Good things you can do on Good Friday (or any time!)

Now I am not remotely religious, but I do try to be a good person and do my bit to make the world a bit better.  This was originally just going to be a post about blood donation, but seeing as the world is kind of a clusterfuck at the moment I thought I would put together a short list of simple things you can do, even today when everything is closed!

Donate Blood
Ok, so you might not be able to actually donate today, but you can go online (donateblood.org.au) and determine if you are eligible to donate, and then make an appointment!
Now I know not everyone can donate- for example, you’re ineligible if you lived in the UK for more than 6 months between 1980 and 1996 (due to mad cow disease); or male who has had sex with another male within the past 12 months (a policy I don’t agree with, but is unfortunately still deemed necessary- you can read more here) – but if you’re generally healthy, and don’t mind needles, you should be fine!
The staff at every donor centre I’ve been to (5 I think) have been so lovely and will answer any questions you have.  Before you get to the needley part, you will fill out the questionnaire and have an interview with a nurse.  They’ll do the final eligibility check, and measure your blood pressure, and measure your haemoglobin levels via finger-prick, which I think hurts more than the big needle!
IMG_2485
This is me donating plasma, which I do once a fortnight- your red cells get returned to you after being separated from the plasma, so there is minimal loss of iron.  It usually takes me 30-35 minutes on the machine to complete my donation, the exact volume taken depends on your weight.
If you’re eligible to donate platelets, this can be done once a fortnight too.  My veins aren’t suitable for platelets (females rarely are) but my husbands’ are- he’s usually on the machine for about 45 minutes, like plasma the volume depends on your weight.
If you’re donating whole blood, you will donate 470mL regardless of your weight- how long this takes will depend on your blood pressure,  I usually take 5-10 minutes.   If you donate whole blood, you must wait 12 weeks before your next whole blood donation, but only 4 weeks before your next plasma or platelet donation.
Once you’re done with your donation, you hang around for 10-15 minutes and have something to eat and drink- they have the most awesome cookies!  How often do you get rewarded with an actual cookie?!

ASRC
You can donate to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.  This amazing organisation helps refugees and asylum seekers adjust to life in Australia, offering legal assistance, food banks, education, and more.
You can make a one off donation, order groceries to be delivered, or set-up a monthly donation.

Tsuno
Somewhat related to the above, you can donate sanitary pads to ASRC through Tsuno- a company that makes eco-friendly pads from bamboo fibres and donates 50% of the profits to a range of charities.
A monthly donation of pads to ASRC starts from $6.80- do it here.

Share the Dignity
Still on the feminine hygiene theme, you can help homeless women in Australia by donating pads and tampons to Share the Dignity this month during their April donation drive. Stop a woman from using newspaper or socks, or from having to choose between food and tampons by finding your closest donation point here.

Don’t be a dick!
Pretty self-explanatory.

dont-be-a-dick

(pins, key-rings, and stickers with this delightful message here!)

Enjoy your long weekend, and if you have to work- thank you! xx

Lovely ladies making gorgeous goods, Vol. 1- Hellpixie

This is the first of what I plan to be a series of posts celebrating some of the awesome women I’ve discovered over the interwebs who make and sell amazing clothes, jewellery, and accessories.

First up is the lovely Miss Hellpixie aka Skye! http://www.facebook.com/hellpixie.designs

I now have 3 skirts from Skye, plus the lovely dress she made for my wedding!

She makes a lovely range of vintage-inspired circle skirts and dresses, which of course are right up my alley! The range of available fabrics she has on hand are on her Facebook page, and she can sometimes also source other fabrics if you have something specific in mind.

The first skirt I ordered from Skye was this pink & white check:

IMG_2453

The lovely customer service Skye provided, combined with the superb quality of the skirt meant it was quickly followed by this beautiful black floral:

IMG_2452

which also came with a pair of button earrings, covered in the same fabric!

IMG_2454

The above photo shows the colours better than the crappy bathroom lighting!

Then, when my now-husband and I decided to have a small, inexpensive wedding at a local winery, I knew what I wanted- and Skye had recently started selling dress styles! It was like it was fate! I emailed her with my idea and measurements, and after confirming my fabric choices and giving me a few tips, she produced this:

IMG_0804

Which was absolutely perfect, and she again included a pair of button earrings, as well as fulfilling my request for a pocket square for my hubby.  She was also more than happy to go along with our plan of keeping our ceremony secret and kept pics of my dress off social media until we revealed our marriage.

My most recent purchase from Skye was a different style for me- a reversible wrap skirt in plain, block colours.

 

Which looks much better in the lighting of Skye’s sewing room!

IMG_2455

Skye is now also making resin bangles, and she happened to have a promotion running which included a free bangle with a skirt purchase:

IMG_2456

which I absolutely love! I wasn’t sure at first, knowing how clumsy I am I thought I would constantly bang into things with it, but I don’t- or haven’t, yet!  Like everything else I have purchased, the bangle is unique, and lovingly made- which are both important to me, as is supporting awesome female-owned small business.

When my budget allows, I will definitely be buying more products from Skye- the trouble is deciding on what that might be!

xx

Dyeing, Vixen style

So I am a bit of a grot sometimes, and somehow always end up staining my white clothes.  I seriously don’t even know why I buy white things any more… but I have found a solution other than wearing a bib or throwing out stained clothes- dye!

The inevitable happened to my white Sweet Sweater from Heart of Haute (buy your own here, https://www.heartofhaute.com/collections/sweaters/products/sweet-sweater-white  if you can keep it clean lol!) but despite using pre-wash stain removers, and even bleaching it a few times, this stain would not budge.  I did not want to get rid of it, so I decided to dye it… and while I was at it I decided to dye my white Vixen top (https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/462289823/in-stock-vixen-top-in-white-by-vixen-by?ref=shop_home_active_45) too, as I kept getting make-up on the collar!

I went down to my local Spotlight and bought some fabric dye- Jacquard iDye in Purple and iDye Poly in Violet.

IMG_2367  I needed both types of dye as both tops were a blend of cotton and lycra.  The lycra content also meant that I had to use the stovetop method, so I  bought a big, cheap pot, and a cheap ladle- as equipment that has been used to dye fabric cannot be used afterwards for food preparation.

I followed the instructions on the packs which are very clear, and also had the websites FAQ open and on hand- these are very clear so I won’t rehash them here, I’ll just highlight the main points.

I filled the pot with water, just enough to cover the clothing yet allow it move freely- constant agitation is the key to achieving a uniform colour so the fabric needs to be able to move around in the water.

Once the water, dissolved dye packets, and clothing were at a rolling boil, I stood at the stove for 45 min, constantly stirring the entire time!!! Definitely felt like Hermoine Granger in a Potions class! https://goo.gl/photos/N1Q5Urkouerpa9do9

I used rubber gloves to take the clothes out of the pot once they had cooled, as I didn’t really fancy purple palms.  I squeezed out as much excess liquid as I could before putting the tops in the wash on a gentle cycle, but some purple bubbles still managed to seep up out of the floor drain- much to my husbands’ horror!! Nothing an old towel couldn’t mop up though.

And now the moment you have been waiting for- the final outcome!

I could not be happier with how it turned out- exactly the colour I wanted, not patchy, and no blindingly white thread!  There was a slight transfer of the dye onto the inside waistband of my skirt, but only minor and should come out in the wash!

Happy DIY dyeing x

Intro

So I have decided to start a blog, as I wanted somewhere to capture my thoughts and social media didn’t quite feel like the right place for that!

If you have made your way here and you don’t know me IRL- welcome! My name is Erin and I live in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia.

I have been getting into the world of pinup/ rockabilly for the past three or so years, but still consider myself very much a newbie! I love quirky/ kitschy accessories and clothing patterns, and love supporting small businesses run by amazing women.  I have a few posts in mind to celebrate some of the women I have ‘met’ and showcase their fabulous creations.

I love to bake, so also plan on including quite a few food posts on here- mostly sweet things, but also some of my fave vegetarian recipes.

I work in clinical research, and am extremely passionate about science.  One of my main dislikes is people who don’t ‘believe’ in science i.e anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers.

I am also a staunch feminist and fight for equality for all women, and am continually learning how to be a better intersectional feminist and supporter of women who face additional challenges that I am privileged enough to not have to deal with.

My other big passion is the environment and animal welfare- we adopted a 9-year old dog just before Christmas and it was the best decision we have made!

That’s just a short intro to what I have planned for this blog, thanks for stopping by!

Erin x

PS If you get the play on words that is my blog title- you go Glen Coco!!!IMG_0804