Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Those Aren't Essential Oils

Here's your opportunity to be a fly on the wall:
Store Clerk (SC): Hello! Can I help you find anything?

Me: Yes, I was wondering if you carried any essential oils?

SC: Yes we do. **she directs me to a wall of products that display Omega 3 pills and Fish oil** Are you looking for one in particular?

Me: Yes, I need Rosemary and Peppermint. Do you carry those?

SC: Oh, you mean fragrant/cosmetic oils? **directing me to a smaller display with a large sign that says "Essential Oils"**

Me: No, I mean essential oils. I don't want the fragrant version but the actual essential oil. The pure distilled version of the plant not the alcoholic fragrant version.

SC: **with a look of pity** No essential oils are ONLY those oils that are essential for the proper function of the human body but are not made by the human body. You know like Omega 3 Fatty Acid, Cod Liver and other fish oils...yadda yadda yadda, blasa blasa, blasa, wonk, wonk, wonk, wonk!!!!!!

Me: **by this time ignoring her aggravating GNC regurgitated spiel and reading the description on the actual bottle of Rosemary** I know you don't want to hear this but the bottle actually says that this is essential oil. I'm also surprised that they are so inexpensive here. I'll buy two.

SC: **eyes glossing over** Oh, your total is..
I wish I would have noticed that sign when she first pointed out the oils. I probably would have pointed to the sign and very sternly said, "Yes, essential oils like the sign says." I did notice the sign before I left though, but by that time wisdom had gotten ahold of me.

So anyways... All of this happened while on my quest to create a stimulating hair oil. I've read many good things about the virtues of rosemary oil and wanted to try it as a scalp treatment. Especially since my Surge 14 experiment was over and with it possibly being discontinued (Manufacturers always seem to do that when the product is effective). I found this recipe on Motown Girl and changed it slightly in order to use what I already had at home.
Modified Rosemary Scalp Treatment:

1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Castor Oil
4 tablets (4,000mcg) of Biotin (finely crushed)
15 drops of Peppermint Oil
20 drops of Rosemary Oil

** Mix all together in a bowl/cup and pour into dark container and cover between use. Make sure container is clean and dry. Apply every 2 to 3 days to refresh your scalp

Rosemary has been found to condition dry itchy scalps, cleansing dandruff, stimulate hair follicles and increase brain activity.

Peppermint does many of the same and is also a natural pick-me-up by awakening the senses upon application. Peppermint should NOT be used if you are prone to seizures or epileptic.

Please research before use!


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Stitchin & Pitchin

Got out in the sunny summer air yesterday and decided to head over to Michael's to perchance find some suitable yarn to make the Surplice Bodice Camisole from the Knitting Lingerie Style book, as if. Yes, as if I could find some likeable yarn at Michael's. But I was being ansy and pinching pennies at the same time and really just wanted to find something so I could start something out of this great new book!

I got over myself real quick and realized that "My name is Kamika and I'm a Yarn Snob" and that no suitable yarn would be found until I saved up some shekels and moseyed on over to my LYS. Only the Knitter's Studio in Bev Hills would do. Drats! I just missed their end of summer 50% off sale because I didn't want to wade through the street faire crowds, the 30 miles of LA freeway traffic, nor the trek from my parked car to the front door. They'll have another sale soon and I'll have a chaffeaur.

God is good and very patient with me. I had a great sub already at home in my measly stash! Yep! Remember that yarn I used for Jackie's Blue Curacao Shawl? Well I'm now determined to mix that with a slick polyester thread to get a different effect. That's the ticket.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So why is this called Stitchin & Pitchin? Well I had my yarn epiphany in the parking lot at Michael's and afterwards just drove on over to a neighborhood park to knit in peace (read: behind a car full of mopey teenage boys smoking bad weed and looking like they needed baths yesterday). They ended up having a girl's softball game right in front of me. Great game, the girls looked like they were having fun, even the losing team. The red team killed the girls in pink. I was really routing for the pink/black team if only because I liked their uniform colors and they all arrived first, making them the home team to me. I guess my like for their colors didn't help them squat! At least I'm closer to being finished with Regan.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Friday, July 27, 2007

FO: Airy Wrap-Around Lace Sweater

I finished it and I love it! Of course modifications, de riguer of well-fitted knits, abound. Not too many though as Stefanie Japel seems to design dang near specifically for my body type. She's 6'0" tall and I'm 5"11" which means automatic long arms and legs and/or torso. Kismet that can only be found in the Knit/crochet fashion world.

I only made two changes. The first one was to create a side slit between the cabling to thread one of the ties through. This cut down on bulk and made the garment lay better. It also exposed the ribbing in the back rather than covering it up.

The second modification was to shorten the opposite tie by 24.5" or 7 pattern repeats. I didn't think it was necessary for both ties to wrap around my waist. The tie that is threaded wraps around my waist and meets the other at the front to give a smooth tie. Enjoy the pics!

Time: July 14th - July 26th
RAM Angora (Mohair Laceweight), Just under 2 skeins (545yds each)
Size 11 US

More details on my Ravelry page.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Season To Get In VOGUE

Vogue Knitting 25th AnniversaryIt's Vogue Knitting's 25th Anniversary and for Fall/Winter 2007 they are back to celebrate with a fresh new wintery look and a brand new user interface. VK has gotten on the user hub tip by now providing a number of different offerings to their reader-set to keep us mesmerized and firmly joined at the fingers to their web page.

Of the usual offerings their will be a reader photo gallery, a pattern shop (free and merchant), and a book store. The merchant patterns are sorted by author and available through Sixth & Spring books. Of the lesser than usual offerings VK now hosts a podcast library, a more expansive How To section to help with technique, and various VK pattern Knit Alongs. The How To section is not as exhaustive as their books but it is a good reference point for both experienced and beginning knitters.

VK is also being extra generous and offering up 10 of their most favorite anniversary cover patterns to the public for FREE! To go along with their new color scheme all of the covers offered are in steely greys and pewters. All patterns are PDF downloadable. I would download these now even if you don't use them. I would hate for them to no longer be made available. Below are three of my favorites!



Monday, July 23, 2007

A Wholesome Breakfast!

I thought this was a fun video. Enjoy!

Now get to knitting those Shreddies!


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tell Me It's Just Me

Should I be offended? Think it's strange? Or even consider it a random oddity when people tell me that my hair is really beautiful? I mean go out of their way to tell me my hair is beautiful. My hair, the yarn extentions of the moment. Mind you these are really loving and caring people. They speak with wisdom and refrain from talking too much. I trust a couple of these people with my very soul less 5 or 10% needed for my own vanity.

I'm trying to stifle a rising feeling of offense in my heart. I love love love my natural hair! And yes, every one does not like it (natural hair that is, not MY natural hair). I understand that many people were brought up under a different era where they were told that black hair needed to either be lyed, dyed, or laid to the side. But should I be offended?

My very own TB (from this point forward. THIS POINT right here » • we'll call her DM for humility's sake) hates her natural hair eventhough it's longer and healthier than it's ever been. Ack! Who cares? **me** I told myself that I would have to always be on point to represent for the natural-haired sisters. It's totally unacceptable for me to walk around looking less than my normal FABU self.


Friday, July 20, 2007

A Few Updates For My Cupcakes

You silly! I got my Ravelry invite a couple of days ago and I went immediately to the site to start uploading my info. I'm KinkyCoils over there as well. Feel free to add me as a friend/pal/homie, what'ev. I've been working on a couple of projects from the Fitted Knits book since my last post. I really like this book and plan to start another project from it soon. Here's an update:

Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Vest

Time: June 28th - July 10th.
Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Just under 3 skeins (220yds each)
Size 6 & 7 US
Modifications: Omitted the turtleneck and half the back. Added straps. I had to rip the back one time because it was entirely too big for my back. I knit the back in the smallest size. It's still a little too big.

Airy Wrap-Around Lace Sweater

Time: July 14th - In Progress
RAM Angora (Mohair Laceweight), Just under 2 skeins (545yds each)
Size 11 US
Added side slit to thread ties through. This will cut down on the bulk and add extra shaping.I plan to block it out to smooth out the stitches and make the cables pop.

Here is a pic of the RAM Angora yarn used for the Airy Wrap. I got just over 1600 yds from eBay from a British seller. It's a nice yarn very comparable to the original yarn designated for the pattern.

I hope to be finished with the Airy Wrap by Sunday, if not sooner. I will be sure to post pics.

I've also been moving Regan back into the que. I may complete Regan (remember her from the Rowan #41 magazine?) before I start the next project from Fitted Knits. I currently have the back completed and a portion of one front side.


Time: Mid May 2007 - In Progress
TSC Cotton Classic, 10 hanks
Size 6 US
Modifications: None


Monday, July 16, 2007

Wedding Best Wishes

Well to continue in the impromptu wedding/marriage theme I seem to have going here. I figured I would share some pictures of my cousin Kevin's wedding to his lovely bride Athena. Kevin and Athena were married this past Saturday at the Coast Hotel in Long Beach. The setting was on the water just a lark away from the Queen Mary. Unfortunately, I missed the actual ceremony by about 5 minutes as I had a prior engagement, but I did get to take pictures of the couple and participate in the reception festivities.

The bride and her ladies wore a pretty pale buttery gold color with gold accents. The groom wore a camel colored suit with subtle cream pinstriping. His men wore black tuxes with gold/pewter vests. The mothers both wore bronzey brown dresses cut in their individual styles. They all looked lovely.

At the reception we sat 10 to a table with lovely tulips on mirror centerpieces. I would say the guests numbered about 125. Dinner was 3 courses including salad, a marinaded chicken and veggies, and coffee and the cake. There was a DJ and a center dance floor which did get a lot of use, considering my family. I got out there and did the Electric Slide a couple of times. You could tell I don't dance often as my quads were killing me. Three different kinds of Electric Slide in 4" stilettos can kill you!

It was a fun evening and I wish them God's blessings upon their marriage and their family!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Bar Ain't Too High! Just Jump!

Good googly moogly! Have you guys seen this "Remember the Ritz"?!!!! Am I late? Please don't let me be late. My Pastor would know and give me the eye!

This brother has set the bar high. *Hint Hint* to my future reader! Jump high brother man!

I just came across this video and I have to say it sent elated chills and near tears down my face. I wish them the best! It is so romantic and sweet. He prayed and prayed and prayed for her! That's what a MAN is supposed to do. It's awesome that their families were so involved with the engagement.

Those of you in getting married need to give this brother,
Ross Oscar Knight, some of your photography business. He done done good.

I'm storing this away in my rolodex! I'm sure it ain't that far off. No I'm not engaged so don't start sending me congrats! When I am you will know. LOL


Monday, July 9, 2007

Product Review: Surge Plus 14

As of late I have been neglecting to do any posts focused on hair. I don't know why other than I didn't want to be redundant and write what was already on the web. I also didn't have a clever way to list any tips or recipes or even pictures for that matter. My goal has been to not make KC&S solely about my hair or show a lot of pictures of myself. I have a hair album on Fotki for that. I'm also NOT a Product Junkie. I stick to what's tried and true and only add new products to my regimen when I have researched them and then only if they make sense. So pardon me for the neglect. As I adjust my regimen for the seasons and for the increased length I'm sure I will have more to write about.

For healthy hair growth and maintenance one must know that there is no magic pill in a bottle. Healthy hair is a combination of genetics, proper diet, proper maintenance, and nurturing. No one product is going to make sure you "Don't Be Bald" or "Doo Grow" or even give you a "Mane" the length of a "Tail." Products can't do that. They only aid in growth and enhance the condition of your hair and scalp. DON'T FORGET THE SCALP! In your daily routine, your mantra should be "scalp first then hair." Why? Because proper hair growth must come from a healthy properly conditioned scalp first.

Today I present to you Surge Plus 14 Hair Revitalizer. Surge is a mixture of Biotin, Keratin Proteins, Aloe Vera and Muccopolysaccharides (Sulphur). Biotin and Keratin are proteins used to prevent split ends and breakage. Muccopolysaccharides condition and stimulate the scalp as well as strengthen the hair shaft. Aloe Vera is a healing agent that softens the hair and scalp. It comes in a 12 Fl oz bottle and can be purchased at some beauty supply stores and Walgreens. Here in So Cal I had to order mine as none of the stores I went to carried it. You can reach them at (888) 816-8144. I ordered mine from Allure Beauty for about $6.50 (I think).

I had heard a lot about Surge through Nappturality and the Long Hair Care Forum, two sights dedicated to the growth of healthy african american hair. The reviews were a mixed bag. I suspect the negatives were from those that didn't know how to use the product properly. But then again, everything isn't for everbody. Surge is NOT just for black hair!

I started using Surge because I have been suffering from Alopecia in the nape area. For a little over 3 years I have had sparse growth in that area, mainly due to improper relaxer applications and terrible maintenance. For a season I tried a mixture of Tea Tree Oil and conditioners. Tea Tree oil is a natural disinfectant and helps to heal the scalp. I saw a little growth with this but more so less itching or dryness on my scalp.

Since using Surge for a little over a month, I have seen significant growth in that area. I'm really excited that I won't have to make such drastic cuts to the back of my hair. The unaffected areas in my nape fall to below my shoulders, but because of the glaring baldness in the affected area I have had to use the longer hair to camoflauge resulting in my hair looking a lot shorter than it actually is. I recommend it if you have been having problems like I have. Surge along with a healthy diet and proper maintenance may just be the answer you were seeking.

Beg - May 25, 2007
Mid - June 23, 2007
End - July 5, 2007

My Routine:
  1. Daily or every two day co-washing (conditioner only rinses)
  2. Spray Surge directly to the scalp all over twice a day
  3. Apply your favorite oil or moisturizer to the scalp and hair directly afterwards
  4. Reduce heat and styling applications

The only caveat I found is that Surge can be drying to the hair. That is why it is so important to apply your favorite oil and/or moisturizer after use. This will prevent any drying. Be careful with oils. They are NOT a moisturizer and too much can dry your hair out and make it greasy.

Hit me at kamikak AT msn DOT com if you have any questions or check out my hair album.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

When All Else Fails...Put It In Your Hair

This post can be subtitled, "An Appropriate Use For ACKrylic."

Ya'll know I hate acrylic yarn with a passion. I can't stand that dang ole fun fur with it's randy willy-nilly ways. I don't like the faux facade or the drying effect it has on my hands. I abhor the mess that is made with it and called knitwear. I will use it though if it's in my stash (throw back stuff to my early knitting days before I became a purist) or if it's blended with another more natural fiber, but I really would prefer not too. I do understand that when blended it can have a dramatic improving effect on the drape of a garment and for this I give it pass. But all by itself I usually try to avert my eyes.

I do love acrylic though for my yarn braids! I just finished my second set on yesterday and wouldn't use any other fiber for them. Below are pics of my 1st set done back in February. I decided to use those pics because they look the same as the set I just put in and because I have been to lazy to take updated pics. I braided my hair up to give it and my mind a break from daily styling. If you look closely you'll notice that these are actually twists. If you know how to braid, then these will be a cinch for you. These should last me a month to a month and a half with rinsing and a concious mind to not take my hair down. Enjoy!

Time: July 6th. 9 hours total
Yarn: Lions Brand Homespun in Black, 1 skein
Extras: Used Scripto Lighter to burn ends and give highlighted look


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

Those of us here at the Motel wish you and yours a wonderful Independance Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Summertime Rush At the Motel

The motel has been really busy this last week. In the span of about 4 days we have had one long-time guest check out, two guests fly in from Virginia by way of down the street, and one surprise guest check in late last night by way of Kansas City via Inglewood.

The long time guest has been calling daily to secure herself a room again. She is insisting on the room in the front with the nearly panoramic view of the front yard and within earshot of the neighbors feigned debauchery. TB said absolutely not! TG said, "Sorry ma'am. That room has been booked." This of course has reduced that guest to quibbling on the phone and lodging complaints via Myspace.

Our lucky boarders from VA have been making themselves comfortable and thoroughly enjoying themselves as they've been frequently seen frolicking in the California sun. They've hit every attraction from Disneyland to the Hollywood Walk of Fame all via the Los Angeles Transit system. They are truly candidates for a California Tourism PSA. You would have thought that they would have put some of that long money away and gotten themselves a REAL hotel room and a rental car. But I guess those were sinful thoughts repented for and cast into the Sea of Forgetfulness. Hmmmm. I don't think God's gonna forget this one.

Unfortunately for them we haven't a pool here at the motel as of yet, so the ladies had nowhere to wade. That didn't stop them though from putting on their skirted swimsuits and slinking through the motel lobby sitting on the furniture just as casual as could be. I guess since the sun doesn't shine in the lobby they didn't feel the need for a cover up. I would have thought that the heavy plastic on the couch would have been uncomfortable to their bare gelatinous skin but I guess I was wrong. TB just sat there in awe.

Our final guest from Kansas City is a doll. It's nice to have her here but I hate that she had to come so late. Everytime she's here in these parts we here at the motel get all nostalgic and reminisce for hours at a time about 30 years ago. Those were the days.

Hopefully the VA ladies will find another attraction to distract themselves with while the kitchen staff (me and TB) get down with cooking for the 4th of July. I anticipate this holiday will be a full blown Cotillion. TB can't seem to stop inviting people she can't stand.

Well let me get to shucking this corn!