Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dark Hippy - Soap Nuts

Today's topic is somewhat contorversial. Soap nuts are nuts from a tree that naturally contain saponin, a natural soaping agent. The nuts are traditionally used in India for washing and seem to be prettysuccessful in getting rid of dirt! Which is why I got some as a natural alternative to washing liqiud for cleaning clothes:

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They seem* to be rather easy to use: Add 3 nuts directly to your wash and wash in the washing machine. I really should have tried that alreaby, but I stumbled upon critical voices as well:
  • the washing nuts we westerners buy are taken away from the poorer countries. Which leads to them using highly chemical loaded washing soap without the effective putrification plants we have. Which leads to higher polution of rivers, seas and oceans.
  • the transport of soap nuts from India to us emits a lot of CO2
  • The farmers are most likely not fairly paid. At least I assume so since there is no fair label and in this world  we live in this probably means that there is no fair pay!
The nuts naturally grow in tropical climate so raising my own tree here simply is not possible. I will use the nuts I own and try to resource fair nuts. But I fear not for their efficiency! Did you ever try soap nuts? Can you recommend me a fair brand?

*I have not used them yet as I only got them this week and wash one machine per week. I'll keep you posted!

Friday, September 25, 2015

TKMaxx Halloween haul 2015

I mentioned in the last weekly review that I bought some Halloween decoration and this is what I bought:

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A glass globe with two pretty skulls inside! I love how cool they look and I have always wanted one of these glass displays!

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A silver stand with the bones! It currently houses my keys...

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And the best thing: A snow globe with Edgar Allan Poe! And black glitter! Amazing, isn't it?!

Week in Review 39/2015

What did I see?
In line with the Game of School videos, these heraldric signs for internet "deities" are really cool! I just picked the ones I liked most, but Caldwell Tanner has more to offer...

What did I listen to?
Xotox - Mechnaische Unruhe

What did I ask myself?

What did I read?
The Bane chronicles by Cassandra Clare. I'm still right in the middle of the book, so by now I can't make a full judgement. But I like it!

What did I work on?
A jacket and an underskirt

I was happy about...
Seeing my boyfriend and friends and the Tim Burton exhibition this weekend!

I was annoyed about...
Cleaning my glass shower booth. They are pretty but oh so annoying...

I bought...
Patterns and notions, I will get them tomorrow from my friend!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dark Hippy - Being the oil ape

To explain the title, please read:

Akin to grease monkey, it is used to primarily describe auto mechanics that specialize in routine maintenance, especially oil changes. Like grease monkey is can be used as both a derisive comment or to show camaraderie. 
That damn oil ape doesn't know what kind of oil filter fits a 2007 Nissan Altima.

THAT was the worst customer my fellow oils apes and I have EVER had to endure. I'm glad I pissed in her oil filter... - urban dictionary
Now, I didn't switch jobs for being a car mechanic as I still prefer fiddling with genes instead of car parts! But I am an ape (Homo sapiens and if you are a creationists this is probably the moment you will unfollow me - good for you! ^^) and I use oil to keep my skin soft and lovely!

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This is only representative, you can use any oil or fat to make your skin happy. The secret is to use it directly after taking a shower without drying off. This way, the oil forms a layer on the skin which keeps the water from evaporating!

In the past I have used other fats, like canola oil from the kitchen, Lush massage bars or even pure cocoa butter. All of them worked when used after showering, but the oil I use is scented and just smells so nice!

What do you use for softer skin? Have you tried oils?

Monday, September 21, 2015

By the Sea - Jacket (almost) complete!

I already showed you the back of the jacket in the last progress post, but I'm almost finished now! But let's get back to the details:

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Middle layer: Stiff tulle (neon orange but will be invisible), Upper layer: Marine satin, Lining: Blue Tafeta

These were the fabrics I used for the bustle part of the pattern! I was seriously fabric constricted as I only had 4.5m of the marine blue satin and 2.2 m of the stripey fabric. And even though I tried hard, I was not able to make the bustle from the stripey fabric. But I think it looks rather good this way!

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I sewed up the front and added the sleeves like this:

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There was even enough small scraps to make a nice neck insert (help, what's the correct word for that?):

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This is how it looks worn (this time with the correct butt pillow and the skirt I made before):

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And I this is where I had to stop as I need the corset to fit the jacket over it. And the corset is in the making, but still not finished - I will ask my boyfriend to cut up the steel... ;) So, stay tuned for the front closure and a full outfit. Soon!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week in Review 38/2015

What did I see?
I guess every goth knows about the Gashlycrumb tinies? I like the Gamer version almost as much as the original (click to enlarge)!

What did I listen to?
Feindflug - Menschenjagd

What did I ask myself?
Was it a whise decision to spend my cloth allowance on Halloween knickknacks?

What did I read?
Not buying it by Judith Levine. A book about an experiment - Judith Levine is not buying anything besides bare neccessities for a year. The book is about her experiences, her thoughts and gives a good insight into consumerism and not blindly following the market. Except for Halloween decor, off course!

What did I work on?
A corset.

I was happy about...
My work. And Halloween at TKMaxx. And seeing my boyfriend last weekend.

I was annoyed about...
Having made some wrong stitches and being afraid to rip them because of the silk fabric...

I bought...
Halloween stuff! And black paper.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dark Hippy - Soap for the face

Continuing this week with stuff that can be washed with soap... I also use soap to wash my face! I tried a lot of soaps for digferent body parts, but I still have to find one which doesn't kill my skin. Every one I tried left the skin flaky and dry. And itchy, lets not forget about the itch.

But for my face I found a holy grail: Fresh Farmacy from Lush!

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Store link

It doesn't look fancy or pretty, but the soap contains clay which leaves my skin soft (as it is a gentle peeling) and squeeky clean. I have maybe one pimple a month?! And my face is much less shiny since I use it as it helps against oily skin.

I use the soap directly on my wet face and it removes all makeup traces and daily dirt that accumulates. Afterwards I have to use acream in autumn/winter because it is a bit drying. But in spring and summer somehow my skin is more oily then.

What do you use to remove makeup? Die you try soap?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Week in Review 37/2015

What did I see?
In the past, I often showed pictures of different deities, although I myself am a non-believer. But like many Europeans (white privilege and all that), I tend to forget that other ethnicites also have gods which do look different from the ones known around me. So this post is about African Orishas:

What did I listen to?
Samsas Traum - Kugel im Gesicht. I like the music but detest Alexander Kaschte (the lead singer and guitarist). He takes a fancy in insulting his audience, wants to kill everyone who is not strictly vegan and generally seems to be an *sshole. I hope this is only his stage personality, but I'm not sure...

What did I ask myself?
Is this really a good idea?

What did I read?
A booka about Art in Detail, borrowed from a coworker.

What did I work on?
The By the Sea outfit...

I was happy about...
Last weekend in Berlin, this weekend in my boyfriend's arms! I'm so glad!

I was annoyed about...
Traveling. Takes long, doesn't make me happy. But I get to visit nice places and people!

I bought...
Foods in Kreuzberg! I was so full of deliciousness ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dark Hippy - Soap washed hair

As I mentioned in the natural deo post, I also switched to a greener alternative for my shampoo. I have fine hair in both meanings:
  1. Every single hair I have on my head has a small diameter. Seriously, my boyfriends hair is twice as wide!
  2. I don't have that many hairs. Last month my aunt asked me if I go bald in some places :(
That's why I want to take the best possible care of my hair! I also have a sensitive scalp which reacts with itching and dandruff when exposed to the wrong stuff. And boy, there is a lot of wrong stuff for me:
  • conventional shampoo - it is much too harsh for me and leaves my head dry and itchy
  • natural shampoo containing coconut - makes my head snow like winter wonderland!
  •  anything containing olive oil - makes my hair instant fat head. Literally the same evening or latest next morning
  • Aleppo soap - a very natural soap containing Olive oil (mentioned right above) and Laurel oil - this lead to dry scalp with fatty hair. I kid you not!
I actually tried hair soap out of curiosity. I found it intriguing that I could make it myself (although Janina of Zebraspider can attest you that it is not that easy) and use oils and fats that suit my hair. Also, soap is great for traveling as it cannot leak!

This is now my third soap order. I fared rather well with some of the soaps by Chagrin Valley (from the US), but in the end found a better German alternative. If you have dry hair, I still recommend to try the butter bar conditioner which was unfortunately to fatty for my hair! The order you see below was from Steffis Hexenküche and contains all soaps Steffi offers without coconut and low olive oil content.

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The smaller pieces are the ones that currently reside in my shower, one is Olive-Babassu* by Chagrin Valley, the other Honey Babassu by Steffis Hexenküche. Actually, I also use a little more than this:

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When I wash my hair, I wet my hair and rub the soap allover it until there is plenty of foam. Some people recommend to only wash the scalp but my hair is too short! Next step is to rinse my hair with water. The little container is Vitamin C which I use for an acidic rinse. Soap is basic which opens up the hair particles and makes it dull and hard to comb. For my acidic rinse I simply fill my jug with water, add two of the little spoons of vitamin c (the spoon is in the container and  measures exactly one daily dose of vit c) and pour it over my head. I rinse immediately with water again - not because it is dangerously acidic but because I always shower as quickly as possible! You could use any vinegar instead of the vitamin c, but like soap, vitamin c is spill proof!

After this procedure, my hair is easily comb able and soft. I let it air dry and have shiny and pretty hair! ; )

Have you considered using soap for your hair? And which ones did you try?

*leftover from my trial days and just to expensive to throw away... I use it every thrid wash, but have to wash after 1 day instead of every third!

Monday, September 7, 2015

By the sea - Slowly but surely

I don't have a real update here as I spent the last weekend in Berlin and many an evening the week before with my academic career. But I did something:

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I sewed the back and sleeves of the waistcoat for the outfit! I even added some fringe already!

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I did some handsewing to have pretty (-ish) insides!

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I bought an iron to iron - duh!

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And I bought some light blue silk for the corset. And searched my stash for matching lace and lining fabric.

I promise to do more next week, but this weekend will also be spent away from my sewing machine and with my boyfriend! Sorry not sorry, guys! ^^

Friday, September 4, 2015

Outfit post - Going out in Heidelberg

Last weekend I went out in Heidelberg for the first time! The is a Club called Schwarzes Schwimmbad (= black swimming pool) which was a former swimming pool with 4 floors and gothy music. Although I was alone and knew noone, I had a good time and danced a lot! This is what I wore:

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My make up was rather plain, but I only had khol eyeliner and no eye shadow. I refuse to buy anything new here when I have a box full of stuff in Essen! Also I was in the mood for something easy...

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Week in Review 36/2015

What did I see?
This week, I ave something really special for you: Jacques La Merde (Instagram) uses supermarket bought processed foods and decorates them like Michelin star ciusine! I loved the creativeness and wish my food looked that good - although my cooking is healthier...

What did I listen to?
Soman - Noistyle

What did I ask myself?
Why is this one single butterfly always falling off the wall?!?

What did I read?
Sewing instructions

What did I work on?
A jacket

I was happy about...
This weekend will be epic!

I was annoyed about...
Having so little money to safe. Having two flats is expensive!

I bought...
Silk. For a corset!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dark Hippy - Natural deodorant

Recently, Tea from Coffeexandxtea posted how she eliminated all cosmetics from her stash which contain harmful chemicals. While I still use conventional cosmetics and have not checked their contents, there is some parts of hygiene where I did make a change in the more granola direction. Today I would like to talk about deodorant.

I know, a totally TMI topic. Body odour is something that everyone (should) want(s) to avoid. At least I do! For a long time, I simply bought Rexona because I liked the smells and it made me less sweaty. But during the last year I read more and more studies that the aluminium in the deo might lead to cancer and Alzheimer. Why is the Aluminium in the deo?

Deodorants combined with antiperspirant agents are classified as drugs by the FDA.[1] Antiperspirants attempt to stop or significantly reduce perspiration and thus reduce the moist climate in which bacteria thrive. Aluminium chloride, aluminium chlorohydrate, and aluminium-zirconium compounds, most notably aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly and aluminium zirconium trichlorohydrex gly, are frequently used in antiperspirants. Aluminium chlorohydrate and aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrate gly are the most frequent active ingredients in commercial antiperspirants.[12] Aluminium-based complexes react with the electrolytes in the sweat to form a gel plug in the duct of the sweat gland. The plugs prevent the gland from excreting liquid and are removed over time by the natural sloughing of the skin. The metal salts work in another way to prevent sweat from reaching the surface of the skin: the aluminium salts interact with the keratin fibrils in the sweat ducts and form a physical plug that prevents sweat from reaching the skin’s surface. Aluminium salts also have a slight astringent effect on the pores; causing them to contract, further preventing sweat from reaching the surface of the skin.[13] The blockage of a large number of sweat glands reduces the amount of sweat produced in the underarms, though this may vary from person to person. - wikipedia

So, long story short: Aluminium chloride makes you sweat less. I thought a little about whether sweating less is worth the risk of cancer and Alzheimer and ended up researching other options. I found a German company which makes all natural deo which was recommended to me from several websites and friends - Wolkenseifen!

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As you can see here, I already got a second option with a slightly different smell. Both smells are rather neutral and a little sweet, the blue one -Perfect Day- reminds me of Nivea... The deodorant is a white paste:

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While the paste is white and leaves your skin a little white, I have never encountered any marks on my clothes. Especially not on black ones! For the usage I take a little dip with my finger like this:

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And then I simply spread it on my armpit. Repeat on the other side and I'm done for the day! As I said, the natural deo does not prevent sweating, but I never had a day where I thought I needed a refreshment. Even when doing sports and sweating a lot, I smell like freshly washed clothes! So I can highly recommend the natural deo, especially when you are from Europe. I have no idea if you can import this stuff to the States...