Friday, May 26, 2017

Black and Blue

Several attempts to change my black hair to purple left me with an ugly multicolored disaster. I had a mostly black ponytail; pinkish brown, dark blue, and black splotches all over my head; a greenish streak on one side; and around my face, two small spots of purple along with my natural brown regrowth.

After 10 months, 20+ hours in the salon, and hundreds of dollars, I was DONE with this ordeal. No more catastrophic kaleidoscope on my head. I was going back to black.

Still... after so much time and money... it was hard to abandon the dream. I decided to color most of my hair black but try for purple bangs/fringe.

I bleached my bangs and a small portion of hair around my face. I was briefly tempted to leave it yellow and orange because that would have completed the entire color wheel on my head. :P

But I forged ahead with my attempt at purple. I used Splat Purple Desire mainly because it was readily available. Knowing my hair grabs pigment, I diluted the dye with about 1/3 conditioner and left it on my hair for only 30 minutes.

Instead of purple, I got a combination of pink and blue. Not entirely surprising because mixing dye with conditioner can sometimes give a patchy result.

Though the dye encounter had been diluted and brief, the color stayed on pretty well. Especially on my skin! My scalp remained blue through about five washes with tea tree shampoo. After another five or six washes, my hair had faded noticeably.

For my second attempt, I chose Manic Panic Ultra Violet. In the jar, it's essentially the same shade of purple as the Pravana violet which had twice turned my hair nearly black. But I know that Manic Panic has less pigment... so I took the risk and applied it full strength. I left it on for one hour.

Instead of purple, I got blue. Or maybe you could call it blueple. But it's a pretty color, and it's nice and even, not splotchy.

The rest of my hair is back to black. Despite the bleaching and redyeing abuse it's endured over the last few months, it's in pretty good shape except for the ends. A decent haircut should fix that.

I would have liked purple hair. But the black is easy to maintain, and maybe I will eventually find something that makes my bangs purple. For now, I'm okay with black and blue.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Front Door Color

Trying to decide what color to paint the front door, which is currently white.

Of course, my first inclination is some shade of purple. Or perhaps a warmer berry color in contrast with the cool bluish grey of the house. Or an aqua or peacock blue.

Or maybe Front Door Jack.

Or Beetlejuice stripes. ;)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Why Did I Even Try?

For those tuning in to catch the final episode of my melodramatic hair tale...

The stylist bleached the top 3 inches or so (the regrowth that had never been bleached). Knowing from past attempts that violet semi-permanent haircolor would turn out nearly black, she applied a lighter purple.

The result isn't very obvious from the back.

But part my hair and look at those top few inches, and it's obvious that the lighter purple did not cover the reddish tones left from bleaching.

The virgin hair, which had easily gone to pale yellow when bleached, did indeed turn a medium bluish purple. But that was only the top quarter inch. Everything else turned... I don't even know what color to call it. It's rosy, pinkish, and/or brownish depending on the light.

It's definitely not bluish purple.

I wish I had never even tried to change my hair color. I have wasted time and money... and had to cut off several inches... and I'm left with ugly, freakishly multicolored hair. I want my long black hair back.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Stairwell Redo Version 2

A few years ago, I redid my basement stairwell. I removed the carpet from the stairs and painted everything in a lilac and black color scheme.

On the risers, I used black and white adhesive shelf paper.

I liked the result... until I didn't really like it anymore. After a while, I just wasn't feeling the lilac. So I repainted the stairwell in the same grey, black and white color scheme as most of my house.

I used a black and white scroll print paper on the risers.

To complete the set of comparison pictures, the photobombing by Miniature Pinscher version 1 was reenacted by Miniature Pinscher version 2. ;)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Melodramatic Tale of My Hair

The melodrama began back in July. Stylist #1 bleached my hair, applied bright purple haircolor... and my hair turned black.

Four months later, Stylist #1 whipped up some unholy concoction of bleach which melted my hair. I had to have several inches cut off.

I went to another stylist. This episode was essentially a rerun. Stylist #2 bleached my hair, applied bright purple haircolor... and my hair turned nearly black.

How does haircolor (Pravana ChromaSilk Vivids Violet) this color:
make my hair nearly black? It's a plot hole that the writers of this melodrama have never fully explained.

Then there was the montage episode in which Stylist #2 tried a few different things. She had some success in getting some of my hair to be a color other than black... burgundy, more or less. Lighter than black, so that was progress, I suppose, but it had far too much red.

In the most recent episode, Stylist #2 obtained a tube of Matrix's newest "violet violet" (instead of red violet) permanent color; a color with no red tones. Applied to my regrowth, this lightened my hair and turned it what could probably be called purple... but it was a very reddish purple. She did a brief application of semi-permanent blue to counteract the red tones... and my hair turned essentially black.

A few shampoos later, it's now black and blue-black.

These episodes have taught us two things:
1. My hair soaks up pigment like a hyperpowerful sponge on steroids. I already knew this.
2. My natural color hair has a lot of red tones when it's lightened with permanent color. I did not know this.

The final episode of this drama will happen next week. Stylist #2 will bleach out my hair and apply lighter purple.

I am hoping for a happy ending: bluish purple hair.

But honestly, I doubt that will happen. I expect to spend (another) four hours in the salon and walk out with nearly black and/or extremely damaged hair.

Either way, it will be the last episode. This show has gone on too long.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Office Outfit: Matchy Bats

I purchased this Banned sweater online. When it arrived, I was pleased to discover the bats are the same shade of purple as a bat-print skirt I made. Black sweater with purple bats and purple skirt with black bats... so matchy-matchy! ;)

The skirt fabric was purchased a few years ago from

The shoes were plain black, purchased at DSW. I decorated them with purple paint and glittery bats.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: May 2017

During May, I will work on a craft project for the monthly theme. Around May 29, I will post my completed project. You can share a link to your project on that post or at any time during the month on this post. On May 31, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

To participate:
1.  If you're a blogger, add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your post. Link the icon to this page:

2.  On either this theme announcement post or my completed project post, leave a comment with a link to your project. You can link to your blog, webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it.

Your project can be big or small. It can be in any style, goth or otherwise. The fun is in the crafting! :)

The theme for May is Repurpose. Turn one thing into another thing...

  • turn a dress into a skirt
  • turn a broken necklace into earrings
  • turn a book into wall art
  • turn a cookie sheet into a magnetic memo board

or use something for a different purpose.

  • use a candle holder as a vase
  • use ice cube trays to organize jewelry
  • use a soup can to hold paintbrushes

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Outdoors

The theme for this month's Craft Along with GIY is Outdoors. For my project, I made a bird bath.

For the base, I used a large candlestick from the thrift store.
For the bowl, I used a ceramic bowl from the thrift store. I forgot to take a "before" picture (bad blogger!).

I glued the bowl to the candlestick to create the bird bath, then spray painted it purple.

The bath was top heavy and needed a heavier base to stabilize it. I glued it to a large ceramic tile.

I placed the bird bath in my back yard. Burying the tile base in the river rock covered the tile and made the bath very stable.

I added some black, purple, and white decorative rocks to the bowl, then added water.

The weather is currently throwing a snow tantrum , so the bird bath isn't likely to get any use today... unless some penguins wander by. ;)

To share your Craft Along with GIY project:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your blog post. Link the icon to this page:
2.  Leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

Late tomorrow, April 30, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Landscaping is Done

My yard has been a nightmare for me. It was a "fixer upper" as much as the house... with one major difference: I couldn't fix up the yard myself. Even if I could withstand long hours in the sun, I didn't have the physical strength or the equipment required to do the work. I would have to hire someone.

To my surprise, hiring someone turned out to be extremely difficult. When I wanted smaller jobs done, landscapers considered it not worth their time. I'd tell them my budget, and they'd practically laugh in my face. Later, when I'd saved up enough money to have major work done, landscapers didn't take me seriously; either they didn't believe I had the money, or they didn't believe I would be willing to spend it on a small, older house.

Everything I tried backfired. I found one landscaper willing to take the job; he used the cheapest materials and did a horribly sloppy job. I had a tree planted; it was too close to the house and caused the basement wall to crack. I hired someone to mow; he decapitated half the sprinklers.

The situation caused me immense distress. I'd look at the yard and want to scream or cry (or both). It was a huge problem I could not solve, and it kept me up at night.

FINALLY, after three years of searching, I found a landscaper who seemed trustworthy and who took me seriously. He agreed to take the job, a complete overhaul of the entire yard - front, back and sides.

It was a tremendous amount of work. He and his helper worked 10+ hours a day for 16 days. The end result? An outstanding job! I'm pretty picky, and the result exceeded even my expectations. Finally, I can look at my yard and smile instead of crying or screaming!

(No, it's not a lush lawn surrounded by a riot of flowering shrubs. But I live in arid Colorado. Green things, especially lawns, require enormous amounts of watering.)

Here are some before and after comparisons. (I didn't paint the house. The color looks darker because the after pictures were taken on a rainy day.)

And here are some before and after pictures of the back yard. The amount of lawn was reduced to about one third, which will save hundreds of gallons of water every year. Much of the yard is pea gravel, which is easy for my small dogs to walk around on.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Meal Delivery Service

If I ever win the lottery (which is quite unlikely as I don't play the lottery) or somehow come to possess huge amounts of money, I will hire a personal chef to cook healthy meals for me every day.

Until then, I have decided to try a meal delivery service. I chose Freshly, which provides refrigerated meals that only need to be heated in the microwave. It's working very well for me.

How Freshly works:
  • Meals are healthy – no artificial stuff, no gluten, no added sugar.
  • Depending on quantity ordered, meals are about $10 each.
  • You choose your meals from a menu of about 25 choices.
  • Meals are delivered once a week. 
  • Meals are not frozen, so they taste fresh.
  • Meals are fully cooked; you just heat them in the microwave.
Why Freshly is great for me:
  • I can specifically choose my meals. This is critical for me because I am a picky eater.
  • No meal prep is required. This is critical for me because I hate to cook.
  • Each meal is a hearty portion of food within a reasonable calorie count.
  • I get more variety in my diet. I order six meals per week, which provides dinner almost every night with a nice variety of meals. I would never get that variety (fish, chicken, pasta, rice, different veggies…) cooking for myself because (1) I can barely boil water, much less make chicken parmesan and (2) buying all the ingredients would cost too much. It's expensive to buy small portions at the grocery store (and a hassle; I can't buy just one fish fillet without having the seafood department package it up special for me) and even if I buy small portions, foods go bad before I can eat them unless I eat the same thing five days in a row.
  • Most of the meals are very tasty. I’ve tried about a dozen, and only disliked a couple of them… which is pretty remarkable considering how picky I am.

When I thought about trying a meal delivery service, one concern I had was packaging. I didn’t want to be dumping a box of Styrofoam peanuts into the trash every week. Freshly’s packaging is environmentally friendly. What’s really nifty is they use insulation made of recycled denim. I take the plastic wrapper off the insulation and recycle it along with any other plastic bags. I could then throw the insulation away relatively guilt-free; it’s just shredded denim and  biodegradable. But I’ve been saving the insulation because it can easily be reused.

Opening the box reveals the top layer of insulation.

Under the top layer of insulation is an ice pack.

Under the ice pack is the food. And under the food is another ice pack.

There are two pieces of insulation, one that folds around top to bottom, and one that folds around side to side.

I cut the wrappers open and just slide the denim insulation out. The wrappers go with other plastic bags to be recycled.

The food is packed in a tray inside a cardboard sleeve which shows the ingredients, calories, etc. on the back. I just slide off the cardboard and microwave the food in the tray.

The portions are plentiful.

This is not a sponsored post. I am simply sharing information about my experience with Freshly.