H&M x Balmain Launch: What I Experienced

First off: I never intended to pick up the collection’s most coveted items — the beaded blazer and embroidered dress.  While they are both beautiful, I found them more reminiscent of Balmain in 2012 than 2016.  No shade to anyone who picked them up or admired them, but I think H&M and Balmain chose to re-create some pre-existing designs rather than push new ideas, given that people have already been watching celebrities wear nearly identical pieces for years.  Also the target audience of H&M is not as risk-taking as your average runway show attendees, and familiar silhouettes and design concepts are safer.

Doors opened at 8 a.m.  Around 7:30, having just returned from my morning trip to the gym, I headed down to the 86th Street H&M in Manhattan.  The line stretched down the block towards 3rd avenue, but did not reach the next street corner when I arrived at 7:45.  No doubt the people first in line had been there all night.

By 8:30, I had been given a wristband that would allow me to enter at 9:45.  The wristband guaranteed me a spot in line so I did not have to stand around any longer.  I headed up Lexington to Fika Cafe, enjoyed an almond milk latte and a croissant, and casually walked back around 9:30.

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Weather Integrated into Wallpaper: A GeekTool Widget for Mac OS

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You will need:

GeekTool is an application available for Mac OS that allows the user to create widgets embedded in their desktop.  These widgets commonly display time, date, to do lists, weather information, and images.  I’ve played with GeekTool on and off over the years — sometimes using it for practical reasons, like an easily visible record of uptime on older machines, and sometimes for frivolous ones, like the GeekTool I’m going to share with you today.

While displaying weather widgets with images is a common GeekTool, I have yet to see one integrated into a desktop image, so I decided to give it a try.  To accomplish this, you’ll needed to use two GeekTools, one image and one shell.  I used two small scripts, one written in bash and the other a line in python, but you could easily write all of this in one script, splitting it up was just faster for me in the moment.

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Raspberry Pi Lighttpd Web Server Tutorial

Setting Up

Acquire a Raspberry Pi, configure your SD card with Raspbian, and connect to the internet via ethernet.  Get yourself a case similar to the one shown or make one from lego or cardboard.

Once you’ve booted your Pi, it’s crucial to change the default password.  If you’re comfortable at the command line, ditch the default user Pi and the desktop interface.  This will help preserve the life of your SD card.  If you think the server will get much traffic, it’s worth taking the time to boot Raspbian from a USB instead of the SD card.

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Maybelline Color Tattoo By Eyestudio 24 Hour Cream Eyeshadow

The Basics

Maybelline Color Tattoos are frequently compared to the infamous Mac Paint Pots.   I don’t own any Paint Pots (yet), but I do have a Color Tattoo Obsession Collection.  So while I can’t comment on the wear of the different products, I can do some fact listing.

The Color Tattoos are $7 for 4g of product, while the Paint Pots are $20 for 5g.  So while the Color Tattoos are $1.75/g, the Paint Pots are $4/g; more than twice as much.

The ingredients in the Color Tattoos and the Paint Pots are fairly similar.  The largest difference I noted is that the Color Tattoos list a cyclopentasiloxane (a silicone emollient) as the first ingredient, and isododecane (a hydrocarbon emollient) as the second.  The Paint Pots list isododecane first and dimethicone (another silicone emollient) second.  The cost of cosmetics grade cyclopentasiloxane and dimethicone seem to fall within similar ranges (cyclopentasiloxane is $3-5/kg, dimethicone is $1-6/kg), so it’s likely Mac’s higher price tag is mostly for brand name reasons.

Someday I’ll be able to pick up some Paint Pots and do a real comparison review.  Until then, let’s focus on the Color Tattoos.

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Sweater Weather

First Accomplishment of 2014

For the past two months, I’ve been knitting my first sweater.  I can’t believe I finished it!  It’s the first thing I’ve knit that’s not a flat rectangle.  Knitting a garment like a sweater is terrifying.  Because you’re creating the fabric as you sew the garment, you don’t actually know that it’s going to fit until the very last moment.  And if it doesn’t, you have to knit any number of pieces all over again.  So I was very nervous to tie off the ends and try it on!

The original pattern came from a Rowan knitting book, the yarn from Valley Yarns.  The sweater was longer and the back was saggy, so I adjusted it to my liking.  I also lengthened the sleeves to match my lanky arms better and, very thankfully, they fit.  Knitting allows me a healthy release for my unhealthy perfectionism, so I think I ended up taking out each piece three times each.

Now that it’s finally done, I’m not sure what I’ll knit next.  It’s between a cat hoodie from scrap yarn, or investing in some nice wool for a deer patterned set of socks, gloves, and a hat (just in time for winter to be over).  For now, enjoy the pictures of my frizzy fishtail braids and the finished sweater.

Full sweater

Shameless selfies.

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Details

Left: pattern detail.
Right: neckband, shoulder, hem.

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