Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thrifting Pitfalls: How I Overcame the Evil Mothball Stink.

Before I start, I am not going to save this for halfway through, you MUST read this now: If you have purchased or own something you think might be ponging from old mothballs, DO NOT WASH IT WITH ANY CLOTHING THAT DOESN’T. I’m serious, people, we’re talking total quarantine of the affected article. I damn near lost me a favourite sweater, and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that!

So, I’m sure many of you may be able to relate to this, I was at my favourite local thrift store with a friend, perusing their latest offerings, when I came across the most magnificent forest green, knitted mohair (I am fairly certain?) sweater.
It was fuzzy, it was oversized, it was perfect, it STANK TO HIGH HEAVENS.  My word, I couldn’t believe it, my eyes were almost watering; the smell was somewhat familiar, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I decided that $7.00 was just too much of a steal, and parted with some dosh for my smelly dreamboat, thinking a simple cycle in the wash would solve the problem. Right? Oh dear.
I can’t tell you how wrong I was; I threw the sweater in with a few others I had at home which needed a wash, thankfully I always wash on the cold gentle cycle. After the wash finished up, I was greeted with a wave of that awful smell. I picked up the sweater, and it stank worse than before. It was almost slick feeling in my hands, and I had that awful slow motion dreadful realization that the REST of  the clothes stank too! Devastated and defeated, I thrust the main offender under Alex’s nose and screeched “THIS! WHAAAT IS THIS?!”
I was convinced I’d been duped into buying petrol soaked clothing, when Alex recognized the stink: the dreaded, undefeated champion of the unremovable stink world, ancient mothballs!

Any right thinking person would have just thrown the towel in, admitted defeat and tossed the jumper, but no-ho, not I! I wasn’t about to have some Naphthalene soaked abomination ruin my clothing, no sir! And neither do you! Turns out, removing stinky moth killer is easier than some people give mother nature credit for.  Please note, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of spritzing pure alcohol on your piece of clothing, take it to a professional!

All I needed was some baking powder, fresh air and no real urge to wear any of that load of washing. I think several days of cold wind helped, but that’s not anything you can’t re-create with a pedestal fan.
Naphthalene is the main ingredient in old school mothballs. It isn’t soluble in non-organic solvents, rather it’s totally soluble in organic solvents, so if you have any methylated spirits, or rubbing alcohol, or vodka, they all work wonderfully spritzed on in a spray bottle, undiluted, in a well-ventilated area.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any alcohol in the house, so I skipped to the next step.

Nasty ol’ Naphthalene is actually in its gaseous form when it contaminates clothing and imparting the stench, and dissipates in air. I hung my sweater up on my clothes horse flat across the wires, so I could ensure maximum air flow, and pegged it across the shoulders so it wouldn’t escape.
Finally, bicarbonate soda, a big ol’ badass in the stink-defeating world, is a good finishing touch to ensure the best results. I just poured the stuff straight onto the sweater, in a good even layer. Surprisingly, even though it was fairly gusty, the stuff didn’t blow away!
And that was that, all I could do was hope that in a few days, I wouldn’t be having my eyes burnt out of my head by crazy nanna mothballs. I washed my washing machine by putting it on a cycle with a couple of cups of vinegar in the barrel and a hot wash cycle, hopefully the smell of mothballs in my laundry will go away soon! I checked my sweater today, and guess what? The home remedies totally worked! I patted the bicarbonate off the fibers, and good ol’ windy days seemed to have done the rest. Hip hip hooray!

Gratuitous photos will follow, in the meantime, I suggest raiding your wardrobes and discarding any nasty chemical mothballs you might have. They cause nothing but misery when natural preventions work just as well without the dire consequences.
“But I have no natural prevention methods?” I hear you say, never fear! There’s a super easy way to keep your clothes smelling sweet & the hungry moths away.

Grab a pair of clean pantyhose/socks/or a hanky, and then go for a wander into your garden (or past someone elses!) and grab a fistful each of lavender flowers and rosemary sprigs.
I like to trim the stems and hold them together in a little bouquet shape with elastic, put the little bunch stem-first into the toe of some pantyhose, tie off the end and viola! Wonderful, natural and pretty smelling flowers to keep bugs away! :D
I’ve made a few by rubbing the leaves and blossoms together, and stitching them in a little pillow shape to hang on my coathangers with my wool jackets.
You can place these inside drawers, or inside the pockets of jackets when they’re not being worn. I particularly like to suspend some on little pieces of ribbons from the coathanger to hang down inside clothing to keep them smelling fresh and lovely.

Happy thrifting and crafting!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recent odds and ends.

This is the Uniraptor! A little doodling of mine I embroidered on a thrifted bag. I'm really chuffed with how it's coming along!

Embroidery has become my life recently; I'm really relishing how therapeutic craft is for me. I've had a lot of people ask me about my hobby, and I'd be happy to write out a few tutorials if anyone was interested? Sewing is super easy to pick up, once you get the know how! :D
I've been scribbling and stitching recently, and asides from the continuing teeth drama (which I will post about whence more unfolds past me just having a smashed tooth) I dyed the ends of my dreadlocks pink!

The photo app, Instagram, was finally released on Android and I signed up as soon as it was downloaded. It's been so much fun, and I am still relatively new. My name on there is ZephyrLeStrange; say hi! I'm keen to follow some interesting folk :D
As per usual, there's a photo dump of recent goings ons. Some of my scribblings are a little NSFW, so I've put a click through in, just to be safe :)



Friday, March 9, 2012

The Face with Hair for Eyes.

I've recently become quite besotted with embroidery; it's a fun hobby for someone who is artistically challenged such as myself!

I really liked a picture I doodled one night when I was bored, and when I found a large lace trimmed doily/placemat at my favourite thrift shop, I knew it was a sign I had to stitch the image. I thought it was a bit ambitious, but I'm proud to say six days after intensive stitching, I've completed something I never thought I would. Now to iron + find a display mechanism; I really want to hang this in my room :)

The Face with Hair for Eyes

Detail of the eyeball & glittery medusa.

Third eye.

It just really goes to show, one can accomplish quite a bit, if one puts one's mind to it :3



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vegan French Lentil Soup

I'm not a huge fan of soups; texturally, I just don't agree with them. Strangely enough, I absolutely adore broths + clearer soups, but this is problematic as Alex is a fan of the more blendy smooth soups.

This is my twist on a recipe I found online, it struck a really nice medium between our preferences, and it made SO MUCH SOUP.

So much soup for the freezer; after three hefty servings!

 It's tasty, warming and packed full of garlic + vegetables, it's perfect for the upcoming winter months. Make sure you have some containers spare; it freezes + reheats well!

French Lentil Soup with Tomatoes, Vegetables and Garlic

You will need:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, small diced
4-5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped
3 tsp smoked paprika
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 medium carrots, peeled and small diced
2 large stalks celery, small diced
1 parsnip, scrubbed and small diced
2 400g can organic diced tomatoes
1 1/3 cups french lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
6ish cups vegetable stock
A slosh of soy sauce (optional)
3 bay leaves (optional)
Salt and pepper

How to:
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onions and saute for at least 10 minutes, stirring them around frequently. Don't rush, it's a slow cooking process. Put on an album you like, make yourself a cup of tea + keep you eye on the pot.
- When the onions are quite soft and see through, add the herbs and paprika and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add the garlic and stir until very fragrant.
- Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until all vegetables are soft.
- Add the can of tomatoes and stir to coat vegetables. Cook out the tomatoes for about 5 minutes, until warmed through.
- Add drained lentils and stir to coat in the vegetables, oil and tomatoes.
- Add remaining stock, give the whole mix a good stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, return pot to a simmer, throw in the bay leaves if you wish, cover with a heavy lid and allow to cook for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Find + discard the bay leaves, season to your liking + serve with crusty bread, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Pure bliss, especially on the colder days!



P to the S: I shot with Gavin Bell with Maddie on the job as my MUA and assistant, and it was an awesome collaboration! The only teaser picture I have right now was taken after the shoot, in my regular clothes, but I think Maddie did a sensational job with my face!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy Birthday to me.

I turned 22 today :3

Although Alex had to work today, I woke up early and got into bed for a birthday cuddle (birthday EVERYTHING!), which was nice; I've always been single or at my parent's house for my birthdays >0<
After he left, I spent the morning on my own, waking up in my own time. It was really lush :3

My family (except my younger sister, she had work D:) came to visit me at my house. My birthday fell on a Sunday this year, not only was nothing open, but the weather was rather dreary. We opted to spend the most time at my house, but we went to the organic cafe Wild Thyme for a coffee and cake.

I was spoilt rotten by my family and friends this year. Mum + dad bought me a Bokashi bucket, for composting in an apartment.  My grandmother gave me a bunch of vintage patterns, embroidery hoops, Aida cloth, and thread. My baby sister gave me a little care package she prepared with my favourite biscuits + some teas, because she knows that's what I live on when I visit :D
My beautiful friend Stevie came to visit me, and just showered me in amazing presents. I have never experienced anything like it before, I was floundering a little in saying thank you >0<

Spoiled by mystical, purple haired fae ♥

Alex bought me a Vaginors shirt! They're only my favourite band at the moment; I just couldn't do this shirt justice with a webcam D:

I've been blocked from Facebook for a few days for 'inappropriate content'- a photo with a bit of my bumcrack showing- so I'm not able to reply to all the amazing birthday wishes I have received, but I appreciate each and every single one of them ♥
I have never really had a birthday like this before; independent, with people I care about. It's been amazing, especially after all the recent goings ons.

Before I go, I have had a few wonderful followers ask if it's possible to send cards/letters/odds and ends; yes! I welcome pen pals! But I'd rather not disclose my postal address on a public place, message me privately if you'd like to exchange addresses :)

I'll quit my blathering now; I have an embroidered eyeball to deal with!
Tentacled loveage~


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Natural haircare for dreadlocks.

I have compiled a few recipes that I use, aside from my Lush Squeaky Green shampoo bar, to maintain my hair. They're all natural and super easy, and they can be used on hair that doesn't have dreads! :D

How to wash your dreads.
Contrary to popular belief and stereotypes, dreadlocks are not ‘dirty’ or smelly, and you CAN wash your hair. That said, avoid washing your tentacles for at least three weeks. I hate getting my hair wet when I shower, so investing if you don’t already own a showercap is a good idea. Dorky headwear is better than wet dreads!
 I will always maintain that you should avoid regular shampoos and conditioners, but you should be wary of them even more so when you have dreadlocks. Regular shampoos and conditioners are chock full of harmful chemicals and synthetics that strip natural oils from hair and leave residues and build up on the hair. This build up can leech into dreads and cause all kinds of trouble, like scalp irritation, itching, or even dread rot!

The best way to wash your dreads is with a dual system of baking soda soaks and apple cider vinegar rinses. Both of these ingredients are easily found, cheap, at most supermarkets.

Baking Soda Soak.
You will need:
- A big bowl or tub. A clean sink would work fine.
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup Baking Soda
- Around 3 litres of warm water
- Fifteen drops each of your preferred oil. (See below about beneficial herbal oils)

How to:
- In a bowl/tub, add the baking soda.
- Pour in the warm water, stirring to break up any clumps and combine well.
- Lean back(you may need assistance and a chair), and submerge your dreads, all the way to your scalp.
- Pick up a good book/comic/zine and lay back for ten to twenty minutes, allowing your dreads to soak. Swish your head around if you wish, but it’s not that necessary.
- Finish up with an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse in the shower.

Beneficial herbal oils:

Lavender: Helps with mustiness or mould issues from improper drying
Tea Tree Oil: Very strong antiseptic, kills germs, helps with dandruff (use sparingly too much will cause dryness and worsen scalp itch.)
Rosemary: Excellent for dandruff
Peppermint (use only a very small amount): Gives a cooling tingling feeling, soothes itches, and clears sinuses (recommend using only a few drops.. try 1-5 till you see how strong you like it)
Thyme: Reduces oiliness
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse!
I seriously love Apple Cider Vinegar, it has so many amazing uses; cleaning and refreshing dreadlocks is just one of them! They’re usually done at room temperature, to seal cuticles and maintain a beautiful, natural shine. The hidden benefit of this is if you have colour treated hair, there is less colour run off and a more vibrant colour for longer. Awesome!
Many people wonder about the smell lingering, but the vinegary smell fades as the hair dries.

You will need:
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar- you can find it in the vinegar/oils section in most supermarkets.
- 2 cups of room temperature water.
*Optional* For a little extra conditioning, stuff a bunch of rosemary into the bottle of vinegar. The oils infuse throughout the vinegar for a lush smell and natural conditioning.

How to:

- Add ACV to water
- Leaning over a sink or the bathtub, position a bowl under your locks to catch the rinse
- You may need someone else to help you, but pour the rinse as close to your scalp as possible, aiming to catch as much rinse as possible in the bowl below.
- Rinse again with the run off for a second helping of ACV goodness.
- Squeeze off excess water and dry hair thoroughly. 


A friend of mine gave me a super amazing recipe for a lovely spritz that dreadlocks just love- I’ve made it so many times, it’s the best stuff ever. You can also spray it on wet hair and scrunch under the hairdryer for textured, beachy waves ^_^

Happy Dreadlock Spritz
You’ll need:
- A spray bottle
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 1 cup warm water
- A couple drops of your favourite essential oil. Orange blossom, bergamot and geranium are an amazing combination! Ylang ylang, sandalwood and jasmine is beautiful a recipe for dreamy, sweet smelling hair. Beneficial essential oils can be used, too :)

How to:
- Dissolve salt in the water. Add essential oils.
- Put in the bottle, spritz over dreads lightly to refresh and revitalize your locks :)

Happy hair-doing!



Friday, January 27, 2012

Vegan One Minute Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake.

That title is a bit of a mouthful! But you read correctly; a rich chocolate cake that cooks in a minute, in your microwave and is all mixed, cooked and eaten from a mug! Best of all? It's vegan! There's no excuse!

The only photo I managed to get of the cake before I inhaled it. So delish!

You will need:
- 4 tablespoons of self raising flour
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- A hearty pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (mine worked with melted margarine just fine, though)
- 2 tablespoons of water

How to:
- Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly in the mug, making sure you scrape down the bottom of the mug. There's nothing worse than surprise flour pockets, especially in cakes!
- Add the wet ingredients and mix well, again checking to scrape down the bottom of the mug.
- Pop in the microwave and zap it for around a minute on high.
- And viola! Delish, super quick, super fresh cake time! I drizzled a bit of maple syrup on top, because I'm a sweet tooth, but it's perfect on its own. I kind of want to serve it with some vegan friendly ice cream next time :O



Thursday, January 26, 2012


The term 'cyberbullying' is often associated with high school and cliquey teens, but truthfully, it can happen to anyone. To be frank, and probably a bit naive, but I thought name calling and rumour spreading was something that finished with school.

Whether or not you know who it is, direct or passive aggressive, it's not a pleasant experience. Knowing that someone took time out of their day to send negativity and nastiness is pretty disheartening, even at times for the thickest of skins.

I abhor the notion that there are people out there who revel in abusing portals such as anonymous messaging for the purposes of being vindictive, accusatory and untruthful. If you've experienced something similar, you need to know, it's something that can be stopped. Before I continue, I really must stress the importance of telling someone. It's difficult, and it can feel like it's something that you should be ashamed of, but it's really not. Talking to someone you trust really helps relieve the pressure and stress that something like this can place on you, both mentally and emotionally. You're not alone, and you don't have to be silent.

Unfortunately, part of having a life online is you're going to encounter people you do not agree with, it's a fact of life, but sometimes people can take it too far. Anonymous messaging is a blessing and a curse, and while the temptation of receiving cute messages is sweet, it's just not worth the portal it gives douchebags into contacting you + affecting your life.
It's hard, but just don't give them the satisfaction of knowing that they got to you. There is simply no point in trying to clarify any lies; they are just using them to illicit a reaction they can draw some kind of humour from.
Don't dignify their silliness with an answer, simply ignore or delete the messages and get on with your day.

Disable anonymous messaging if you have to. You do not have to give people who do not wish you well the access to your life they obviously crave. People who cannot stand behind their convictions and accusations are not people worth hearing from.

My new years resolution was multi-faceted, but a part of it was to finally disable anonymous messaging on all my blogs/online messaging. I don't have to put up with people being awful for the sake of their amusement, and I certainly do not have to be passive about discussing any issues there may be. It's been absolutely wonderful returning to the internet, and coming back to Tumblr is like coming home. I am so blissed out and flattered by all the kind words and support that arose when my arrival was announced.

Okay! Alliteration aside, I hope this rambling provided some kind of prompt to ridding yourselves of unnecessary negativity. 2012 is a new year, it's time for a change!





Today is a pretty important day in my own little world. It marks the date at which I finally got off my bottom and launched the beginning of a project I have been working on :D

Aesthetic Sense is a new blog I am writing for, which is aimed at documenting Adelaide style and stylish locations. I hope to avoid the general fashion blog photoroll stereotype, and really show people that there is a side to Adelaide that isn't what you see in dodgy beer commercials. There are amazing minds, artists and beautiful cafes that I just haven't really found anything like in other cities, and I just can't wait to show them to everyone.
I'm happy to be back and writing again, and I can't wait to go get out there and meet fashionable, creative people, pick their brains and use my internet audience to get their faces out there :D
(That sounds way more violent than it actually is O_O)

I'll still be contributing to this blog; in my absence I have been doing a LOT of gardening and have garnered a fair amount of handy information for growing your own eatable/pretty to look at goodies along with loads of other flotsam and jetsam I feel is necessary to be put out into the universe.

Anyhow, I'll leave you with my launch outfit + something that is SUPER easy to replicate. Oversized shirts are  totally boss for summer dresses, and real easy to find at any op shop. I picked this Hugo Boss number up for $4 at the op shop near my house; make sure you suss the men's section!