Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Lifecyle Of A Favorite Sweater (part 1)

DIY Wool Insoles For Toasty Toes
Let's talk about clothes... and high school... and letting go of stuff... just for a bit.

Back in high-school, the only mainstream retail line of clothing that I remotely cared about, the only one that I sought out, the one I'd save up my allowance for... was Esprit. There was something so appealing in their fun fresh euro-chic look back then. I only had a few pieces, but I'd chosen them with care and I wore the heck out of them. Highlights of my collection included: a black lambswool sweater vest, a cute pair of white penny-loafer-type flats, a black and white polka dot pleated skirt... and a charcoal grey ribbed wool crew-neck sweater.

Esprit De Clutter
I kept that charcoal grey sweater long after it stopped fitting me and even after the moths had invited their friends over for lunch. I don't know why, but I just couldn't let it go. To look at it was to remember. It's dark neutrality transitioned easily between all my styles and it's simple shape transcended all trends... a true classic. Did I mention how soft and comforting it was? Just like a hug. If you had come back in time and told me that when I grew up I would intentionally shrink and cut up that sweater and then stuff it in my shoes, well, I would have totally called you a dweeb. I'm so sure.

What you see up there in the upper-left side of the photo are indeed the former sleeves of that very same sweater from my past. I figured that if it was going to take up space in my home, and could no longer be worn... maybe it could be put to use in some other way. The first thing I did (to stop the moth picnic), was to felt it. That's a verb. It means "to make felt". It's really hard to do: you run a 100% wool knit garment through the washing machine with soap and hot water and follow that with a tumble in a hot dryer. Ta-da! Wool felt. Thick and soft, and if you cut into it, it won't ravel. Gorgeous stuff.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kissing The Cook

Lavender Honey Lip Balm
Hey good lookin', what'cha got cookin'? Making your own natural lip balms at home kind of blurs the line between cooking and crafting. Think about it: They're made with good-for-you edible ingredients like honey and olive oil, and they're cooked up right there in your own kitchen... only you don't eat them. Well actually, I've seen plenty of stats over the years about how much lipstick and lip gloss the average woman ingests over her lifetime (eek!). All the more reason to know what it's made from, eh?

The post that inspired all this kitchen-lab cosmetic cookery features three different lip balm recipes, each one yummier than the next. Normally I'd have had a really hard time choosing, but I only had all the ingredients on hand for one of them: Luscious Lavender Lip Balm. It didn't hurt any that I'm a sucker for anything with lavender (or alliteration) in it, so Luscious Lavender Lip Balm it was... did I mention that it has cocoa powder and honey in it too? Lavender-Cocoa-Honey-liciousness... it really is good enough to eat (but it probably works better as a lip balm).