Month: May 2012

lipstick retracted

How to put a new lipstick in a vintage tube

If you like pretty packaging, this is the way to go. You will need:

  • vintage lipstick holder (with or without lipstick)
  • new lipstick in crappy plastic tube
  • a freezer
  • wax paper
  • toothpicks, cotton swabs & dish soap (if removing old lipstick from vintage tube)

Assemble all your materials, then put your modern lipstick in the freezer. If you’re like me, you’ll get sidetracked and leave it in there for a few weeks. For you more focused gals, overnight is plenty of time. As this was my first attempt, I did NOT use a vintage lipstick tube….this is just a fancy tube some ebay seller threw in with some other stuff I bought. But it’s still nicer than ye olde plastic Maybelline tube, right? Exactly.

Why are you freezing your lipstick? Because when it’s frozen, it’s more likely to come out of the tube in one piece and less likely to make a giant mess.


Crappy plastic lipstick tube, fancy metal lipstick tube, check.


Before freezing.

Put your modern lipstick in the freezer.

While your lipstick is freezing, clean out the vintage/fancy holder. I dug out the pink frosty lipstick with a toothpick (OK, more like a dozen toothpicks) and then cleaned the remaining traces out with cotton swabs.

lipstick tube degunk

Degunking in progress.

clean tube

Clean and cootie-free fancy lipstick holder.

Once I got all the grotty old lipstick out, I disinfected the bejesus out of the remaining pieces. Wash in warm soapy water, then wipe out the inside with a Lysol or Clorox wipe just to make sure you’ve eliminated all cooties. Dry thoroughly.

If the insert inside that makes the lipstick go up and down in the tube is plastic, it may be slightly discolored due to the pigments in the lipstick. This is ok–it does not mean you have failed in your mission to clean and disinfect. If you’re using a vintage tube, the base will probably be metal and less prone to discoloration.

Let’s skip ahead to the part where your new lipstick is frozen and you’re ready to put it in the fancy tube. Take your lipstick out of the freezer (duh) and take apart the tube. Once you’ve eliminated excess packaging, extend the lipstick as far out of the tube as you can. You want to move quickly once the lipstick comes out of the freezer: the longer you wait, the messier it gets.

frozen lipstick

Frozen lipstick, minus decorative silver piece of tube visible in first photo.

Wrap your wax paper gently around the frozen lipstick and pull it out of the tube. It should slide right out of the plastic base. (The wax paper keeps you from getting lipstick all over your fingers and fingerprints all over the lipstick.) Gently yet firmly push the lipstick into the fancy tube. The bottom of the lipstick will slide right into the metal or plastic base of the fancy holder. Make sure it’s securely anchored in there so it will go up and down in the tube and not fall in your lap when you take the top off to apply lipstick while driving. We all do it, even though we know it’s a bad idea. At least now you won’t ruin your favorite skirt in the process.

lipstick done

Bombshell red lipstick in fancy metal tube. Mission accomplished.

lipstick retracted

If done correctly, you will be able to twist the bottom of the tube and retract the lipstick. Yay.

Wasn’t that easy? Good. Time to buy more lipstick.

head scarf

Closet clean-out

Warm weather is finally here–I suppose I can safely pack away my cold-weather clothes and take my summer stuff out of storage. My employer has been kind enough to grant an early start to the long weekend; I get to shut down at noon and I’m working at home until then. Which makes the whole process a lot easier, because I can start the laundry train rolling. Wash winter clothes, pack them away. Wash summer clothes, hang them or put them in drawers. Everything clean and accessible. Nice.

When I’m taking my summer items out of storage, I try everything on to make sure it still fits. Anything that doesn’t goes into the swap bag immediately. I also try to think about what I have that I could combine with this piece to make fun new outfits. Then there’s how I really look as opposed to how I want to look and what I can do to bridge the gap. I’m trying to be more adventurous. Some days I’m more successful than others. I’m also trying to take better care of myself. I’ve had a nasty upper respiratory infection since Monday, which has limited my ability to exercise, but I’ve been eating reasonably and sucking down ecchinacea and vitamins and I’m finally starting to feel better.

I’ve just figured out how to tie head scarves, so now I’m on a head scarf kick just in time for summer.

head scarf

Lovely scarf my mother-in-law just gave me. Clean, productless hair. That’s a Kitchen-aid mixer coming out of my head, not a piece of scarf.

peony buds

The prettiest time of the year.

This time of year is when our yard looks the best. I’d love to see photos of the house when it was first built to get a sense of how much the rhododendrons have grown over the years, and what the place looked like without the screen porch.

front of house

The front of the house – almost everything’s blooming.

screen porch

I can’t imagine our house without the screen porch.

Coreopsis, salvia, and Siberian irises.

peony buds

My peonies are finally going to bloom this year–they came from the house I grew up in, so I’m sentimentally attached.

A great time at the car show

TPK Banner

That’s me posing. B did a great job on my banner!

We had a great time at the car show yesterday and I actually made a few sales. I consider it a successful first outing. Bernadette and I went early to set up, then Tim and Lucas met us an hour or so later. They all said my booth looked great, but also had suggestions for next time to make it even more eye-catching. I came away with some good ideas. I talked to a few of the other vendors–Tim bought some records from the guy next to us and my mom bought me a book and a purse. Chaos set up next to us with his ’58 Oldsmobile Ninety-eight and great artwork. Throughout the day he pointed out people wearing t-shirts he designed for various car shows, which was kind of fun.

Chaos's car

John Chaos set up next to us.

A little while after the judges awarded the trophies, they were looking for pin-ups to pose with the winning cars. Someone walked by my booth and said, “There’s one!” and asked me to pose with two other girls – I was flattered. So at some point, my picture will be on the 100 Percent Kulture website.

While I spent most of my time at my booth, I did wander around with my mom, aunt and uncle for a few minutes to look at some of the cars. Some of my favorites:

Canary yellow Dodge

This canary yellow Dodge.

I love this shade of blue.

This car was parked right in front of my table for a while until another space opened up.

Our friend Brian's Oldsmobile

Our friend Brian’s Oldsmobile.

Overall, I had a great time. I definitely look forward to doing more car shows in the future–especially once I find Matilda and have my own classic car.

hubcap photo

Tim takes a photo of our reflection in the hubcap of Chaos’ car.

Why my dream car is named Matilda

I’m excited about the car show at Ralph’s for two reasons:

  1. I get to sell compacts at a booth for the first time
  2. I get to start making car connections so when I’m ready to buy Matilda, Tim and I will have an easier time finding her, sourcing parts, etc.

Some of you are  probably wondering why I keep calling this 1940 Dodge that I don’t even own yet Matilda. I name inanimate objects that I spend a lot of time with. I always have. Call me crazy. Beyond that, I like the names I bestow to have some sort of deeper meaning. So here’s Matilda’s story:

Matilda Dodge with her children in the early 1920s.

My dad went to college at Oakland University in Michigan. The school was founded by Matilda Dodge Wilson–widow of John Francis Dodge. One of the Dodge brothers who started the car company. THAT Dodge. Matilda was his secretary. They married in 1907 and had three children before John died of the flu in 1920.  Matilda inherited his share of the company and became one of the wealthiest women in the United States. Five years later, she married lumber baron Alfred Wilson. Matilda did a great deal of charity work, supporting the Salvation Army and numerous arts organizations. She was politically active, serving as Leiutenant Governor of Michigan in 1940 and sitting on the state’s Board of Agriculture. All this earned my admiration.

But what really captivated me were my father’s stories about Mrs. Wilson.

My dad had just started at Oakland when she died and he recalls that the upperclassmen were grief-stricken. The students genuinely liked her. While the university was in its infancy and the dorms were still under construction, Mrs. Wilson let female students live in a wing of the Meadow Brook Hall mansion. She also hosted the students for a party every year on her birthday. The male senior with the highest GPA got to be her escort for the event and she provided him with ballroom dancing lessons so they could dance to–what else? Waltzing Matilda. According to my dad, this was a big deal–students competed for the honor.

Matilda wasn’t just a hard worker who was generous with her time and money. She was fun. That sold me. My 1940 Dodge has been christened. I may not have met my Matilda yet, but I’ll know her when I find her. She’ll be every bit as captivating as her namesake.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

I’m almost ready for my first ever live event, a car show at Ralph’s Diner in Worcester on Sunday. I’ve priced everything, figured out how to display all my compacts and sundries, and procured a cash box and cool swipe thing for my phone so I can take credit cards. The banner that Brazen Bernadette designed for me arrived and looks awesome. I have selected an outfit.

Tim has confirmed that our friend John Chaos of Eldorado Rampage notoriety will be there with his ’58 Oldsmobile 98. We have several other firends who may show up, with or without hot rods. Ralph’s usually has awesome bands in the parking lot during this thing, so I’m looking forward to hearing some good music. I’m also excited about seeing all the amazing cars and starting to talk to people about finding my ’40 Dodge, even though I won’t have the money for her for a while. Building connections now can’t hurt.

On Saturday, Bernadette and I will do a sweep of local shops to see if there’s anything I MUST HAVE for the show, pilfer display ideas, and generally have mischief together.

My banner, merchandise and cash box are all ready to go.

Bernadette is concerned that I don’t have enough stuff to sell. I have no such fear. (I know the photo above is going to alarm her  even more because you can’t see the tote underneath the books or the second one above the cash box, both of which are PACKED). Now all that’s left to do is iron my tablecloth, find a suitable backdrop for the easy-up, and print two small signs. I’m ready.

Reminder of my derby days

Hazel compact

This compact reminds me to bring the strengths I learned in derby to the rest of my life.

Once upon a time, I played roller derby. My derby name was Hazel Smut Crunch and the derby persona I assumed was dramatically different than the way I carried myself in my non-derby life. In derby, I was far more assertive. While I typically avoided conflict at all costs, derby forced me into conflict–it taught me to stand my ground and push back, both literally and figuratively.

Shortly after I retired from derby, I got this compact as part of a lot. I keep it on a shelf in my cube at work to remind me to draw on the strengths I built during derby, while staying true to myself and handling myself with classic grace, tact, and poise. I admit that I don’t think anyone who knows me has EVER described me as either poised or graceful, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Just like a lack of athletic ability didn’t stop me from playing roller derby–and winning.