31 March 2011

My Pink Hair!!!!

Before I start please note that this is not a 'How To Do' as I am not an expert with hair colour. This is simply how I dyed my hair with the products I found that worked for me. Please remember that different products will allow for different results, degrees of hair damage and skin irritation depending on your own reactions to chemicals found in the ingredients.

You may remember me talking about pink hair for the past while. Well I finally did it..... Hurray!!!
It still needs a little work as it's very brassy, not really a cotton candy colour, so it could do with another bleaching but I'm going to wait a bit so my hair doesn't get too fried. It's holding up well, it's not too dried out I'm glad to say... my hair seems to be pretty tough when it comes to bleaching and the likes.

Below are just some web cam snaps of the process.

 I am actually wearing a strapless top incase you're wondering (which I would recommend as I got bleach all over my blue pyjama top) so don't worry, it's not turning into THAT kind of blog :p

These are the products I used...
Clairol L'Image Maxi Blonde: The reason I chose this is because it contains a lightening cream to lift the blonde just that little bit extra. It brings your colour 3 shades above your natural colour without too much damage as it conditions while it's working, which is just what I needed. Out of all my strand tests this was the best and it was on sale in London Drugs for $6.
Manic Panic Cotton Candy: Not as good as Stargazer dyes in my opinion (I've used Stargazer's Magenta Pink before) but you can't buy Stargazer over here so it had to do. Still did the trick. Bought it in Adrenaline on Granville for $15... turns out they're $12.50 in The Rock Shop just a few stores up. Though the guy in Adrenaline kindly photocopied all the chart colours for me (and was super hot!).

I may play around with darker shades of pink and even experiment with some other colours while my hair is bleached. Any suggestions?? Have you got a favourite hair colour you'd like to share? Pretty please?

Aoife x

19 March 2011

Vintage Outfit - Blue Button Up Dress

A few posts back a fellow Irish girl living in Vancouver, Green of Eye Sharp of Claw, left a comment with information about a closing down sale in one of the vintage stores here in Vancouver. 
(Thank you, thank you, thank you by the way!!!!)

True Value Vintage on Robson is having an incredible clear out as the building they rent is being torn down for apartments. It's very sad as it's such a beautiful basement store but on the bright side, the bargains are incredible! I would advise you to get down there as soon as you can as I may buy everything in there.
I managed to snag a few outfits for under $100 (including jewelery) and here is one of the dresses I nearly left behind. Yes, I almost put it back on the rack. For shame!
(Please excuse the wrinkles, I was just home from work)
Dress - Vintage (I know, state the obvious :p)
Belt - New Look
Shoes - Hush Puppies
Earrings - Vintage

It's a beautiful 60's/70's button-up dress and it's perfect for the spring weather coming in. It's also incredibly well made and easily one of the most comfortable dresses I've ever owned... and the pretty thing was only $18!!!

Below is just a quick peak at one of the other dresses I managed to find, this one was $20 and it's my favourite. Post on that in the future (and I may also be using it for a painting).

Aoife x

06 March 2011

A Day in the Life of a Hammock Seller

So anybody who's following me on facebook and twitter know that I have an absolutely amazing job over here in Vancouver. I work in a hammock store! The Hang Out Place on Granville Island to be exact. Granville Island is one of the main tourist spots in Vancouver and it's also one of the huge art areas. The Emily Carr Art College is on the Island along with alot of independent art studios and shops. They were also filming Mission Impossible 4 there recently and I was hoping Simon Pegg would show up in the store. (Alas, not yet though)

*Just to avoid disappointment before you read on, the store doesn't have an online shop at the moment.*
So basically, I wake up and wear... well, anything I want really. The owners of the store don't care about piercings or tattoos, the colour or style you put in your hair, or how bright and colourful your clothes are (infact, I think being in a hammock store it's slightly expected). But I always make sure to wear at least one piece of my silly little handmade items. I get asked about them regularly on the bus or in the store.
Part of the job often involves unpacking, testing and re-packing the hammocks. Yes, I test hammocks. On my first day I was kindly guided through the different styles, materials and sizes of hammocks and got to try each and every single one of them out. 
I get to learn alot of cool things, one of which was being shown how to tie secure knots for the rope kits, and lets face it that's a very handy skill to know. There's a boat workshop behind us and while one of the workers was chilling out in the shop he showed me various types of sailing and rock climbing knots to hold hammocks. I found it really interesting and have started tying up everything in my room without realising it.
I also get to cut chains, which sounds really boring, but it makes me feel like I have the super-human ability to cut metal with my hands (even though the tools do most of the work :p).
Burning the ends of ropes with a torch is fast becoming one of my favourite jobs to do in the store too.
When all the little jobs are done, I'm told to sit in the hammocks so people walking by will pop their heads in and have a look. I'm still getting used to being told to sit down on the job. I feel like I'm doing something wrong by chilling out in a hammock, but it works... people get curious and come in. I then have to show them into the hammocks. Some people take a little coaxing, you might be surprised to hear this but not everyone is willing to get in them.
For the rest of the day I admire all the different colours and textures in the shop. Nearly everything in there is handmade or handwoven and I still can't believe the skill and talent in the merchandise.
The owners of the store have been employing the same family of weavers in Mexico for over 20 years. They are paid fairly, of course, and the design for The Hang Out Chair (the one I'm pictured sitting in) was created by the owners. Chair hammocks are popular, but these are the only designs where you can lie out fully. Some of the staff call them "the lazy boy of hammocks".
One of the most difficult parts of my job is trying to decide which colour hammock to get for myself (you can click to enlarge this photo, opinions and suggestions welcome, I'm genuinely torn between about 10 of them). These chair hammocks can be installed anywhere. Alot of people rent in Vancouver and don't have space for two points to hang a traditional hammock so the owners and staff have thought of everything to ensure they can be installed with only one point in wood framed or concrete ceilings without any structural damage (only about a one-two inch hole will be left when you leave that can be easily fixed yourself) and that will be very secure to hold your weight. All the staff have installed them themselves and it takes about 10-15 minutes. But the hammocks are also built to last outside, so alot of people bring them to the beach during the summer and hang them from branches or public sculptures.
These are my favourite photos that I show nearly every customer... boat guy and hammock cat. I mean, wow, how awesome are these?

After work I get to wonder about the Granville Island market. I usually buy my dinner there. I've made a rule that three times a week I will try something I haven't had yet, but usually I head to The Stock Market where they make the most amazing soups from scratch right in front of you. I then head to the bakery and get the day old bread which is lovely and crunchy to go with my amazing soup. Dessert is usually beautifully fresh fruit or vegan brownies (I have dairy allergies). And the best part is I get a 10% discount on nearly everything on the Island because I work there. Happy, happy days!

Hope you enjoyed a little peak into my typical work day over here in Vancouver?

Have a great weekend!
Aoife x

03 March 2011

A Silly Little Thing I Made ... A Vancouver Video

Here's a silly little video I put together from random clips I took of the city and hanging out with my friends. It was all taken on a very basic point and shoot digital camera, so the quality isn't the best... also, I'm a complete and utter amateur with no tripod so again, the quality isn't the best.

I had to remove a clip from the middle because something went funny and I've no idea how to fix it so the edits don't sync up to the music as well as they did before... oh well, it still makes me smile :)

That wonderfully beautiful song in the video was kindly given by Shera Kelly, from this post, who was great about allowing me to use it in the video. You can like her on facebook here... and really, after hearing Stand By The Sea, why wouldn't you?


Aoife x

My First Vancouver Trade: Music for Handmade

Yesterday I did a trade with my co-worker Shera Kelly. The first day I met her she was releasing her cd later that night (which went very well I'm glad to say) so of course I asked to buy a copy for myself. Shera suggested a trade, one of her cd's for one of the silly little things I make.
Let me tell you, this girl's got talent! I'm completely in love with her songs... 'A Bicycle Commuters Anthem' (also the name of the cd) is a brilliantly funny song and so upbeat you can't help but smile & sing along. But my favourite is a beautiful song called 'Stand By The Sea' which I am using for a project that will be posted soon ;) 
I'm completely in love with the cd cover... how gorgeous is that design?
So I made a flower ring & a flower brooch (I felt more than one thing was deserved for such wonderful music) and I got a marvelous "oh, how cute!" which is always lovely to hear :D

I love doing trades. It's such a great way for people to share their art and it's an amazing feeling to know that you own something because you gave someone else a piece of your work.

Stay posted for a project with Shera's music.

Aoife x