This is a blog for a JEWELRY business, so you had to know we were going to tackle what’s coming up and super hot for fall 2012 because an outfit is nothing without a seriously stylish arm party! 1) Alexander McQueen & 2) Ben-Amun Bangles – wide and full of color these arm party classics are here to stay! 3) Chunky Chain – nothing compliments an extra-wide bangle than a matching bracelet with extra-wide chain, this over the top and attention-grabbing trend is back for the fall! 4) Alternative Colors – funky color combinations and big pops of color are in, wear a piece like this to brighten a neutral-tone ensemble!

Looking for more affordable ways to rock these trends? Don’t worry we got you covered! 1) SkinnyRist Shady Lady Gray Cobra Bangle: chunky gold chain and Pantone color pick for fall Titanium! 2) SurLhistoire Vintage Enamel Cuff: boasts a beautiful neutral cream color and the extra-wide cuff style! 3) ItsCalledJewelry Pyramid Cuff: super trendy with the contrast of bright metal and colored crystal detail! 4) Oiajules Chunky Gold Chain Link Bracelet: extra chunky gold curb chain plus a pop of color with a faceted aquamarine quartz!

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Fishtail Braids

So I fishtail braid my hair a lot and I always get requests on how to do the braid style so here it is! I used pieces of craft lace rather than hair but the theory is the same.

A fishtail is essentially a braid using two sections of hair instead of three, the third strand gets taken from the outermost part of one section and crosses to the other section.

 

Separate into 2 sections

 

 

Separate out the outermost piece

 

The outermost piece from the right side crosses over to the left section

 

The same happens using the outermost piece from the left section crossing it to the right

 

Keep going alternating sections

 

Finished fish tail braid

 

 

 

 

 

Baking Soda Exfoliant?

Yes baking soda! So recently I broke out with this god awful zit, I mean one for the record books and being who I am I started poking and picking it, thus angering the volcano god and creating some kind of cataclysmic event and I immediately whipped out my computer to start researching home remedies. See, last time I had a zit like this and I went to my dermatologist he snuck up on me with a syringe of cortisone and shot it in my face. Effective, but so painful.

Then, I came across this baking soda business and I’m a fan! Some people even wrote that they have struggled with acne for as long as 10 years and baking soda worked over all other harsh acne solutions. I made a baking soda-water paste and applied it to the mountain on my forehead and it immediately felt better, so I would be sold for the pain relief alone.

However, I also noticed a decrease in redness and swelling. I started mixing baking soda with face-wash for an exfoliating treatment that I read about online and my skin is so soft and smooth. The face wash treatment plus a little of the concentrated paste on real problem areas and I am proud to be acne free, even a week before my period 😉

I’ve also read you can add baking soda to bath water to soften skin, use it as an antacid, deodorant, itch relief, bee sting relief, canker sore treatment, breath freshener, and relieve heart burn. Guess I’ll always be keeping a box handy!

Tutorial: Square Nails

gingerbreadmanne ♥: Nail shaping tutorial (square tips).

Finally!! A great tutorial on how to file nails to a square! Other tutorials have left me aggravated with their lack of details, or complicated instructions and no images to aide in understanding! But this how-to from gingerbreadmanne.blogspot.com is truly excellent.

Some pics from the full tutorial (accessible via link above)

via Tutorial: Square Nails.

Chalk-Dye Your Tips

Me with my chalk-dyed do before the Sigma Nu paint party!

I’ve been seeing tons of pictures online lately of adorable tip-dyed hair, but I’m a bit too conservative to commit to actually using permanent dye…so I discovered using chalk for a temporary, one-night dye via a tutorial from The Beauty Department!

However, after trying this trick a few times I learned a few valuable things that have made this a lot easier and I wanted to share them with you!

Click to link to TBD’s post!

-Just like TBD said, twist your hair while you rub on the chalk because it really does help it release more pigment!

-You may have to buy and try a few colors, I bought a very dark purple that doesn’t show up in my hair at all and a light blue I bought works great

-Hairspray is key!! I spray my ends, then apply the chalk then spray again and then brush out the ends

-Have  a strategy. The first time I did this I applied chalk EVERYWHERE I looked like a spaz, the next time I used only two colors and did every other section of hair and it was a much better result

-Chalk before styling your hair, you have to pull your hair straight so if you’re say, curling it, you’ll ruin your curl. The heat also helps seal the color

Click to link to Dick Blick and buy some for yourself!

-Make sure to comb through the section when you’re done chalking…otherwise the chalk will turn to straight knots and it’s awful

-It pulls out some hair =/. I’ve noticed that when I do comb out the color it pulls out more hair than I normally use from a normal brushing, up to you if that’s a deal-breaker

-Wrap something over your shoulders/clothes while you chalk, it goes EVERYWHERE and gets on your neck/hands/you name it. Good news: it comes off skin really easily with soap and water.

-Try fish-tail braiding or curling your colored locks, it looks really cute and boho-chic

-I bought my chalk from Dick Blick Art Supplies as recommended by TBD, but make sure wherever you buy that you get soft pastels!

Colors Used:

Pink Lake 272, Ultramarine Blue 388, Steel Blue 710, Coral 925, Cobalt Blue 354

Before the Alpha Delta Pi senior bar crawl!

Cleaning Your SkinnyRist Cobra Bangle!

You Need:

-Toothpaste with whitening agent

-Soft toothbrush

-Towel/cup of water/paper towels/etc

 

1) Brush the textured chain like you are brushing your teeth, but perhaps a bit more gentle….Put toothpaste on the brush and brush it directly on the chain. Rather than add more toothpaste dip your brush in the water cup and keep going – the foam it creates helps get in all the nooks and crannies too

2) Dip the brush in the water to rinse it regularly and change out the water when it gets murky

3) Rinse your chain and check for any spots you missed, repeat the process if necessary!

I tried this earlier on a cobra bracelet that I have in silver that I love and wear all the time and I didn’t even think it was dirty I just wanted to try this toothpaste business and see if it worked and I can’t believe how much dirt and grime came off! I forgot how shiny the chain was originally! I got so excited I whipped out all my cobras and started sprucing up the chain and I have to say they look gorgeous, just like new!

Ways to Braid

So many ways to create mixed media bracelets! These photos all show suede cord on various kinds of chain but you could use cotton cord, thread, leather, ribbon, etc! Mix up your colors, mix up your styles and layer ’em high for an eye-catching arm party!

General Tips Before You Start:

*Use safety pins to lay your chain flat and hold it straight while you braid

*Better safe than sorry – when in doubt cut extra cord it’s better to have extra than run out

*Watch that the cord you use doesn’t twist, your design won’t look as clean and when you unpin the chain it will curl instead of lay flat

Criss Cross Braid

 

-2 pieces of chain

-1 piece of cord, folded in half, 2x the length of the chain

To Make: fold your cord in half and feed ends upwards through the bottom of the chain so they come out the top, then cross the ends over each other and feed them downward through the top of the next link. Cross ends under the chain and feed upwards, criss-cross on top of the chain and feed downwards

Crochet Chain Braid

-1 piece of chain

-1 piece of cord, 3-4x the length of the chain

To Make: take one end of the cord, just a couple inches and starting from underneath the chain feed upwards, leave this piece laying out, you will glue it down later. Take the long end and feed downwards from above the next link, when you pull the cord through pull it through the loop made by feeding the cord through the links

*Don’t pull too tight, it looks better a bit loose and if you pull too tight between links the chain will curl

Double Chain Simple Braid 

-2 pieces of chain

-1 piece of cord, 3-4x the length of the chain

To Make: this one is easy, leave a couple inches on one end of the cord sticking out like you did for the crotchet chain o you can glue it later (I like this better than a knot because I use a lot of suede cord and the knots come out so bulky). Weave the cord upwards and downwards through the chain links so that the inner sides of the links of each piece of chain are held together. Again, don’t pull too tight and don’t try to do too many stitches in each link, less is more it’ll look better in the end. This ones is SO much easier if you use the safety pin technique because if the links turn while you’re braiding you will end up braiding your chain together twisted.

Single Chain, Double Cord Braid 

-1 piece of chain

-2 pieces of cord, or one piece of cord folded in half, 4-5x the length of the chain

To Make: braid this style like you did with the crochet braid, except that when you go to feed the cord downwards, the opposite strand should by laying over the working cord so that it gets pulled through the loop.

*If you read my “Etsy saves the day” post, the cord I’m using in these photos is the “just-in-time” orange suede mentioned in that post from the shop DIYandZAKKA