Being white – blond (and keeping my hair healthy)

Shampoo and conditioners

Shampoo and conditioners

Since going super-blond/white blond, I have had a few friends and acquaintances ask how I was able to bleach my hair to this degree, while still retaining the length and relative health of my hair. (As in.. it doesn’t feel like straw all the time.) Rather than try to remember all of the products I’ve used, I figured I’d make up a short post as a follow up to my Purposefully White Hair post a while back. (And yep.. other than semi-regular trims, I haven’t had to cut my hair at all since bleaching the heck out of it!)

Shampoo and conditioner

I use two different kinds of shampoo & conditioner – one is for toning (keeping the brassy yellows out of my hair and keeping it white-blond) and the other is for condition/texture – basically to keep it looking and feeling healthy (even if it isn’t!)

  • Joico Colour Endure Violet Shampoo – this is a dark purple sulfate-free shampoo for toning blond or grey hair. The staff clerk who advised me said that it’s a bit drying though… I haven’t had a problem with it – but I always use conditioner too. I picked this up at Chatters.
  • Shimmer Lights Shampoo & Conditioner – these are products also intended for “blonde & silver” hair. They are both purple as well, to tone the hair and get rid of the brassiness. I think they’re good, but I don’t like the way they smell at all; they smell sort of earthy or chalky. I picked these up at Sally’s Beauty Supply.
  • Ion Smooth Solutions Keratin Smoothing Shampoo, Conditioner, and Masque – these are protein products, intended to repair and smooth hair. I use the masque maybe once every two-three weeks, leaving it on for 5 minutes or so. I bought these at Sally’s Beauty Supply.

All of the toning shampoos and conditioners don’t actually mean I get to stop toning my hair though with my own home-made dye+conditioner concoction to actually keep it WHITE (or pale lavender). If I don’t do that extra treatment, my hair goes back to being just super-light blond instead.

Leave-in treatments I use

Leave-in treatments I use

Leave-in treatments

  • Joico K-Pak Colour Therapy Restorative Styling Oil – I love this stuff a hundred times more than the Moroccan Oil or Coconut Oil that I was using before I picked this stuff up… it seems to leave my hair soft and manageable, but much less oily than the other products. It also smells really good! I picked up my supply (three containers, one for my room, one for my bathroom, and one for traveling) at Wal-Mart.
  • Joico K-Pak Restorative Liquid Reconstructor – this is a leave-in spray-on product… and honestly – I don’t love it nearly as much as the next one. I got it at Wal-Mart as well, but it seemed kind of pricy.
  • Live Clean Exotic Nectar Argan Oil leave-in conditioner spray – this leave-in spray is much nicer than the K-Pak for my hair, and I use it all the time to smooth my hair. It smells good too. (I’ve also duped it by mixing coconut oil, water, and lavender essential oil in a leftover container and using that too, which was actually almost as nice, and would have been cheaper too….)

What are your tips and tricks?

So.. if you’re thinking of going white-blond, super blond, white, or silver… maybe some of these products will help! Share some of your must-have products or techniques in the comments below!


Red Deer Sewers – raid your stash!

April 9 fabric finds (close up)

April 9 fabric finds (close up) from the Calgary sale

If you’re in Red Deer, you aren’t being missed out on the fabric stash/destash madness! The GrammaLink-Africa group in Red Deer host a fabric sale as well, with proceeds going to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

GrammaLink-Africa Fabulous Fabric Sale – Red Deer

In 2013 the sale was held on April 13 at the Gaetz United Church (4758 5oth Street, Red Deer) and for 2014 you can build up your stash of fabric, yarn, and quilting supplies on April 12, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Gaetz United Church (4758 5oth Street, Red Deer)

Get more information about the event here:

Hat Grannies for Africa Fabric Sale – Medicine Hat

I don’t think that I have any readers in Medicine Hat… yet… but I JUST found out that there is also an annual sale in your community too.  Unfortunately for 2014 I’m a bit too late – the sale was on March 15th, 2014. It was held at St John’s Presbyterian Church (504 2 Street Southeast) from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Mark your calendars for next year though! Or just come visit us up in Calgary! (Read more about the event which has now passed here: and then bookmark the site for next year!)

Guelph’s Fabulous Fibre and Fabric Frenzy

While on the Grandmother’s Campaign site I also saw that Guelph, Ontario also has a fabric sale like this! This one took place on March 22nd, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Now, Guelph is a bit far for ME to go.. but perhaps it’s close enough for one of my readers to participate, and send back word about the sale? Just for reference, the sale took place at the Dublin Street United Church (68 Suffolk Street West).

Stay tuned!

Keep following the Fabric Sale tag for lots of posts about this cool sale – and others you might want to participate in!

Edmonton sewers – build your stash!

The main area with tables of fabric - and a LOT of people!

The main area with tables of fabric – and a LOT of people at the Calgary fabric sale

The other day I told you about the fabric de-stash (and stash-builder!) in Calgary – well on April 5, 2014, the Grandmothers of Alberta for a New Generation (aka GANG) will host their own Fabulous Fabric Frenzy at the Strathearn United Church.

I first heard about this last year from the AB Craft Alert Twitter:

After seeing their post from Edmonton – I really wanted to check it out! Of course, I won’t be up in Edmonton, but I know some of my readers are up there, so I thought I’d share with you! Like the Calgary sale, you can donate before the sale, and then fabric, yarn, and notions are sold off at bargain prices, raising funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation to support grandmothers in Africa caring for over 14 million children orphaned by AIDS/HIV.


If you were hoping to de-stash, I’m sorry I’m a bit behind – they were collecting between January 21-March 25th – but keep them in mind for next year!

Are you going?

If you go to the sale – share your thoughts with me in the comments below! I’d love to hear how the sale goes!


Raid your sewing stash for a good cause

April 9 fabric finds

April 9, 2011 fabric finds

If you’re a sewer or knitter, you probably have a few lengths of fabric or a few balls of yarn that you know you’ll never use. If you’re like me, you hold on to them as tiny treasures of promises yet to be fulfilled, with all of the projects that ‘could be’ tempting you to hold on to them… even when you rationally know that you’ll never use up half your stash as it is…

So… if you’re doing your spring cleaning, what about donating some of those unused treasures to fill someone else’s stash cupboard – and help out a good cause in the meantime?

The Ujamaa Grandmothers are holding their annual fabric and yarn drive April 23-24, 2014.  They’re looking for unused fabric, yarn, notions, embellishments, patterns, sewing/craft/knitting books, and sewing machines for the Annual Unused Fabric Sale.  Visit their website for more information about where to drop off your treasures, and what times they’re accepting donations here:

And if you’re trying to build your crafty stash…

The main area with tables of fabric - and a LOT of people!

The main area with tables of fabric – and a LOT of people!

Of course this means if you want to increase your stash instead of downsizing, get your reuseable shopping bags ready and find your tag-team shopping partner (or at least someone who can run to the food truck and get you a hot cup of coffee while you wait in line) because the sale is coming too!

Read my previous posts:

Just don’t ask me how much of the fabric I’ve used already….

Fascinator class in April 2014

Red and black spiderweb lace fascinator

Red and black spiderweb lace fascinator

I’ve had a lot of traffic to this blog from people who have visited my posts about the Millinery (hat-making) classes that I took in the past.

For those of you who want ‘just a taste’ of hat-making, I thought I’d share this class coming in April 2014 where you can make your own fascinators over two evenings.

Fascinators – An Introduction
2 Classes – Fee: $149
“Explore the art of millinery by making trendy fascinators to wear for spring. Make two fascinators from scratch with sinamay and buckram, decorated with feathers and flowers. Whether you are an amateur or costume designer, this course is a fun and creative night out.”
Instructor: Carol Van Ee Branner

April 15 & 17
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Viscount Bennett Centre
2519 Richmond Road S.W.
Calgary, Alberta

Visit: for more information and to register.

Note – I have taken a class with this instructor before, but I am not associated with her or Chinook Learning Services in any other way.

To inspire you – scroll through the gallery of fascinators I’ve shown off over the past few years in my blog below!

Inspiration Gallery

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Inspiration: Glass tile crafts

A variety of glass-tile crafts from Ben Franklin crafts in Hilo, Hawaii

A variety of glass-tile crafts from Ben Franklin crafts in Hilo, Hawaii

You might have noticed that I’ve taken a few weeks off from posting – I have been in Hawaii! While in Hilo on the big island of Hawaii, I popped into Ben Franklin crafts (across the street from Island Scrapbooking) and picked up a few things that I haven’t been able to find here at home – including glass tiles.

I’ve seen a lot of cute glass tile crafts on Pinterest, and have wanted to try them too, but haven’t been able to find the clear glass tiles. I’ve found coloured glass tiles (intended for mosaic), clear domed stickers from the scrapbooking section (though for my purposes I think they wouldn’t work the way I want) and I’ve seen some local crafters using clear resin instead of the tiles, but I was happy to find the tiles while on holiday. They had them in a few sizes in a few different shapes, both flat and domed.

I picked up a few different packages, but also took some photos of the different finished crafts they had on display as inspiration.

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Hopefully in a while I’ll be able to share some of my own finished projects too!

Ben Franklin Crafts Hawaii
333 Kilauea Ave
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-0005

Return to Marshall’s Discount Fabrics in Edmonton

Quilting cottons at Marshalls

Quilting cottons at Marshalls

A while back I visited Marshall’s  in Edmonton, and recently returned. I picked up a few different things, but before sharing those (and hopefully some subsequent finished projects too!) I figured I would share some updated photos using a real camera instead of just my iPhone!

Marshall’s has big areas for quilting cottons, fun fur, fleece, and home decorating, with smaller areas for knits, fancies, and other fabrics. Despite the name, I found the prices for the items I looked at to be no better than a lot of other fabric stores – certainly not the “discounts” I hoped for!

Marshall’s Discount Fabrics

10003 63 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4Z2
(780) 436-3739