Friday, May 10, 2019

{Happenings} Happy Spring!

It would seem that Spring has finally arrived here in the high desert. Everything- and I mean everything- is green. I hope to spend some time this weekend photographing the changes here on the farm. Spring also means that our local reenacting season is in full swing. I don't have much to report today as I am off to a school day at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in honor of the Sesquicentennial celebration of the Golden Spike at Promontory Point in Utah. This was the day that the east and west were connected by the continental railroad. This would forever change the history of the west. I will be sharing more soon I hope. This also means that my Saturdays will be regularly occupied for the next few weeks. I hope to have my act together enough to upload videos and articles prior to the weekends and schedule them to post for your enjoyment. Speaking of which- are the weekends good for you? Or would you prefer a weekday posting? Let me know in the comments below.

I bid you Adieu for the time being. Cheers.

Ms. B

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

{Create} Shooting with Soul: Exercise 1-Glimpses of You

 "A photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what is in front of it"
                              - Canon Australia from Decou

A while back, Mum bought two copies of a book called Shooting with Soul from our local Art Museum. The intention was to work through the exercises in the book together and share them with one another as well as with anyone who might be interested. The book has been sitting on our shelves for far too long. (Who is counting right?) Go back to June 2017, when I pulled the book off the shelf thinking that we never even started the project. I called Mum up to see if she had her copy of the book handy. She fished it out and we talked about starting the project. We did the first three exercises last year and then it ended up in flames on the back burner. Not the nook, the commitment to the project.
At the turn of the New Year, we chatted about it again and decided to give it a go. (I think we are committed to it this time!)  We set a schedule to do one exercise a month as the year progresses. Hopefully this will make it easier to keep an even flame under us to do it. With that said, I am admittedly a bit late on posting the first one. Here is to good intentions

Exercise 1:  Glimpses of you

       This shot embodies my faith as well as my love of learning.  I continue my studies to become a certified Assemblies of God minister, and I focused on the work my hands do when I am studying.  Rewriting my scribbled study/class notes by hand has always been an effective way for me to study; and using color to emphasize the important bits and organizing the scribbled chaos into something less messy is a significant part of my learning process. 

Photo credit:  Mum (Canon EOS 50D)

         The feature I think of when I think of “Mum” is my hands.  They are always doing something; they seem to rest only when I am sleeping, even then I wonder...   I wanted to show my hands doing another favorite activity – working with yarn.  This shot shows the last stitches of a very soft baby alpaca summer sweater I’ve been working on for myself.  I love the feel of yarn sliding through my hands whether it’s being spun, knitted, or crocheted (like the afghan that was made for my grandma Martha many years ago).

Photo credit:  Mum (Canon EOS 50D)

Ms. B:

       There are often times when I love to just sit out on the back porch and relax with a few of my chickens. They have wholeheartedly become a part of who I am. Cuddle Bug, my little Buff Orphington, is an enormous fan of getting snuggles. She hopped up on my lap, climbed onto my arm and just wanted to hang out. These creatures bring out the best in me, most of the time….

Photo Credit: Ms. B (IPhone 5s) 


        I have had natural curls from day one. All of the photos my mother took of me as a child contain this halo of light blonde curls. My hair has gotten darker over the years but the curls remain. I have had a love/hate relationship with them all my life. It took me forever to get ready when I was in high school because I spent a good 45 mins straightening my hair with a flat iron. Fast forward to the present, and I love my curls. I feel now that they are one of my defining features. 

Photo Credit: Ms. B (IPhone SE)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

{Living} No More Hair Elastics

Modern society seems to be the age of throw it up and go. Messy buns and ponytails are on trend due mainly to the ease with which they can be done. There is one common tool required for these simple styles- hair elastics. They come in all shapes and sizes from those obnoxious little clear ones to larger than life scrunchies. As you read this, I know you are rolling your eyes asking “What did a hair tie ever do to you?” 

Hairbands after abuse...
        I can’t even begin to fathom the number of hair elastics I have gone through in my life time. Far too many to count I am sure. I should have an entire dresser drawer full. Actually, come to think of it, if I had somehow managed to maintain the ones I had as a little girl I would only ever have 3 or 4 in my repertoire. Alas, this is not the case. They have been lost over the years to stretching, breakage and theft- yes theft. I swear I have lost more hair elastics over the years to the bathroom elves.* 

Once these convenient little helpers are beyond use, most of us just toss them in the bin and that is the end of it. Which in turn means that the landfills are littered with them. I have heard zero and low waste advocates sight this as a reason for no longer purchasing hair elastics. However, many of them cannot go without those simple hairstyles, so they “reuse” as many as possible- even picking them up off the ground. Either that or they just cut their hair off. Nope. 

The dreaded knot of hair!
        Besides the waste they create, I am tired of pulling the hair elastics out of my hair, only to find a rat’s nest of my precious locks wrapped around the band. I have tried different types on my curly hair. One half of these styles took my hair with it while the other half didn’t hold.  Thus the search to find alternatives that not only fit with my values and aesthetic but were a bit kinder to my hair.

      In the past, women used hair pins, hair combs, clips and ribbons to secure their hairstyles. Styling ones hair was an art form that could even compliment ones resume when finding employment. Many well to do ladies would hire a ladies maid based on her   ability to style hair in the latest fashions.  Doing ones hair up with added effort seems to be a thing of the past. However, it is what has inspired me to ditch the elastics and use only ribbons and pins in my every day hair styling. 

        Here are a few of my tools for styling my hair the old fashioned way:

Hair Pins
I primarily use large and small metal u-shaped hair pins I picked up at my local beauty supply shop. I do keep a small supply of bobbi pins for pin curls and the like.
upins bobbi pin
L-R Large U pin, small u pin, bobbi pin.

These don’t have to be the kind that come on the spools from the craft store, although this is an option.  Many fabric shops sell ribbon by the yard. If you do any sewing and have large enough pieces left over, you can cut a long rectangle, sew it into a tube, turn right side our and sew up the ends to prevent fraying. Or just cut it into a strip and go.

multicolored lenths of ribbon for hair

Hair Combs
Recently I was able to find several local sources for smaller metal hair combs to make my own accessories. I also use them to secure certain styles. I only have one large decorative hair comb at the moment but am keeping my eyes out for more. 

plastic butterfly hair comb large
My larger decorative comb
metal hair combs small barrette
Example of metal hair combs and barrettes I use

Clips and barrettes
For a quick and elegant look, I depend on my metal barrettes. I pull the top half of my hair back, secure it with a barrette and let the curls do as they please down my back.

I know this might seem a bit daunting. Can the modern woman really survive without hair elastics? I have plans to share some more tips and tricks as well as my go to hairstyles with you. I have even challenged a hairdresser friend to come up with a few elastic free looks for ones locks. And I challenge you dear reader: try leaving the hair elastics in the drawer.

Ms. B

Do you use elastics in your hairstyles or have you let them go? Do you think you could do without them?

*The bathroom elves are distant cousins of the laundry gnomes residing in the washing machine and dryer stealing our socks