Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rusty Rims, Meet Coca-Cola

Fixin' brakes and stuff.
This last weekend was a crafty one. VERY crafty. Much craftier than usual, in fact. There was sugar-scrub making, late-night skirt sewing, broccoli roasting followed by banana-bread baking, there was turban crocheting, man-sweater knitting. And finally, there was bike maintenencing. A new realm for me! Tools and stuff!

I should probably explain.

So I'm working on a big DIY book right now. And I mean BIG. It covers pretty much every possible thing that you can do yourself. Wanna give yourself a beehive? Now you can. Care to create a terrarium? Why I'd love to. Want to make like 1000 crafts? Sure! One of the things that this book covers is how to do basic repairs on your bike. We had the photo shoot last week (see above!), and in order to get our how-to-fix-the-damn-bike shots, we pulled in a real life NYC bike messenger girl, and she was kind enough to demonstrate how to swap out brake pads, fix your flat, or lube your chain (to name a few).
Rusty rims.
Over lunch, I asked the kind bike messenger lady what she does if her rims get rusty. She said to me, definitively, "I've never had rusty rims." And boy did I feel like an a-hole. Cuz this here photo above is what my rims looked like after it had been chained up in front of my house all winter. (Please disregard toilet in background of photo.)

I'd read somewhere that rust can be removed with Coca-Cola. It's one of those thing you hear and you don't even know if it's true, like how Twinkies are supposed to be eternal or something. But who has the time (literally, in the case of a Twinkie) to find these things out? Well, apparently I do. I had a frank talk with myself this last weekend about how my bike was going to no longer be functional if I let the rusty rim situation get any worse. So I bought a liter of Coke (and a bottle of CLR in case the Coke theory failed) and set about my task. In the kitchen of course. Because that's where it's totally appropriate to do super messy gross sticky dirty work.

This is how it went down: I first tried the Coca-Cola, scrubbing at my rims with an old toothbrush. It did, quite literally, nothing. I gave up and tried the same thing with the CLR. Again. Nothing! I then went online and learned the magic trick. Are you ready? Here it is: crumple up a piece of tin foil, dip it in the Coke, then scrub away at the rust. 

OMG. It was magic! Completely addictive. It was like being in a Sham-Wow Infomercial!

I'm sure like half of the people reading this already know this trick and are judging me for being so not-in-the-know (or are judging me for being so inappropriately excited about this...or are judging me for letting my rims get so rusty in the first place. OK, everyone is judging me at this point. Let's just move on.) Around the time I finished the worst spots on the back wheel, I also realized that winter is not yet over. Meaning, I have to put my bike back outside. So, I stopped where I was and decided I'm gonna really have at it with the Coke-and-foil on the first warm day of spring, when I can slop around outside and then actually take my shiny new wheels for a spin. Wheeeeeeee....! At any rate, if you've got a rusty mess on your hands like I did last weekend, you now know what to do.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Men Need Bags, Too!

When I sold my HeyAllday Handmade tote bags at the In God We Trust holiday bazaar last December, I learned a few things: 1) people buy more when they drink, 2) long straps are appreciated, and 3) men need reusable grocery bags, too! That's right...I had several requests for tote bags that are suitable for men. So I got to thinking...what kind of bag would my dad feel okay toting? The answer: the man's camo bag.

I know! I'm being terribly sexist here. There are many men who would be perfectly happy with a solid color, or maybe, just maybe, a stripe, but as a challenge I decided I would design a bag as a Christmas present for the manliest man I dad. And as an homage to his time spent as a marine in Vietnam, I chose a classic camouflage fabric. 

In case you were questioning my dad's toughness, here is a photo of him when he was in Vietnam. So tough!

And here is a photo of him taken last year at a Mud Run! See? Still tough! Clearly I had to make a bag to suit his standards. Just to be safe, I included a pocket knife with the bag, so if anyone were to taunt him for being girly, he could threaten their life. I also considered attaching Velcro to the outside of the small bag so that he could stick it to the dashboard of his car (my dad, after all, won't be carrying his stuffed bag in his purse.) But I decided to forgo the Velcro, figuring that it will just live on the passenger seat of his car, ready to roll next time he's at the store!

The Christmas gift went over with flying colors. In addition to the bag, he also received a knitted beard (shown just to the right of the bag). I guess I made it my mission this year to bridge the gap between crafty things and manly things. Let's call it father-daughter bonding!

But best of all was the cell phone photo I received from my dad last week: a camo tote bag packed with groceries on the trunk of his car, sitting next to a paper Trader Joe's bag. (Nice touch with the military man on the bag, dad! Very artistic!) Looks like I need to make him another one for the extra groceries.

So, if you know of a manly man who would like  a manly bag, let me know and I'll whip one up in a jiffy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Turbans for All!

Around this time of year, I start to get really P.O.ed about winter. Snow? Gross! I hate you brown boots! Stupid pea coat, I am SO SICK of you! And, as a person who owns approximately 57 hats, I actually manage to get sick of every last one of them around this time of year. And that is why I decided to start making turbans. As you can see in the photo above, I may be depressed about the snowy conditions, but my pout is suddenly a bit more glamorous, and the blue of the turban is a bright spot against the bleak horizon. Right?

OK, I really got the idea to start making turban headbands because I saw a pretty girl in the 6th Avenue subway station who was rocking one in cream. I observed it while pressed up against other human beings in a heavily crowded stairwell, and I thought to myself...hmm...I could totally make that. When I got home, I pulled out my overflowing yarn bag and started to play with colors. I wanted to do stripes, and I wanted to burn through my stash.

The blue-and-green turban came first--knit in chunky wools, I had it done in about two hours. I pretty much just knit a big long strip. Then I tied it in a knot to turban-ize it, and then crocheted the ends together to form a circle. Whamo! You've been turbaned.
I then, of course, had to do a pink and red turban since we're coming up on Valentine's Day and all of that. Plus, doesn't everyone need a little pop of color in winter? In my opinion, it's crucial to our survival!

My two models here--Julie and Jess--were more than happy to put these puppies on their heads at a dinner party last weekend. I was curious to see how they would look on different hairstyles, and as you can tell, the answer is CUTE. I love the blue turban over Julie's swoosh of black bangs and with her glamoriffic red lips. Jess in the red headband is a vision of girliness, and her voluminous curls playfully envelop the headband. Yay!

Once my turbans passed the "must look good on many heads" test, I posted them on my Etsy shop: HeyAllday Handmade. That's right, you can buy your very own! Then we can all get through winter together...turban style.