Monday, December 27, 2010

References: Vintage Hairstyling

I've had this book in my possession for all of 10 minutes and I'm already in love. I found it while browsing Amazon for makeup books. It's a smidge on the high side ($35) but so far it's worth it. It assumes you know nothing of hairstyling, which is good. Since the styles are highly detailed (but not difficult!), the writer wants everyone to have the same knowledge base.

Glancing Review: It covers styles from the 30's to the 50's. Many iconic styles are covered, like Victory Rolls, The Beehive, and various versions of Betty Page's famous bangs. The general how-to's are very in-depth. You MUST pay attention to these because the actual directions for the styles are usually only a page or two. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're doing a style for the first time you'll be doing a lot of page flipping. It's hard bound, so keeping the page open to what you're working on will require some doing. I'd recommend making a copy of the needed sheets to use while styling so you won't be holding a page down with the same hand you just covered in gel.

~Megatons of full color, multi-angle pictures.
~Highly detailed how-to's.
~Tools and Techniques guide.
~Basic makeup and nail info at the end.

~Goes from beginner to advanced faster than some people could handle. Lots of required reading to keep up.
~(personal con) Not spiral bound. Handling the book is a little clunky.

Worth the price if you're looking for a good tutorial book. If you're new to the scene like I am, lots of practice is needed, but it'll help you every step of the way.

Vintage Hair Styling

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Le Sigh

If you knew how many half-done posts I've got queued up you'd kick me. Wig Head #2 is almost done (ran out of supplies), and I have about five suggestions posts floating around. Motivation, she escapes me! Thankfully I finally broke down and bought a new set of storage drawers, so I can put all that stuff on my sewing desk in a real spot instead of where ever I can throw it.

I also haven't done ANY Christmas crafting. I have at minimum 4 stockings, two first aid kits, two purses, and a makeup bag to make for various friends and loved ones. *pounds head on desk* I don't even have a valid excuse because I bought everything I needed WEEKS ago.

I am shamed. :(

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crafting plans for the weekend

With the longish weekend coming up (I have to work Friday. boo!), I'm finding myself longing for Wednesday and the odd amounts of motivation and inspiration I get when I stay up late on a week night. Saturday night never gets me going like a good Thursday. lol I guess it goes back to staying up late during the summer and enjoying all that youth and lack of school had to offer.

Anyway, I want to finish my second foam head tutorial (needs a quick fabric trip), and make that thrice damned shirt for my Klingon costume. With luck I'll also be able to make two sets of gauntlets and two belts for K and Telma.

Oh, I don't know if I've mentioned, but I'm making some mods to Telma. I really shouldn't since she'll be a competition piece, but I think making her look more like a bartender will help rather than hurt.

Wish me luck!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ranty Rant Rant

One of the worst things about living in an apartment with roommates is that the only space you really have to yourself is your bedroom. I have to pack my entire life into a tiny spot, and trying to craft while existing in that spot is HARD.

I technically have two closets (really just one long one with two doors), but they're both so full I can rarely find anything unless I rip the entire thing out or am lucky enough to remember where I put it. I don't have a fabric stash because there's no place for it, and keeping an open project out is hard because I have to fold up my sewing table if I want room to move.

*grr* When I finally get my own place it WILL have three bedrooms because I WILL have my own craft room for me to set up as I please. I'm SO TIRED of only having three feet to work in!!!

The End :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tutorial Crush of the Day

Violet LeBeaux is a craft girl from Down Under. I've been reading her posts for a few weeks and am in craft-love. She has a very Japanesque-cute feel in her crafting (both in personal style and physical objects).

Her tutorials are well thought-out, don't skip steps, and show TONS of pictures. She does everything from hair bows, modding boots, mixing makeup, and more.

If you're looking for a new project or just want to see how things are done on the other side of the world, you should take a peek. Be warned, she's VERY efficient and posts tons of things. You'll be there for a while. :)

Violet LeBeaux - Tales of an Ingenue

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Not dead, just busy. Holiday crafting + costumes for next year = shoot me now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tutorial: How to Modify a Foam Head Version 1

The gist: How to expand a foam head to make your own noggin.
Craft level: Easy Peasy.

Most of us have larger heads than the standard foam wig head that you can buy most anywhere. This can be a problem when you're styling wigs. Even if you stretch out the wig netting as far as possible there's a good chance that you'll end up with 'Wig Butt'. We've all seen it. It's when someone puts on a wig that's too tight and the bottom of the netting creeps up to show the wearer's hair. This will tutorial will (hopefully) prevent that from happening to you.

~Foam Head or FWH (available at most beauty/costume shops)
~pen and paper
~knife (serrated is best)
~tape measure (the soft kind)
~LOTS of straight pins (I found tons at Dollar Tree)
~firm padding. I found some upholstery foam in the remnant bin.
~Optional: Fabric to cover your work and make it purty.

1) Measure your head then compare it to the FWH. Go around the eyes to the back of the head, then from the top (crown) to the back (base) as shown in the picture above. These should be the widest points on your head. Avoid putting the tape over your ears or having excessive hair under the tape as these will thrown your measurements off. If the difference between you and the head is less than an inch I wouldn't bother modding it. Personally I was two inches bigger than my FWH.

2) NOT SHOWN - Start cutting the padding into small strips. You'll need several lengths, but none should be more than an inch in height or width. Keep your measuring tape on hand because it's time to measure measure cut.

3) Start placing the strips around the head in the general area where your wig will sit. The important part is that you continue to measure your FWH. Just slapping on some foam will NOT work. It doesn't have to be pretty, just accurate. As you can see I have a thick piece at the top, and then thinner ones on the sides. You should keep things symmetrical. If you need to add one inch, put a 1/2 inch piece on each side. Fill in the holes with smaller pieces as necessary.

4) MEASURE IT AGAIN. The beauty of using pins vs. glue is that you can reposition as needed.

(an unfinished cover)

5) Optional - Cover your work with a pretty fabric or if you're so inclined, duct tape. Warning - if you use duct tape, make sure not to squish the padding. Also, the glue will eventually break down and end up on your wig pins, which will lead to glue in your wigs!

This mod should last you a very very long time. Keep on the lookout for Version 2, where I figure out how to cut a head in quarters and mod it from the inside out!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scrap Win

Sometimes working in an office is awesome. A few days ago, while pondering with friends about how to go about moding a wig head, I realized that I needed supplies. Mostly oversized paper for drafting patterns, light packing material for stuffing, and so forth.

Since then I've done some year-end cleaning and found almost everything I needed.
~5 oversized desk calendars from 2006 still in their shrink wrap
~small boxes (6" or less)
~foam blocks used to pack computer parts made from the same mats as wig heads.
~static resistant packing paper, also used for computers but handy when working with foam
~nearly used up rolls of tape

So all I need now is a new heavy-duty utility knife and some spay sealer and I'm ready to roll!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A little life...

I would have been making this post on Monday, however I slipped on the stairs and now have a few broken toes, bruises, and sprains. Wee!!

Anyway, now that I'm back at work I was able to get my wigs. I picked up a few discontinued pieces from I guess the prices were too good (40% off) because they put them at 20% after their stock began to disappear. In any economy nearly half off high quality wigs in party colors is a guaranteed winner.

I'm a little sad that they're changing their line. It's obvious that they've switched vendors. I'll miss the 'style ready' selection. The stuff they have now looks like it isn't meant to be messed with. A lot of the cuts are very sharp. I don't think I'm making sense...It's like going from a blank canvas to a ready-to-frame print. Sure the ready-made is nice, but there's no creativity behind it. I have no doubt about the quality, I just think they'll be too hard to work with esthetically speaking. Technically though, the new line will be MUCH easier to style. You can even take a curling iron to them. I guess that makes me a crabby old person. "Why, back in my day you had to use a blow dryer on low for HOURS!!"

tl:dr Unless your looking for a wig in the exact shade and exact style, you might be screwed.

Yeah, I'm bitching for no reason. Sorry. ^_^

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A prep weekend

Almost all the prep for the costumes bits I need to do this month are done. I picked up three foam heads for my new wigs that come in tomorrow. I got lucky and found some nice crispy burnt-orange fabric for my Klingon shirt. All that's left is to make a new customized head for my wig mods and buy some black canvas for my gauntlets. Easy enough. :)

I really wish I had a sewing room. Just sewing. No sharing with storage, or a guest room, or anything else. Just sewing and crafting. I feel like I always have to fit my life into a space instead of having the space for my life. Ideally I'd like to move from my tiny apartment to a three bedroom sometimes. House/Condo/whatever. That would make one bedroom for myself and my mate of choice, a guestroom/fandom space, and a beautiful room for myself. Someday...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wee Shopping!!

I'm hitting Hancock Fabrics tonight after work. I won't let myself stray off my work list...and if you believe that I have some beach-front properly in Arizona for sale.

Anyhoo, they're having their anniversary sale till tomorrow. I'm amazed I resisted for a whole month. ;P

Monday, September 27, 2010

Planned tutorials

Hi folks...oh wait, no one's reading this yet. Ha! So I guess this list is more for myself. That's fine. I like making lists! *points to previous post* See?

Anyway, planned tutorials!

Resizing a Foam Head to match your own noggin
Fitting a wig to a foam head for fun and profit
Styling a wig - basic
Styling a wig - making and adding wefts
Styling a wig - making it purty

See where I'm going with this? Yes! I'm going to do a string of tutorials about wigs!! I have my order on its way from Cosworx. I should have my new babies by Friday with luck. Ah my pretties! Plus they were 40% off. I do love a bargain.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Planned projects

I'm trying to keep my list short for 2011. It always seems like I have last-minute add-ons, then I end up being unable to finish what I already had planned.

Lily McGuire from Fatal Fury
Telma from Zelda - Twilight Princess
Fallout 3 character
Splicer from Bioshock
Swedish Chef
Generic Klingon female from Star Trek. No link necessary because everyone should know and fear Klingons!!

The Festival of Hari-kuyo

Hari-kuyo is a Japanese event held every February 8th. Its purpose is to thank all the needles and pins that have broken over the past year. They're brought to the local Buddhist temple, placed in a giant block of tofu (or other soft food), and purified.

It's this day that I took my blog title from. There's something very respectful about the act of thanking a broken needle for what its done for you.

Over the coming months, and hopefully years, I'll be posting about my current projects, tutorials, and random babbling about my crafty world in general. Please to enjoy.