Thursday, December 08, 2005

Extreme Makeover

It seems you always want the hair you don't have.... I have had industrial strength curls since I was about eight. Well, it actually started to curl gradually, but now they're industrial strength curls. In the 70's when all my friends had the straight, long, parted down the middle Marcia Brady hair, I had short, curly, Orphan Annie curls (okay it wasn't red...). We'd all have sleepovers and play makeup and hair.... and there was just nothing to do with mine. It was short, to "control" the curls, and I couldn't do the braid, bow, french braid thing. I wanted straight hair soooo badly!

When I was about 19 I had it professionally straightened. I spent a big chunk of my McDonalds wages and went for it. I LOVED it!!! It was straight and I loved it. Yeah, it was straight for about four days, then it started to wave a little, then curl, then..... it reverted to it's native state. Curls. I did everything they told me, didn't wash it right away, didn't use conditioner... didn't -whatever the rules were... but, no. I guess I just wasn't meant to have straight hair.

When I was about 21 I tried again. My sister and I and a box from Sav-On tried to do it ourselves. Same results. Straight, for about four days. Oy. Curls. No extreme hair makeover for me.

Remember this sad little purse...?

It wasn't so bad... it just wasn't good. I was inspired to make a cable clutch like Ruth's, and it knitted up nicely, but I couldn't fine straight handles to make a clutch, and didn't want to make them myself, so I compromised. Twice - first going with the round handles instead of sticking with my original intent and, second, going with brown handles. I knew I wouldn't like them when I bought them, but we don't have a lot of choice around here and I couldn't find black handles anywhere. So, it's been sitting in the closet, forgotten.

Until yesterday. I took it out and looked it again. And..... after about 20 minutes, a black Sharpie, lots of Sharpie fumes and I'm sure many dead brain cells later from the fumes.... it has undergone it's extreme makeover. It's soooo happy! It's so cute! I love it! I bought it a black satin bow today! If I was fancy like Keohinani, I'd give it it's own little speech bubble so it could tell you how much it loves it's makeover! (See her 11/15 post... too funny!)

And, check this out.... it didn't cost me $150, either! Nope, two balls of Rowan Big Wool, $12 handles (Sharpied black), and a $1 worth of satin ribbon. I can't tell you how much I love this little purse.

Here's a picture of me holding it for size comparison. I'm gonna take it out this weekend to a Christmas Party. Perfect. Love it.

And, do you see that cute charm bracelet? Remember Grandma and Grandpa, Grandma on the camel in the purple shirt and "Dam*ed if I know" Grandpa? Every time they'd go on a trip they'd bring me a charm. I have them from all over the world, and there is one an almost every link of this bracelet. 32 or so charms. It's one of my greatest treasures. Love it, too! We're gonna be looking good this weekend!


At 7:12 PM, Blogger Ruth said...

wow - i would have never thought to use a sharpie! but it looks REALLY good!!! lately i've been thinking of making this bag again (except in a different yarn), and instead of dowels, doing handles like yours. but i've got too many WIP at the moment (darn it!).

as for hair - yep i totally agree that the grass is always greener on the other side. as a child of the 80's, i have always hated my uber-stubborn straight boring hair and wanted curls, waves, any body at all.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous erin said...

I don't know what a sharpie is. We don't seem to have it in our neck of the woods. But whatever it is, it sure did a fantastic job. Your clutch bag looks so chic and stylish now. I have the wool and similar round handles. I think that it is more practical than the clutch version, because I'm going to use white wool which won't remain white for long if clutched all the time!

I have straight hair except for a stubborn kink at the back, and for years during my teens I permed it and slept in rollers just so I could have bouncy springy curls. I even had an Afro perm once, by mistake. It was so funny. Now, I'm too tired to do anything to the hair except wash and comb it.

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Lynda said...

Erin - a Sharpie is a permanent marker, which I'm hoping really is permanent and doesn't end up on my hands half way through the night! So far, it looks good to go, though.

At 2:39 AM, Blogger candsmom said...

I am cracking up so hard at the idea that you actually sharpied those handles black!! Before I read the post, I just assumed you bought new handles. It looks SO good, you'd never know that it was a sharpie job! Maybe I ought to try it on all my white hair!! (Good thinking on the permanent ink, too. ;-)) Your purse looks so cute now! The black handles and bow really give it a whole new look and flair. Awesome, ingenious job!

At 4:34 AM, Blogger Mom (a.k.a. Mary Ann) said...

What an innovative idea! Great thinking.
Oh my, do I identify with the hair thing. I too have curly hair and tired everything to be in style in the 60s and early 70s. I used orange juice cans for rollers. I used straightener. I eventually wore a wig for a while!!! Now I blow my hair dry using a large round brush and then use the largest diameter curling iron to smooth it out and lightly curl the ends. That works pretty good unless it is a windy or humid day. One might say it looks kind of sexy, if it weren't so gray. Oh well.

At 5:34 AM, Blogger LC in Sunny So Cal said...

Oh, you do remember that I was the one sleeping on those darned pink foam curlers every Friday night, so that my straight hair would even 'THINK' about being curly like yours, right? Funny, weren't we? Well, no worries, I still love ya WAY more than "Nan". (Nan is probably now in an eating disorder hospital or one of those crazy cat ladies or something!)

Love the bag! I think it's very chic! I've been trying for ages to think of a way I can "manufacture" handles to my own specs. I'd love to do a beaded one, and have been too afraid to start cutting up coat hangers, welding, etc. to even get close. Oy.

...and I love your curls.

At 5:38 AM, Blogger Theresa said...

Great job on the handles - very creative - and the ribbon really pulls it all together and makes the bag. It looks really chic, not bohemian like so many of the knitted bags I've seen.

At 5:49 AM, Blogger amylovie said...

I was cursed with my mother's curls. Sometimes I embrace the curliness, but mainly I straighten it with a straightening iron.

The purse is fantastic!! I have all the materials to make that little honey, just not the time.

Your bracelet will be a family heirloom. I see the big state of Texas charm too!


At 10:14 AM, Blogger keohinani said...

i love everything about this post. the thing about the hair...i can totally relate! my hair is true brunette and stick straight. for some reason, i've always wanted lighter hair and curls. is that messed up or what? that reminds me, my co-worker said yesterday that "blonde isn't a hair color; it's an attitude!" hehe.
i love the bag! it is BEAUTIFUL! me likey! a lot!!! the cables...the ribbon...the handles! great sharpie skills :) we used to do that to customize white wrestling shoes. i think i may have suffered brain damage from inhalation, but eh...
and the charm bracelet!!? wow. that is uber fantastic. i mean, what an heirloom, you know!? that's so much better than say, collecting shot glasses or postcards!

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Lynda said...

Keohinani, hee, hee - I also have my grandparents collection of "swizzle sticks" collected on all their travels. There's funky for ya - do people younger than me even know what swizzle sticks are anymore? May have to work them into a post some day.

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Katie said...! That is the CUTEST thing I have ever seen! I love it. Did I miss the specs...did you make the pattern up? The bow is such a nice touch, too.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Marion said...

The purse looks great and the charm bracelet! How cool to have charms from all over the world.

I too have the curly hair, but mine doesn't look good when straight, so now I like the curls.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Jen said...

very cute! So glad to see that you took the handles into your own hands...

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Donna Boucher said...

Love your darling purse!!!

I have a charm bracelet from the 70's. I have a snowman and skis and mailbox that opens and a horse or two. In fact I have a charm that says 70. I probably only have eight charms...

perhaps I should give it to Katie.
Can you still buy the little silver charms?


At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Maggie said...

The purse IS adorable Lynda! You did a lovely job. I used to have a silver charm bracelet as well. Don't know what happened to it though. Must have been lost in one of my many moves. I too have hair like yours and it IS red. Well, its actually called strawberry blonde. I just learned how to straighten it. The straightening irons they make now are incredible. I never leave the apartment with curls.

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Sonya said...

There's nothing quite like Sharpie fumes. What a great idea! The clutch is so cute and the handles are perfect.

I'm your hair opposite. Mine is very straight and I spent much of my McDonald's wages getting perms. Now I embrace the straightness and spend my money on color! Hey, I wonder if there's a blond sharpie?

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Cattycorner said...

Must...not...start in on the Sharpie Love. I use them to cover up scuffs on my black shoes, bleach marks on my black tees...the list goes on! And the purse is transformed! Very oolala chic now!

And my sister and I have always envied each other's hair. Mine's pin straight, hers is luscious waviness. I keep hoping the grey will give mine some body. If not, there's always the Sharpie!

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Sharpies, like duct tape, can do a whole lot more than most people think. Anything that would look better in black...Sharpies have got it covered. Plus, you can knit with them, if you are missing a size 17 needle.
There's even a word for turning something black via Sharpie: "Sharpied". As in, "I Sharpied those shoes to match my dress." Or "I Sharpied my dress to match those shoes."

Great purse!

At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Jeanie said...

Oh my gosh Lynda! This bag is adorable!!! How brilliant of you to think to use a Sharpie! Don't think I'd have ever thought of that, but wow what a difference the color of the new handles makes! And the bow is adorable -- makes it perfect for the holidays!

So funny how we always wish for what we don't have. I have straight and always curly hair. I permed and did all I could to get "big hair" until big hair was only worn by C & W singers.

Your charm bracelet is gorgeous too! I have one my mom started for me as a little girl, but never get a chance to wear it (it's too dressy for most social occassions). I may just get it out though this year to go with Brilliantina for our Christmas performances.

Thanks for sharing!


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