all of their products on their website and specifically the swivel shears that I like HERE. (Its the Samadhi "cyclone"... did you know you can personalize them with different color attachments? I'm going to get purple.*grins*)

Happy Perusing... and remember! Don't drop your shears!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Snack time!

Recently I've been playing with different eating patterns and have noticed that if I eat more during the day, especially before or during work that I feel better, have more energy, don't want to kill my co-workers, etc, etc...

Well, snacking requires food, which means that I have to buy more... which requires money... or creativity. Yep! So, creativity won, since I'm not making more and still have all my bills.

The first thing that I made was apple chips. This meant cracking out my dehydrator from storage and firing it up. It was incredible! The whole house smelled like apples. Almost as if I had baked a cake or pie or something. The next thing I made was my variation of Zucchini Bread. Here's the recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray two loaf pans lightly with oil and flour.
Combine ingredients in order:
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1/2 cup White flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed milled
1/2 cup uncooked wheat bran
2 tsp ground cinnamon to taste
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup splenda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/2 cup finely shredded apple (one small, in substitution of oil)
2 cups shredded zucchini

Mix well, divide into loaf pans and bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Makes approx 32 servings. (Weight watchers: 1 point!)


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

..27 and a new gift of sorts

Every year on my birthday, I take a moment in my day to review and plan for the future.

This year, as you might imagine, was no different. With one small exception. I was driving home from picking up a free gift with purchase of my favorite face cleanser and a new eyeshadow for my make up kit - when it hit me.

I don't care for the mall anymore.

It was a big realization for me, since most of my job history took place in, around or in a similar retail environment to a mall. Don't get me wrong, I still love going to visit once in a while, but the charm and magic is gone.

This led my year in review to a different avenue than I'm used to...

Some of the things that I've always treasured and built up in my mind as absolute truth are slipping or gone altogether.

Buying things -anything, everything...

if I could afford it, was a major source of entertainment and joy of a sort. Now its more of a chore, cause what happens if you buy the end-all 'item X' and then the next week you see a better made version for less expensive... but you're stuck with the first thing? And you didn't really need it in the first place???

What others think...

Okay, I'm not saying that peoples' opinions of me as a person don't matter. Its more a matter of not worrying about what a person is going to think about me because I wear my clothes a certain way or because I like tinted lip gloss and red-purple low-lights in my hair. I don't care what they think about my look. If they like it, I can help them achieve a similar look or not. But I don't beat myself up because they don't like it. I just don't have time to care. :)

Creating art -Everything can be art, really!

Conversation, for example, is an art and not a science. One of my secret goals in most conversations with people (and I pride myself on being able to talk to ANYONE) is to make them smile or even laugh. Too much time in life is spent in mulling over how life sucks. Maybe life doesn't suck... maybe you just suck at life? Take a minute to laugh about your problems every day and you'll start seeing them in a different light!

Know what else is art? Balancing finances, organizing your house, writing in your blog (or updating your facebook or myspace status), doing your make-up, wrapping presents, taking pictures, and many many more things! ...not to mention making tasty eats on a tight budget! That takes some serious creative energy!

Life is short - But its also longer than most of us realize.

Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix and tons more all died at 27. Granted, many of them died from drugs, alcohol or suicide... but its still there. Know what else is intesting? How many people create late in life!

Ronald Reagan became the governor of California at 61, then went on to be President. All after an pretty decent acting career! Benjamin Franklin helped draft and signed the Declaration of Independence at age 70. At 81, Franklin signed the Constitution of the United States of America. But its not just politicians... Frank McCourt who wrote the bestseller "Angela's Ashes" didn't begin to write until he was in his sixties.

"Chaucer wrote his CANTERBURY TALES between the age of 54 and 61. Ogilby, the translator of Homer and Virgil, knew little of Latin or Greek till he was past 50. Socrates learned to play on musical instruments at age 80. Columbus was well over 50 when he discovered America. Grandma Moses achieved her fame and success after age 90."

Another thing that I've realized is that one thing I've always believed is not only still true, its gotten stronger...

Passion is the heart and soul of success. Without it, you might as well give up. Passion is the key to creation and creativity. It is the essential ingredient in all cooking and every business venture.

Passion and the stomach to follow through with your dreams are the greatest tools that you could ask for in climbing your own Mt. Everest.

Ps. A really great book that Sean's been reading lately has helped me in these deep thoughts. Here's a LINK TO HIS SITE...