Sunday, September 29, 2013

101 in 1001

I've been pretty productive since my last update!


Rather unexpectedly, I completed a goal that I considered a stretch: finding out my great-grandmother's maiden name. (4 - 1) I also stumbled on to a whole bunch of genealogical bonus information as well. I suspect making heads and tails of that will be an item for my next list!

In Progress:

Another update and comment. (1 - 3) ( 7 - 4).

I finished Beloved, which was a difficult but rewarding read. (3 - 3) I'm still reading The Second Sex. (9 - 2)

I also finished and mailed the geographic coordinates necklace and bracelet set for my friend, Leah. (2 - 3)

I watched the British-German movie Hanna yesterday. (9 - 5) It was really good, I'd highly recommend it! Can I call it an art house thriller? Does that make any sense?



Rest of the list after the jump.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Item Available: Geographic Coordinates Jewelry!

Inspired by a friend's upcoming wedding, I'll now be offering geographic coordinates jewelry!

Pictured above are an amethyst and chaorite necklace (about 22 inches in length) and an amethyst and chaorite double stand bracelet (about 8 inches in length). These are great commemorative gifts for when you want to remember specific place. In this case, the two places are the bar where my friend and her fiancé met (in Seoul, South Korea) and where he proposed to her (in Thailand).

I'm excited to be able to offer this design to you guys (why haven't I thought of it before?) and to be able to reach to an audience that might not have been interested in numbers jewelry otherwise. I also can't wait to make one for myself. The location? 37.7344,127.048907: where I lived in Uijeongbu.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Birthstones: Contemporary History

(This is a sequel to a previous post: Birthstones: Early History. You don't need to read it to understand this post, but in case you were curious, there it is!)

Image courtesy Alice Mary Herden

While the early history of birthstones is fascinating (especially for closet occult nerds like me), it's more or less unrelated to birthstones as they're used today. The association of specific stones to specific Gregorian months can only be traced, with any certainty, to the 19th century.

In 1870, Tiffany & Co. published a set of poems (without attribution) that connected each month to a different personality failing or piece of bad luck and a corresponding stone that would guard against. They are as follows:

By her who in [January] is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity. 
The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear. 
Who in this world of ours their eyes
In March first open shall be wise,
In days of peril firm and brave,
And wear a bloodstone to their grave. 
She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear, lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow; this stone,
Emblem of innocence, is known. 
Who first beholds the light of day
In spring's sweet flowery month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and happy wife. 
Who comes with summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth,
With ring of agate on her hand
Can health, wealth, and long life command. 
The glowing ruby shall adorn,
Those who in July are born;
Then they'll be exempt and free
From love's doubts and anxiety. 
Wear a sardonyx or for thee,
No conjugal felicity;
The August-born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved and lone. 
A maiden born when September leaves
Are rustling in September's breeze,
A sapphire on her brow should bind
`Twill cure diseases of the mind. 
October's child is born for woe,
And life's vicissitudes must know,
But lay an opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest. 
Who first comes to this world below
With drear November's fog and snow,
Should prize the topaz's amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true. 
If cold December gave you birth,
The month of snow and ice and mirth,
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate'er you do.
Some claim that these poems predate Tiffany & Co., but as no record of them exists prior to the 1870 publication date, it's probably safe to assume that Tiffany released them as a marketing tool.

The premise of advertising is simple: convince you that you have a need, and then convince you that Product X will fit that need. Obviously these poems do just that. The date of the poems' release also coincides neatly with the Second Industrial Revolution as well as the rise of a middle class—a class of people with disposable income to spend.

In other words, birthstones as we know them today come into existence for the sole purpose of selling jewelry.

Whether inspired by the Tiffany & Co. poems or for other reasons, the American National Association of Jewelers met in Kansas City and put together the "official" list. This is the one most often used by jewelers and jewelry stores:

Birthstones (Kansas City, 1912)

However, this list has been revised a couple of times, As you can see, not much has changed.

Birthstones (Kansas City, 2002)

It's also important to note that Great Britain still maintains its own standards (determined by Britain's National Association of Goldsmiths). They're nearly identical to the Kansas City list, with a few exceptions. British goldsmiths never added alexandrite as an option for June, but they do offer alternatives to some of the more expensive stones on the list (rock crystal for April, chrysoprase for May, and carnelian for July). Lapis lazuli is also an alternative for September instead of December (while the British list also omits blue zircon as an option for December).

That said, the mystical origins of birthstones haven't been totally lost to time. Many people today choose their birthstone by their Sun sign rather than their birth month. Mineralogist G. F. Kunz assembled a whole host of different lists and associations (many of which I discussed in the "Early History" post) in a book called Curious Lore of Precious Stones in 1913. He devotes an entire chapter to "Planetary and Astral Influences of Precious Stones." One list of associations is taken from an old (though undated and unreferenced, probably dates back to the Renaissance and Europe) figure included in Chapter X, opposite page 342:
While most of the stones are the same as the Kansas list, you can see their placement has shifted in some cases. May's emerald now goes to the June and July sign of Cancer; September's sapphire is the April and May sign of Taurus, and so forth. He traces the same list back to ancient Persia, along with a set of unattributed poems (which I won't reproduce here).

On page 347 he also includes "an old Spanish list of the gems of the zodiacal signs" which he theorizes "represents Arabic tradition" and thus varies from the list above.
  • Aries: Crystal (presumably just plain quartz?)
  • Taurus: Ruby, Diamond
  • Gemini: Sapphire
  • Cancer: Agate, Beryl
  • Leo: Topaz
  • Virgo: Magnet (presumably magnetite or lodestone?)
  • Libra: Jasper
  • Scorpio: Garnet
  • Sagittarius: Emerald
  • Capricorn: Chalcedony
  • Aquarius: Amethyst
  • Pisces: [none given in text]
Numerous other associations are given as well: days of the week, constellations, fixed stars, planets, dreams, and more. However, that's more than I have time for here. Maybe later on in the series, but for now I'll focus on the stones in the Kansas City list from 2002. First up (and next entry in the series): January's birthstone, garnet.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

101 in 1001

Things have been done and such!



In Progress:

Another update and comment. (1 - 3) ( 7 - 4).

I'm still reading Beloved, as well as The Second Sex. (3 - 3) (9 - 2)

I also got 10,000 more grains in FreeRice. (12 - 7)

I finished reading and critiquing one out of the two screenplays I have to read from my friend Bryan. After the second one (and the synopses he sent me), I'll consider the goal done. (7 - 3)



Rest of the list after the jump.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

101 Fashion Tips and Tricks "Every" Girl Should Know

I put every in quotes up there because invariably these lists never apply to me entirely, or in part, or even in insignificant part. Truth be told, I can't imagine they all would apply to any person that actually exists; just more faux-niche (when your market constitutes a full half of the world's population, how is it actually "niche" in any meaningful sense?) writing designed to be seen and talked about. Not going to give them the benefit of a link; the curious among you can Google it. Anyway, I was bored on a Saturday night when I came across this on Pinterest. Whenever someone titles an article as "Bits and Bobbles Every Girl Needs!" or "Whosiewhatsits Every Woman Should Know How to Use!" I am always curious to see how I stack up against the Ur-Woman the author is imagining. Time to tally it up!   

101. Despite what it says on the tag, cashmere is best washed by hand. To dry it, use a salad spinner, which releases excess water in seconds.
I do not, and probably will not ever, own anything in cashmere. Or a salad spinner. 0 / 101

100. Use white wine to remove red wine stains.
Not strictly fashion advice, but I suppose when you're stretching to fill a list any trick will do. Not particularly useful for me (I go more for whisky than red wine) but I might need it someday. 1 / 101

99. Wash new jeans twice before taking them to the tailor. Why? Because jeans will always shrink in length when washed.
I wear jeans. I wish I had done this before I got a couple pairs tailored. 2 / 101

98. To stop angora or mohair from shedding, fold the garment and place it into a zip-top bag and freeze it for at least three hours.
Angora and mohair belong to the same category as cashmere: not in my closet. 2 / 101

97. Remove odors from vintage or thrift clothing by spritzing them with a mixture of one part vodka, two parts water.
Or just throw them in your next load of laundry? 2 / 101

96. “Remove white deodorant marks from a garment by gently rubbing the protective foam used on hangers against the fabric.” — Jonathan Simkhai, designer
It's actually embarrassing how many times I've forgotten to put on deodorant until after I've dressed myself (or forgotten to put any on at all), so a few of my tops have that deodorant cruft on them. 3 / 101

95. If you get an oil stain on your favorite handbag, coat the mark with baby powder and let it stand overnight. By morning, the stain should be gone. If a bit still remains, repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.
But what about my favorite skirt? By singling out handbags, do they mean to imply this trick only works with (faux) leather? I'm assuming yes. Perhaps useful for other leather things as well. 4 / 101

94. The best at-home method to keep diamonds sparkling: liquid dishwasher detergent and an old toothbrush.
Diamonds are terrible. 4 / 101

93. The secret to well-fitting everyday clothes is Lycra. The formulas to look for: 95% cotton/5% Lycra spandex for T-shirts, and at least 2% Lycra for jeans to hold their shape.
At this point, I would like to commend the writers for their correct use of "everyday." When you are describing the frequency with which you do something, "every day" is the correct usage: "I wash my pet alpaca every day." When you are using it as an adjective to mean "normal" or "daily," it becomes a compound word: "This tote bag is great for your everyday drug smuggling needs." That being said, it's also somewhat useful. I'll keep it. 5 / 101

92. “Always organize your clothes going light to dark from left to right in your closet. Your eye will follow the color and thus help you stay organized.” — Melanie Charlton Fascitelli, Founder, Clos-ette and Clos-ette Too.
Hahahahahahahahah no. 5 / 101
90. Wondering about the quality of your cashmere? Gently stretch the body of the garment to see if it snaps back. A lower-quality cashmere won’t.
Not wondering about the quality of the cashmere I don't have. 5 / 101

89. “If you don’t have time to try on jeans in the store, try the Neck Method: You can determine your size by placing the waistline of the jeans around the diameter of your neck. If the waistline of the pant comfortably meets at back of your neck, then the jeans will fit.”— Sarah Ahmed, Creative Director, DL1961 Premium Denim
Okay, say what?! I am not immune to the depression and humiliation that comes with those shopping outings tryings-on, so a tip about finding the right fit is welcome. However, I have to wonder: what is the benefit to wrapping the waistband of my jeans (is it only jeans, or all trousers?) around my neck when compared with the tried and true method of holding them up to my waist and seeing if they make it halfway around? I mean, aside from giving the shop clerks something to laugh at. Maybe there is some mystical connection between my neck and my waist that I have yet to unlock, but the halfway-hips method has yet to let me down.

 Incidentally, this tip DID bring back fond memories of high school; the uniform skirts we wore in orchestra had such a gap (where you'd expect a zipper or buttons or something to be) that it was possible to velcro the closure around your neck (as opposed to sticking your head through the hole meant for your torso) and wear it like a cape, which I totally did a couple of times. Thanks for the memory, Sarah Ahmed. 5 / 101

88. Cut down your closet by 25% by asking yourself this one question: “If I were shopping right this second, would I buy this?” If the answer’s no, out it goes. — Melanie Charlton Fascitelli, Founder, Clos-ette and Clos-ette Too. 
I don't have trouble keeping my wardrobe down to a manageable, wearable size. 5 / 101

87. “Never put your swimwear in the washing machine, and always hand dry. The machine will damage the suit and it will lose its elasticity. The only exception: At the end of the summer or vacation, wash your swimwear in lingerie washing bags on the gentle cycle with a bit of Drift or Woolite. But only after many wears.” —Shoshanna Gruss, Designer
This one falls in the category of "probably very useful, but not applicable to me." I've always just run my bathing suit under the tap and let it hang dry outside or in the shower. It's held up just fine and doesn't have any weird stains or smells. 5 / 101

86. To drop bloat five days before a big event, stay away from dairy and whole grains, which can do a number on the digestive system.

85. While fake designer bags are a huge don’t, fake diamond studs are a huge do. Faux stones are hard to spot to the untrained eye.
I don't like the look of diamonds and my ears will most likely go to the grave unpierced. 5 / 101

84. Dressy occasions aren't the time to play with trends, so know your silhouette and stick to it to always look your best. Perfect example: Sofia Vergara knows she looks good in mermaid dresses, and always chooses variations of the shape on red carpets.
Seems like this would be common sense. Considering my aversion to fashion trends, dressy occasions, and going to important events in anything other than something I know looks presentable and relatively flattering, not something I really needed to hear. 5 / 101

83. “Never put a garment on immediately after ironing, as this can actually cause new wrinkles to form. Instead, let it sit for five minutes to set the press.” — Althea Harper, Designer and Rowenta Brand Ambassador
Sometimes I iron things! 6 / 101

82. The best way to de-fuzz a sweater: use a pumice stone.
And sometimes I wear sweaters! Just not cashmere ones. 7 / 101

81. Snap clip-on earrings onto flats for an instant evening shoe, or onto shirt collars for DIY embellishments.
I totally found a pair of clip-ons for flats in a box of stuff in my closet once, I was utterly perplexed by them and Lawyer Mom had to explain their purpose to me. Despite my unpierced ears, I don't actually own any clip-on earrings. And if I did, I wouldn't use them on shoes or shirt collars. I suspect it looks more tacky than trendy. 7 / 101

80. If you get wax on a piece of clothing, layer wax paper over the hardened wax and then run an iron over it to loosen it up. Once you pull off the paper, the wax should come right out with it.
Not that I can imagine very many scenarios where I would end up with wax on clothing. Wax on tablecloths, however, is another matter. 8 / 101

79. Pour a dash of vodka into vase water to extend the life of your flowers. 9 / 101

Not really fashion but sometimes I like to have cut flowers around so I'll take it!

78. Spray tights with sticky (read: cheap) hairspray to avoid holes and runs.
Tights are from the great Satan. I'd rather go bare-legged or wear some cotton leggings. 9 / 101

77. To clean dirt off suede, remove the crust from a piece of bread and allow it to become stale. Gently rub dirt and stains with the edge of the stale bread, and they’ll disappear. To de-scuff suede, use an eraser or nail file.
Potentially useful and worth a save. 10 / 101

76. Shopping for a wedding dress or another big-event outfit? Head to the store with makeup on, proper undergarments, and your hair semi-done to get a better sense of how it’ll look.

Shopping for a wedding dress? Hair done? Getting a new outfit for an event? That's rich. 10 / 101

75. Double-stick tape work to shorten a hem in a pinch if you can’t get to the tailor before an event.
Or iron-on hem tape! Good to be reminded that you can fake a solution to something yourself, though. 11 / 101

74. Blot, don’t rub, when you spill something on your clothes. Wiping or rubbing will actually further ingrain the stain into the weave.

I think this is probably the best tip so far! 12 / 101
73. “Panty lines are not okay! Every woman should invest in nude, seamless underwear.” — Giuliana Rancic, HSN designer and E! host
Uh, sure? Since I'm not a celebrity, I don't think ~VPL~ is something I really need to concern myself with. 12 / 101

72. If you don’t feel like trying on a dress but still want to see where the hem will hit you, align the shoulder seam exactly with your shoulder bone (not your collarbone).
Why not? 13 / 101

71. Repurpose old or thrift sweaters and blankets by using them to reupholster a throw pillow, a chair seat or cover a stool.
Sounds simple in theory, but probably pretty annoying to do in practice, at least for sweaters. A BLANKET ON THE COUCH NO WAY~ 13 / 101

70. “Use hairspray to remove a lipstick stain.” – Kaelen Haworth, designer, KAELEN
I don't wear lipstick! 14 / 101

69. Add a 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle while doing laundry to maintain the wash of your favorite pair of dark jeans.
Second-best tip so far! 15 / 101

68. To stretch tight shoes, fill two freezer bags with water and place into each shoe. Let it freeze overnight. As the water freezes, it’ll gently expand your shoes.
Or don't buy shoes unless they fit. 15 / 101

67. Frame vintage scarves for cool original artwork.
I don't have any scarves, vintage or otherwise, that I don't wear. And I have other things I'd rather frame.  15 / 101

66. Due to its high level of surfactants, Dawn dish detergent is especially successful at removing grease and oil stains from clothing.
Is Dawn really that much better than other dish detergents? Or is it just dish detergents in general (minus the hippy-dippy ones that avoid surfactants in favor of true soaps)? Regardless: pretty useful. 16 / 101

65. “A flattering silhouette begins with the right underpinnings. Never underestimate the power of Spanx—they’re a girl’s best friend!” — Lucy Sykes Rellie, Fashion Director, Rent the Runway

I am a fan of foundational undergarments only in cases that prevent the dreaded chub rub. Fashion Bug had a great line that was lightweight and comfortable and I swear by the two pairs I bought for skirts and dresses. The Bug since got acquired by Lane Bryant, who seem to only want to trade in the aforementioned Spanx, which are made from a much more irritating and clinging material. Sadface.  16 / 101
64. Revamp an old coat by swapping out the buttons and having a tailor replace the lining with something eye-catching, like a pattern or a bright color.
How much would this cost compared to just buying a whole new coat? And who gives a shit about the lining of your coat anyway? I keep my coats closed because usually I'm wearing them in cold weather. 16 / 101
63. When getting jeans shortened, always ask your tailor to reattach the original hem. It may cost extra, but it’s worth it.
This one sounds like a good idea, but only in the "it's better to save something than throw it away" sense. Never once I have I changed my mind about a hem length; I deliberate for a while before I take something to a tailor. I imagine the extra fabric at the bottom would start to irritate me, as well. I'll take a pass on this tip, even if it's not inherently bad or totally useless. 16 / 101
62. If blush or bronzer breaks in your handbag, pre-moistened makeup removing wipes will clean up the loose powder flawlessly.
As if I carry blush or bronzer. 16 / 101
61. Break in stiff or too-snug shoes by slipping them on with socks and blasting your feet with a hot hairdryer.
Isn't this the same as #68? 16 / 101
60. Hang a shoe bag on the back of your bathroom door and use it to hold makeup, toiletries, brushes, hair ties, etc.
Okay, not a fashion tip, but there is nothing I love more than good door storage, even if my toiletries consist of a comb, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. 17 / 101
59. A vintage trunk not only makes a stylish coffee table, but it can also house shoes and clothing you rarely wear.
Again, not a fashion tip, but one I can appreciate as a person moving into a very small apartment. But vintage trunk? No thanks, I'll just stick with a storage ottoman from Ikea. 17 / 101
58. “To remove watermarks from leather boots, add a few drops of vinegar to a bowl of cool water and scrub the stains with a soft bristle brush until stains are no longer visible. Let dry overnight.” — Daryl Carr, Marketing Coordinator, Stetson
I don't own leather boots, but my boyfriend does enjoy working with leather and I'm sure I'll acquire some leather goods from him in the future. 18 / 101
57. To stop squeaky shoes, remove the insole and apply Vaseline or WD-40 before replacing it.
A good idea, but I bet removing and replacing the insole is easier said than done. 19 / 101
56. To determine if pearls are real, lightly rub them over your teeth. Fake pearls will be perfectly smooth, and real ones will feel slightly gritty or textured.
This is a legit tip! If you don't want to gross anyone out, use your fingernail instead. 20 / 101
55. When you’re shopping for a jacket, coat, or blazer, pay attention to the fit around the shoulders. While a tailor can tweak pretty much everything about the fit of a jacket—from tapering the waist to shortening it—they can’t change the shoulders. Make sure the seams sit perfectly at the bony tops of your shoulders.
Good to know! 21 / 101
54. Chic up a sporty puffer vest by cinching the waist with a skinny belt.
Could not give a shit about looking "chic" when I'm trying to stay warm. 21 / 101
53. Unless they’re cropped or tapered, pant hems should just graze the tops of your shoes and be from 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch off the floor.
But what if they are cropped or tapered? Nonetheless, good to know. 22 / 101
52. Always dry-clean coats before storing them, and place on cedar hangers inside cloth garment bags. This preserves the fabric and keeps moths away.
The idea of "storing" clothing boggles my mind. I don't have enough space (or clothing) in my life to store things. 22 / 101
51. If you have a small closet, never keep your shoes in clunky shoeboxes. Instead, always line up them on the floor.
Who in the world keeps their shoes in shoeboxes, small closet or no? The only fit place for shoes is by the door. 22 / 101
50. Going to a winter wedding or formal event? Try wearing a sleeveless fur vest as a top, cinching it with a skinny belt or piece of ribbon and pairing it with a floor-length skirt.
How about no. 22 / 101
49. How to care for fur at home: “Pass the fur with a hairbrush and steam it for added bounce, volume and shine.” —Eran Elfassy, Co-Creative Director, Mackage
In addition to cashmere, mohair, and angora, fur (faux or otherwise) will never be something in my wardrobe. 22 / 101
48. “Marquise ring shapes help to create the illusion of longer, more slender fingers, even on small wide hands. Pear or oval stones are also flattering.” — Carol Brodie, Fine Jewelry Designer, HSN’s Rarities: Fine Jewelry with Carol Brodie
I can't say that I pay much attention to how flattering (or not) someone's ring is to their hand, but good to know regardless. 23 / 101
47. Everyday bras should be replaced every three to six months, as that’s when they start to lose elasticity and support.
Good one to know! You should also always fasten them at the outside, moving inwards as the fabric stretches and loses elasticity. Support in bras comes from the band, so if the band is too loose your bra isn't going to fit properly. 24 / 101
46. Ideally, a pencil skirt should hit just at the top of your knee. Any lower and it will start to shorten your leg.
I don't care for pencil skirts. 24 / 101
45. Pants a bit too tight? Let them air dry and stretch the waistband by hand (or with a hairdryer) while they’re still damp.
This one certainly has some practical uses. 25 / 101
44. Still look chic while showing some skin: If you’re wearing a miniskirt or shorts, cover up on top. If your top is skimpy, go for full-coverage bottoms.
45. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting, stylish winter coat. You can be wearing pajamas underneath and you’ll still look perfectly put together.
 Again, winter? All I care about is staying warm. 25 / 101
44. Windex restores the glossy sheen on patent leather without doing any damage.
Good to know! 26 / 101
43. Fold jeans like a pro: Lay jeans on a flat surface, fold in half from left to right. Grab the stacked jean legs and fold them in half so the hem of the jeans lines up with the waistband. Fold the jeans in half one more time.
I already fold my jeans like this...? 26 / 101
42. The power of a silk pillowcase isn't a myth: Not only do they prevent “sleep crease,” they’re much, much gentler on your skin and hair.
I've never heard of this before. Do I care enough to drop cash on a silk pillowcase? Not right now, but maybe in the future. 27 / 101
41. “The best way to store fashion jewelry, including Sterling Silver, is in Ziploc bags. This helps pieces retain luster and reduces tarnishing and scratches.”—Jordann Weingartner, Founder, I Love Jewelry Auctions
Yes, absolutely. 28 / 101
40. If the garment you’re ironing has delicate buttons or detailing, cover them with the bowl of a metal spoon and press the surrounding fabric.
Kind of clever, I guess? 29 / 101
39. Don’t buy items you know you won’t properly care for. For example, if you know you’re never going to hand-wash that delicate cami or beaded sweater, don’t buy it.
File this under "No Shit, Sherlock." 29 / 101
38. “Pair flirty, feminine dresses with masculine spectator shoes for an effortless and unexpected look.” — Gabriella Perezutti, Designer, Candela
That's nice. 29 / 101
37. To achieve the perfectly effortless cuffed sleeve, keep the top button (which is called the gauntlet) buttoned while you roll.
Good to know! 30 / 101
36. V-neck sweaters and tees give the illusion of a longer torso.
All of the shits I give about elongating my torso:  _____.  30 / 101
35. Spritzed a bit too much perfume on yourself this morning? Use unscented, oil-based makeup remover to remove excess perfume.
Don't wear perfume, either! 30 / 101
34. Tend to wear certain leather shoes without socks? Always stuff them with a soft cloth when you’re done wearing them. This absorbs moisture and help the shoes keep their shape.
But I am  a grungy hippie who sometimes foregoes socks. 31 / 101
33. “Hoop earrings are a classic style that every woman—regardless of age—should have, but the type depends on your face. If you have a thin face, go for larger round or embellished hoops. If you have a round face an elongated hoop or drop style is best.” —Elena Kiam, Creative Director, Lia Sophia
Still don't have pierced ears, though. 31 / 101
32. Freeze jeans inside a plastic bag for two days to zap odor without running them through the washing machine.
Handy! 32 / 101
31. Looking for an easy trick to make your bare legs look longer? Try pumps the same color of your skin, which gives give the illusion that your legs extend a few extra inches.
Looking for an easy trick to make my bare legs look longer? No. 32 / 101
30. Wrap an empty bottle of your favorite perfume in a handkerchief and tuck it into your underwear drawer for a subtle scent.
Still no perfume. 32 / 101
29. Heat can warp your glasses frames, so always keep them in a hard case and never wear them on your head on a hot day.
Well, considering I have to wear my glasses all the time, it's good to know but I can't do much about it. 33 / 101
28. Spray shirts prone to sweat stains with lemon juice before washing. The natural acid dissolves alkaline sweat residue that could cause yellow discoloration.
 Science! 34 / 101
27. “It’s a myth that loose styles flatter a large bust or a plus-size woman. The area just under the bust is a woman’s smallest torso measurement, so emphasizing it with a structured waistband that hits higher than your natural waist will make you look a size smaller. —BG Krishnan, President,
Belts under the boobs is my favorite trick, but I already knew that. 34 / 101
26. Use shaving cream and a washcloth to remove liquid makeup from shirt collars.
Still don't wear makeup. 34 / 101
25. A modern trick to looking like the most effortlessly stylish girl in the room: Pair dressy bottoms (a velvet maxi, a leather or beaded skirt, silk pants) with a worn gray crew-neck sweatshirt or T-shirt.
 Also make sure you are the skinniest girl in the room, with professionally done-up hair and makeup. 34 / 101
24. When it doubt, always choose the smaller denim size, since jeans stretch with wear.
True! 35 / 101
23. “Never dry a wet shoe with heat. Let it dry naturally in open air. Heat will dry out leather and the lifespan of the shoe will be cut in half.” —Jordan Adoni, Designer, Modern Vice
More leather tricks are always useful. 36 / 101
22. The easiest way to make your closet look organized: Buy all the same hangers for everything–same color, same shape.
It's a fucking closet. 36 / 101
21. Before bed, pour two or three tablespoons of baking soda into sweaty workout sneakers and tilt the shoe to distribute the soda evenly. This will eat any odor and absorb perspiration.
I douse and douse my sneakers with baking soda but they always seem to be gross and smelly. Maybe I just wasn't using enough? 37 / 101
20. “For guaranteed weight loss, I advise people to follow my A, B, C’s – no Alcohol, Bread or processed Carbs.”—David Kirsch, celebrity trainer and fitness guru.
"Guaranteed" weight loss, okay there buddy. 37 / 101
19. To prevent clothing from wrinkling in a suitcase, fold everything in plastic dry cleaning bags.
If my clothes are coming from a suitcase, I've resigned myself to them being a least a little wrinkly. 37 / 101
18. If you can’t fit two fingers underneath your bra band comfortably, it’s probably too tight.
Bra fitting tips are always good! 38 / 101
17. Pile on good accessories—scarves, sunglasses, hats, statement jewelry—to instantly transform even the most basic outfit.
Another file for the "No Shit, Sherlock" category. 38 / 101
16. Confused about laundry settings? Remember this: The hotter the water, the cleaner the clothing will be. While warm water is fine for most clothes, linens and dirty white clothing are best washed in hot water to remove germs and heavy soil. Cold water is usually used for delicates.
But this is good to know! 39 / 101
15. A structured hat should rest about 1/8 to a 1/2-inch above the ears.
Fitting tips are also good to know! 40 / 101
14. After a shower, use your hairdryer to de-mist bathroom mirrors in seconds.
My hairdryer. Hahaha. 40 / 101
13. A good tip when cleaning out your closet: Ask a friend whose style you admire to come over and help. She/he might offer new insight on how to wear certain items before you toss them.
Cleaning out the closet is a private time. 40 / 101
12. It might sound “budget,” but a hot glue gun works amazingly well to hem skirts, pants and even jeans in a pinch.
It definitely does sound "budget." I can't imagine this would turn out looking so well. I'd rather go with the double-sided tape or the iron-on hem tape. 40 / 101
11. Looking for uses for all the single socks you’ve amassed while doing laundry? When you’ve got aches or pains, fill a sock with dry beans or rice and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Voila, an instant (and free) heating pad.
I don't use heating pads. But I do wear mismatched socks! 40 / 101
10. Wear your new real leather jacket in the rain to break it in. Water will soften up the leather and allow it to stretch and crease at specific points on your body.
More leather! 41 / 101
9. Who has the time to hand wash bras? Machine wash them in cold water in a mesh zipper bag and drape them over a hanger to air dry.
Already do that.  41 / 101
8. Use a lemon wedge to remove excess or streaky self-tanner.
Never self-tanner. Ever. 41 / 101
7. Track lighting is possible even for the tiniest closet: Buy a track kit, screw it into the ceiling, run the wire down the wall and plug it into the nearest outlet. Not only will you see all your clothes better, but you’ll feel like you have a more luxurious closet.
A closet is a place where my clothes live. That's it. It doesn't need to be spacious or luxurious or anything, just where my clothes live. 41 / 101
6. Invest in silk or satin pillowcases to keep your hair from breaking during the night. (They also keep your skin looking smoother than rough cotton cases!)
Isn't this a repeat of  #42? 41 / 101
5. If you’re unsure about an impulse or sale purchase, leave it at the store. If you’re still thinking about it when you wake up the next day, buy it.
Good advice for anything, not just clothes. Namely books. And beads. 42 / 101
4. Have a sequin garment you don’t wear anymore? Remove the sequins and sprinkle them into a vase of flowers. Gorgeous!
Have a sequin garment I don't wear anymore? Nope! 42 / 101
3. A good shoemaker can fully rebuild your favorite pair, even if the arch is cracked.
That's kind of what's implied by their job description. 42 / 101
2. To coax a loose thread back into place, gently tug at the stitches to the sides of the pull as well as above and below.
I should probably do this but I just snap the thread and hope for the best. 43 / 101
1. There’s nothing cooler than sticking to a signature style you know looks good on you. Slaves to fashion are never chic!
 And of course the tackiest piece of non-advice is saved for the end. 43 / 101

43 out of 101 is more than I was expecting, to be honest. How many from the list could you use?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Science Saturday and Etsy Find: Elements: Experiments in Character Design

I pinned this without a second glance a while ago. "Cartoon representation of the elements, that's cool. Repin. Oh look, a funny meme!"

Periodically (PUN FULLY INTENDED DON'T YOU WORRY), I like to revisit my boards and actually visit the links I've collected. I often (re)pin on my phone or in a time crunch, so I think of Pinterest as a better way to bookmark stuff for later, when I'm at home or not partciularly busy. These cartoon representations of the elements were one such pin.

The cartoon art style is fun and modern, and most of the facts the artist chose to include with the character were interesting or at least memorable. (Is there nothing else to share about Einsteinium except that it was named for Albert Einstein?) What really blew me away, though, was the true diversity of the art across race, gender, size, and shape. For example, check out chlorine:

She has a butt! And thighs! Well, all humanoid cartoon characters do, but not quite so pear-shaped. Here are a few of my other favorites:

What I particularly like about the last two are the visual references to the code names for the bombs made from these respective elements ("Little Boy" and "Fat Man").

The greatest part is that the artist, Kaycie, has an Etsy shop where you can buy flashcards of these guys! She is looking into poster prints, too. I eagerly await the day I can have a framed print of antimony over my workspace!