Monday, October 24, 2016

What's in My Project Bag - October

project bag by Raven Rose Retro
Welcome back to another new blog post series.  I hope to make this a monthly feature where I can share my current WIP's (works in progress) or my newly finished knitting and crocheting projects.  I'll also be using it as an excuse to show off some of the project bags that we are making for our etsy shop, Lacey Rose Creations. 

This month I'm using this Japanese Knot bag that I'm completely in love with.  I had been wanting to make this style bag for many months and have finally dove in.  The original pattern had some really weird pockets that I just wasn't a fan of.  With some tweaking, though, I'm really happy with the final result.  It now has a pocket on both the inside and out and is completely reversible.  The fabric with balls of yarn and knitting needles on the black background make for a perfect knitting project bag..... Even if I'm currently using it for crochet.

crochet snood by Raven Rose Retro
   Finally, finally, finally!!! The struggle has been real for the last year to come up with the perfect snood pattern.  One that fits just the way I want it to and is fun to make and easy to follow.  After trying a bunch of other patterns I've found online and not being completely happy with either the look or the process itself, I've finally come up with my own pattern that I'm in love with and I'm making them nonstop.  Now that I've got the pattern down, I've been enjoying playing with yarn selection.

 This particular yarn is from the company Katia Yarns.  I discovered this yarn company at a great yarn shop somewhere in Canada.  Unfortunately, it looks like this particular yarn "Kiss", has been discontinued.  Sad, because I'm really enjoying the texture, feel, and the subtle metallic sheen to the yarn.  The shine may be horrible to try to capture in photos but it really dresses up the look of the snood.  Giving it a more formal or dressy feel to it.  Looking at their website, linked above, I found a great selection of other "Fantasy" or fancy yarns that I'm really looking forward to trying for snoods.

Metallic Sheen snood by Raven Rose Retro
I had meant for this to be a WIP post and up a week ago.  Unfortunately, there was no post last week though because I had a trip back to Alaska planned for 2 doctor appointments.  That trip should have taken 3 days.  My first plane was cancelled though and I missed my first appointment.  This meant that I was kept in Alaska for an extra week, till I could get another appointment.  In the end, I missed posting last week and now have a finished project.

Snood by Raven Rose Retro
I'll be trying to make up a few of these snoods for our etsy shop soon.  If you are interested, and don't want to wait, you can always contact me through here or our shop.  I'd be happy to make them on commission.  That way, we can discuss colors, size (long hair or shorter), and any special requests.  I'm currently working on a gold shimmery one for a very special lady......

Thanks for stopping by and spending your time here with me.  What kind of yarns do you think would make great snoods?  Glittery or sequins?  A lot of specialty yarns will be hitting the shops come the holiday season, what should I keep my eyes open for?

Monday, October 10, 2016

How I - DIY Moisturizing Lip Scrub

Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer

Welcome to a new monthly series I've named "How I".  This will be the space where I share how I do things, DIY projects, and tutorials.  For my first tutorial I'd like to share how I keep my lips looking and feeling nice while still torturing my lips with incredibly drying matte and long-lasting lipsticks on a daily basis.

I have an absolute, all consuming love of red lipsticks, as I suspect most pinup, vintage, and retro ladies do.  Some of the best and my most favorite lipsticks can be extremely drying though.  Especially heading into fall with it's cooler, dryer air.  In order to keep my lips looking good and feeling great, I have found that exfoliating to get the dead dry skin off and moisturizing to keep lips healthy and smooth is essential in keeping my pinup pout on point.

In the past, I have just bought lip exfoliaters from the drugstore (ELF has a great $3 one), or I have used my toothbrush to get the job done.  Afterwards I would coat my lips in a good lip balm while I do my makeup, then wipe it off when it's lipstick time.  This process got the job done, but I just knew there had to be a better, more efficient way.  I looked online for exfoliaters/moisturizers and sure did find a bunch of them but the price tags attached were enough to make me forget the whole idea.  Instead of bagging the whole idea, I decided to take a look around my house and play with things I already had at my fingertips.  In my own kitchen, I realized I already had everything I needed, and I'd bet that you probably do to.   I've now made a few versions of this sugar scrub and balm and the last time I took pictures so I could share my process with you.

You will need any decent lip balm or chapstick.  The first time I made this I used a free lip balm I got at a health fair.  This time I am using a Chapstick I got for $1.  You'll also need 1/4 tsp coconut oil for that extra kick of moisture.  I don't recommend using more than 1/4 tsp or the consistency gets very runny and messy.  You'll also need 1tsp sugar and 1 tsp brown sugar.  You could use all white or all brown, I just like to use both for fun.  In addition, you'll need a little mixing bowl and something to use as a spatula.
Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer

Gather your ingredients, you could just put it all in the mixing bowl as you measure it out, but I chose to do it this way for the sake of pictures and making this tutorial.
Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer
First, I twisted up the entire tube of Chap Stick  and put it into the bowl.
Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer
Next, I used the small spatula to dig out the rest of the product from the tube.

Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer
Break up the Chap Stick (or balm) with a fork to make for easier mixing.

Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer
Add Coconut oil and sugars and mix all together.  When researching this, I found that other people would warm the mixture in a microwave (at short intervals) to liquefy and make for easier pouring.  I tried that once and did not like how messy it all became.  I also found that the sugar would partially dissolve and therefore would not be the exfoliater we need.  It's just as easy to mix by hand, maybe easier actually.
Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer
  Now for the messiest part, getting it back in the tube.  I admit his part was easier when I tried the microwave melt method but the end product wasn't as good.  Twist the inside mechanism up as far as it will go, the slowly put the mixture back in.  Twist the mechanism down a few turns and continue to fill, until you have the entire tube full again.  If this is too much work you could forgo putting it back in the tube and find a convenient container for it, like I have done with the excess product.  I really like the convenience of the tube though.

If you started with a full tube, you will have excess left over.  Even though this is cheap I don't like to waste so I found another container to put the excess in.  You really can use anything you have on hand that is small and can be sealed.  In this instance, I used a MAC eye shadow pot that I've been meaning to return to the store.
Raven Rose Retro - DIY lip exfoliator and moisturizer
When it's all packaged up, just pop the containers into the freezer or refrigerator to help it set up.  You can test it out before hand if you like though.  The rules of this DIY are extremely flexible.

How to use:
     I use this during my daily face routine, after I wash and moisturize my face. I put a decent layer on my lips and using my finger rub the sugar granules around my lips for about 15-30 seconds.  Then, while I'm priming my face, I rub my lips back and forth until the sugar granules dissolve and disappear.  Once the sugar granules are gone, you are left with the moisture rich balm.  I leave that alone to soak into my lips while I do my makeup and hair.  The very last thing I do is remove any excess balm, wipe lips dry then apply my favorite red lipstick.

This mixture can also be used to remove most long lasting lipsticks.  The coconut oil will break down most longwear lipsticks and the scrub kicks it up a notch.  It's a great way to remove your makeup and moisturize your lips all in one step.

A bit of caution:
     I do not recommend vigorously scrubbing the life out of your lips every morning and every night.  That can be over kill and you'll do more harm than good.  A gentle scrub regularly though will get rid of dry, flaky dead skin and leave your lips a smooth soft canvas.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it helpful.  If you decide to try it out, please let me know how it worked for you.  Personally, it has changed my lipstick game tremendously.  I've never been one to complain about how drying most matte or long-wear lipsticks can be.  It just is what it is, and it's a price I'm willing to pay for not having to reapply my lipstick 10 times a day.  That doesn't mean though that I have to deal with dry, cracked and wrinkled lips.  What it does mean is that I have to go a little farther to take care of some of the most delicate skin on my face.  With this moisturizing lip scrub, it's easier than ever.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Welcome to the Blog, 15 Random Facts about Me

Welcome to my new blogging adventure. Thank you so much for stopping by. If you are following me from my previous blog, She Knits in Pearls, welcome back. I'm so glad to have you with me again. If you are new to me and my blogging, welcome. I'm very happy to have you here.

     I thought it would be a fun way to welcome you all by telling you a little about me. It's quite hard to write a little bio trying to condense who I am and what I'm all about into something easy to read. Honestly, if you're here, chances are that you already know a little about me from either my Instagram @raven_rose_retro or on Facebook as Cherry Darling (name will be changing soon). So, I thought I'd share some random facts you may not know about me. Let's get started.....

1. I was born and raised in Alaska. Ok, so that's not exactly shocking or new news but for those who may not know, it's a really big part of who I am. Until a month ago, I had lived there my whole life and it really impacts how I see and experience the rest of the world. Alaska will always be my home, even if I am not currently living there.

2. I "ugly cry", I mean really blubber, when a character I love, on TV dies. Sometimes, hysterically and for days. Example, when Opie from Sons of Anarchy died, I cried for days. Every time I saw his face on a commercial or they showed flashbacks, for a solid week I cried. At first, Ian thought it was cute, by day 4 he was over it.

3. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a "Daddy" when I grew up. My mom still has a little book that my kindergarten class put together of what all the kids said when asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up". As you can imagine, most of the answers were "nurse", "fireman", or a superhero but I said a "Daddy". Gender roles and rules be damned!

4. I was "Goth" in high school. Oh, it kills me that I don't have any photographic evidence to show of my awesome goth days. Unfortunately, I was a teenager in the early 90's ( class of '94) in a time before selfies, cell phones, and social media so the few pictures I have are either long since lost, or packed away in boxes that won't be unpacked for quite some time. I've never been attracted to mainstream fashion trends and have been experimenting with alternative fashions for close to 30 years. I think I've finally found what suits me best and feels the most true. However, I look very fondly on my past fashions. It's been an interesting progression.

5. I have no idea how many tattoos that I have.... Really, every time I try to count, I get a different number. Plus, some are additions to others and they are now all starting to blend together. Then there are the small random ones that I completely forget that I have until I catch a glimpse of them in a mirror. The one thing I do know is that I am not done yet and may never be done.

6. I've had 3 spinal surgeries and countless procedures on my spine and effected nerves. My first surgery was roughly 10 years ago when I ruptured a disc in my neck. The doctors warned me that once you start fusing discs, others will follow suit. Three years ago, I had my second fusion in my lumbar area which has left me unable to work and in chronic pain. In order to alleviate some of the chronic pain, I had my 3rd spinal surgery a few months ago. This time, I had a portion of a thoracic disc removed and a paddle filled with electrodes put in it's place. These electrodes are attached to a battery pack implanted into my hip. The whole set up is to send electronic signals to my brain that are strong enough to override the pain signals being sent to my brain. It's not working exactly how I would like it to yet and I'm still in daily chronic pain. However, I have hope that with tweaking we will finally be able to get the coverage and pain management I need.

7. I spent more money on makeup "for" my wedding, than I spent on my wedding dress. In my defense, I was in a makeup rut and had been using all of the same products for years. It was time to try out some new products and techniques. I used to love playing with makeup and it has been very nice to rediscover that passion. I don't in the least feel bad about this. Makeup I'll wear (almost) every day; my wedding dress, not so much.

8. While perfection my "wedding makeup look", I became completely addicted to makeup tutorials and reviews on Youtube. The wedding was almost 2 months ago and I still can't stop watching them. I've even created my own Youtube Channel and have been really enjoying making videos and brainstorming new ideas.

9. My favorite Ice Cream flavor is "Butter Pecan", with Cookie Dough in close second. I can't stand mint chocolate chip or rocky road. Marshmallows don't belong in ice-cream.

10. My favorite social media hashtag is #spooniepinup. Just because I have a chronic pain condition and am partially disabled with nerve damage in my legs doesn't mean I can't be a wonderful vintage loving pinup on occasion. I also think it's important to show others that disability or illness should not stand in your way from being who you are or want to be. My condition is usually invisible so on my last photo shoot I made it a point to photo me with my cane. Hoping to show and inspire others to not let anything stand (pun intended) in your way.

11. When I'm truly angry or upset I get physically ill. It may have something to do with my anxiety disorder, I don't know. However, I have been so upset about something/someone that I get a stomach ache, nauseated and have even thrown up before. It's really not fun. Try debating an important topic but not being able to articulate your points because you have to excuse yourself to go be sick. Ick!

12. My all time favorite outfits are ones that I have made. Usually, it's a combination of a me-made skirt and a hand knit top or cardigan. It's a great creative expression and I can build up my dream wardrobe with breaking the bank. Plus, there's no better feeling than when someone complements your outfit and you get to say, "Thank you, I made it".

Hand sewn skirt, made with vintage 1940's fabric and one of my favorite knit cardigans.

Another me-made skirt and hand knit cardigan.

This time with a knit sweater top and home-made skirt. Some day I hope to have at least 80% of my wardrobe me made.

13. My childhood nicknames were "Bugs" and "Pumpkin Butt". My aunty still calls me "Bugs" and it makes me smile every time. Each time she say's I,t it's like she's saying "I love you". Occasionally, my mom still calls me "Punkin" and that puts a smile on my face too.

14. Last year, my mom and I started an Etsy Shop, Lacey Rose Creations. We've been on "vacation" for the last few months while I made the move from Alaska to Nevada and are now working hard to open back up. In the next week or two we will have a bunch of new merchandise listed. We love being crafty together and are really enjoying working on the shop together.

Last, but not least.....

15. Before I left Alaska, I competed in and won the first ever North Pole, Alaska Pinup Contest. Once I stopped worrying about "competition" and being the oldest woman involved, I had the most wonderful time enjoying being around other amazing people with similar interests; all focused on just having a good time together.

The competition and car show was right next to Santa Claus House in North Pole so, of course, Santa came to say high. "I've been good Santa, I promise"

This group of ladies were so inspiring and a great joy to be around.

One more, cause it still brings me so much joy. Sorry, not sorry

There you have it, a bit of information about me and who I am. I look forward to sharing more of my life and my loves with all of you. I hope to fill this space with some monthly blog series like "What's in my knitting bag", "Monthly Fave's and Hates", "Never have I ever", and "This is how I...." If that sounds like your cup of tea, I hope you come back.

Be true, be you,