Monday, May 14, 2018
I have been searching for a nice feminine hat and have been disappointed by the available selections. Sure there are quite a few baseball caps out there that are pretty cute, however I really like to wear wide brim hats. Remember that whole skin cancer thing I mentioned awhile back? Well I keep imagining them having to take that kind of slice out of my face and yikes that is some scary shit! So, yeah, the least I can do is to wear a good hat, right?
For some time I have seen various Sharpie tie-dye projects on the web. I teach a 3D art class this year and am always on the lookout for cool projects. This is one I have been wanting to try and this was the perfect opportunity to go for it.
The first step was to practice on something that I didn't care about ruining! Thus paper towels to the rescue.
The process is pretty basic. Take your fabric, stretch it over something, or not, and begin drawing. You draw a small circle of dots with Sharpies (or some other permanent marker.) Or a large circle. Or a triangle. Or anything you want! It is really pretty simple. I tried out numerous different things. It was only paper towel so what did I have to lose? Nothing!
After I had practiced a bit and had an idea of what I wanted to do, I began working on my hat. Being as it is such an odd shaped item, and I wanted some sort of consistent look to the blobs, I put it on top of a jar. I covered the top of the jar with plastic wrap, then placed the hat on top, and stretched a thick rubber band around it all.
I drew what I wanted to, starting with blue. After I did a bunch of the blue ones in the sort of pattern I wanted it in, I then began working in other colors. As you can see, I kept one of my test strips nearby to give me inspiration. I also did some test spots on the white paper I was working on. This also shows the colors I was working with. They are the five near the heat gun in the upper right quadrant of the photo. On the paper I tried out some other colors whose colors did not seem to bleed very well and thus I decided to not use them, like the black for instance.
Once you have stretched your fabric how you want it, and you have drawn your design, you then slowly drip rubbing alcohol from an eye dropper. I suppose you could use anything to drip the alcohol, but it should be something you can control. A small amount of alcohol will spread the ink a small amount. A larger amount and a larger blob will form. Be cautious though as too much alcohol may not give you the effect that you want.
The other tool that I used was the heat gun. I would drip the alcohol and then use the heat gun to control how far the drip spread. By applying some heat you can make the spread slow or stop. But be careful to not burn your clothes in the process! The other nice thing about using the heat gun is that it helps to set the color into the fabric.
After I was done coloring the top of the hat, I used the same process for the chin strap. Overall I think it came out looking pretty cool! I impressed myself and have enjoyed wearing this hat since I completed it.
Oh one more thing was that I also tossed the hat into the drier after I was finished and ran it for awhile trying to further help set the colors.
Oh as well - be cautious about moving the garment you are dying. If the spot is not dry, it will smear onto anything it touches. The strap was really particular about that last part. Being as it is quite thick it took extra long to dry and the heat gun got super close to singing it.
Hope you give it a whirl!
Seriously, try it out.
Even if on just a piece of paper.
Art is fun.
Art is love!
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Belt - ?? - Similar
I got major compliments on this outfit when I wore it the other day to group therapy. Though I didn't wear the hair during group. I decided to go for comfort instead of style. That has been a recent theme for me as of late - comfort over style. I'm not 100% sure that I actually like that new philosophy! Ha!
Though it is not super obvious from these photos, I am pretty matchy-matchy in this outfit. So..... well the tunic has blue, black, white, and a cream color in it, which the leggings of course go with, being as they are black and all! Then the shoes are my super cute blue polka-dot wedge sandals, which go with my black and white polka-dot finger and toe nails. During therapy I also had on a black beanie with rhinestones covering it. So..... I was pretty matchy-matchy! And I loved it!
Group went well, though I would have to say that my wife would most likely say I was feeling feisty! I am not so sure if that was the case, but I am relaxing for sure at group. I am slowly trying to force myself to be confident even when I am not. Which is a struggle! I may come off as pretty darn out-going and confident, but really that is all cover for the truth - which is I am often super insecure and anxiety ridden. Typically my worst moments are after I have gotten through something - I will then spend, hours, days, months, years, and yes occasionally even decades worrying that I totally fucked up something.
What do I have going for me? An abundance of bravery. It is only through my bravery that I have been able to accomplish anything. I am still a bit concerned about this, and am trying to deal with it. But I also have come to an understanding, bravery has to come before confidence. One must be brave to face their fears, and after proving oneself capable, repeatedly, then comes confidence.
Seems simple. Too bad it's not as easy as it sounds! For to brave sometimes takes an unbelievable amount of strength. I believe in us fellow humans. We can muster that courage. We can find the strength. We can be brave.
Go forth and be brave my loved ones!
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
On occasion I receive compliments on my hair. I really appreciate the thoughts but I also feel super guilty and almost immediately have to tell people that it isn't actually my real hair. It is something that I need to stop doing. Who cares if people know that it is my real hair or not, right?
I suppose I am the only one who really cares and ultimately it is a result of having not voluntarily given up my hair. Alas there are many things that continually bum me out about the lasting effects of testosterone, and a huge one has got to be the loss of my hair. If you don't know, losing one's hair is typically a result of testosterone converting to DHT (dihydrotestosterone,) it can also come about in females from DHEA and testosterone also converting to DHT. Exciting stuff, huh? Oh boy! It is interesting that while baldness typically affects men, it is also a problem for many women. Bummer!
Point being, if I had started estrogen and spiro oh so long ago, like anywhere before age 18 or so, I would most likely have super luxurious hair today! Okay, maybe not, but I'd have more hair than what I have today. Wanna see? Okay, here ya go.
That was my senior photo. I was eighteen at the time. Like the color? Well it is sort of natural. I spent so much time swimming in pools and at the beach, the salt and chlorine would totally bleach out my hair. Personally I really liked the color. I think occasionally I assisted the sun with some Sun-In or peroxide. But generally that color is what I consider my natural hair color to be.
I think this whole hair thing has got to be funny for people that have met me within the last fifteen to twenty years. That is about how long it has been since I shaved it all off. People have asked me on occasion as to why I don't grow it out again. If I could, I would. Seriously. It is not super noticeable how much hair loss I have when I keep it cut super short - like no guard on the clippers short. But if it grows for more than a week or two, you clearly see the typical male pattern baldness toilet seat pattern.
Alrighty, anywho - I have no hair unless I wear my wig. But, if I did have hair, it would be close to the same color as the wigs I chose to wear. Which is one of the things about my wig style and color that helps to make my hair look a bit more natural. Oh and also the fact that I buy rather expensive-ish wigs. They are Jon Renau, one is the Zara, and the other is the Amber. I do however have a rather largish head and thus I will only purchase wigs that have specifically been made using a large wig cap. This is a big issue. Most males do have large-ish heads and standard sized wig caps just do not sit right on our heads. It is not a matter of it just being too tight, it is the wrong size. It looks a lot like a small baseball cap sitting on top of a Charlie Brown head. Well, for me at least.
Okie Dokie peeps! I am outta here!
Love your hair!
Yes, even if it is "just" a wig. Come on, every bodies doing it, right?!