Saturday, May 28, 2011

Red hair


Even though it's summer here it's not been particularly warm yet.  I'm really hoping it will heat up soon!  As I've been spending a bit more time indoors I've had the chance to make a few more pairs of earrings :)

The past year I've been dying my hair red.  I had a bad reaction to some highlights I had put in my hair as a teen and had been too afraid to have it dyed since.  However I became desperate to have red hair a couple of years ago and after some internet research decided to try the least toxic sounding one I could find.  I took the necessary precautions (allergy test etc.) and luckily it turned out just fine!  All the reviews that people have written on the internet of their experiences with various hair dyes were so useful that I wanted to share my own.
First I used HennaPlus Long Lasting Colour in Henna Red.  I really wanted a dark red colour and although this is what I got initially it faded pretty quickly to more of a warm ginger red.  Luckily I still really liked this colour and it seemed to warm my skin tone and suit the summery weather.  I was expecting the dye to ruin my hair but my hair seemed to be in really good condition after using this dye.  The hair colour really stayed in my hair so when my darker roots grew through I decided to re-dye it with the same dye again as I liked the colour so much!
A few months later I decided I wanted to try a darker colour so that when it grew out my roots would be less obvious. I went for Tints of Nature Dark Henna Red as it contained no ammonia.  This dye actually seemed a bit more chemical than the HennaPlus one and my hair didn't feel as nice after using it.  The colour was a bit more purple than red and quite soon after using it I felt that I needed to use a lot of treatment to repair my damaged hair.  It was darker but not as dark as I would have liked and it faded pretty quickly to a colour between the warm coppery one from HennaPlus and the darker shade.  I did get a few compliments on the colour of my hair at this time but I wasn't satisfied with the colour so a couple of months later I decided to really go for it and bought some Garnier semi-permanent dye called Glowing Red with no ammonia that was really quite bright on the box but just what I was after.
I did some more research on getting the best results from your dye which told me to do some intensive hair conditioning for a few days before the dye as well as getting it cut.  I also washed my hair the day before with as little conditioner as possible to give the colour a chance to grab on to my hair and didn't wash it for 3(!) days after colouring it.
I love the colour it is now!  It's bright and bold and very me.  Hopefully I will get some pictures of it up soon.  Now I just have to figure out how to hold on to the colour as long as possible!  My research has led to me upgrading my shampoo and conditioner to slightly more expensive 'sulphate-free' versions that shouldn't strip hair colour.
Red Swarovski Crystal Drop Earrings
Now for my latest earrings!  Going with the red theme I've created these pretty little red Swarovski crystal drop earrings with sterling silver chain and ball and post ear studs.  It's the first time I've used a ball and post finding and I really like the security they give to the earring. 

I just can't get enough of Swarovski crystal drops, they're so pretty :)  I've also made some for myself of course!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer is here!

Summer has arrived at last and things at work have really wound down.  At the moment we're performing Abba which doesn't involve too much dancing for me.  Consequently I have had some time to finally sit down and start making some earrings again!

Crystal Quartz and Freshwater pearl earrings
I have had some beautiful crystal quartz multi-faceted beads hanging around for a while and decided to combine these with beautiful magenta freshwater pearls for a simple, pretty earring.  Once I'd made them I  liked them so much I quickly used another pair of the crystal beads for myself.  A friend commented on how much she liked them straight away in ballet class so I know they're great :)

At the end of April we had a ballet gala here and I was desperate to perform something balletic and new for it.  Luckily for me my boyfriend has begun choreographing recently so I asked him to create a pas de deux for us to a piece of my favourite music, the pas de deux from Act II of Cinderella.

He decided to dance the part of the prince and we worked together on the choreography finally finishing the piece just in time for the gala.  I was really pleased with how it turned out; just as I had imagined and it was really special to perform.  We worked out the costume for my dress as well with the costume department here and it turned out great, a sort of 50's style dress with a knee length puffy skirt in purple.

Cinderella earrings
Thinking about the pas de deux inspired me to create some Cinderella themed earrings, especially as I had some shoe charms lying around!  I combined them with a swarovski light blue star, representing the midnight sky and also the stars that traditionally appear in the ballet.  Also a larger 8mm swarovski clear crystal to add a bit of sparkle to Cinderella's shoe.  Both of these earrings are on sale at my Twirlybirdie Etsy shop .