Blogging

Demonstrating the Difference

A lot has changed in my life in the past 3 to 4 years.  I started powerlifting in 2011 and was in a car accident in 2013 that forced me to quit lifting for a time (about a year, actually). I had ankle surgery (2014), walked the UK (2014), and got hit with some type of autoimmune disorder (2014) which kept me from restarting powerlifting when I wanted.  Then I bleached and dyed my hair (2015), then I hacked it off (2016) to avoid dying in the heat (again).  I joined the SCA (2016) and began researching medieval skin care.  I started using oil to wash my face, based on historical evidence that oil is actually a really good skin cleanser.  I believe I started that in August 2016 as a way to prepare for the first, ever, SCA class I was going to teach at Great Western War. This year, I've had to make a diet change for my health. I had no idea that sero-negative celiac disease was a thing and that I would have it.  So, no more grains and, for me in particular, no more legumes/lentils.  I really don't want to be sick and it doesn't take a lot to make me sick.  I've drunk more water in the past checks calendar 2 months than I have in a few years, and my skin has been very thankful. I've also continued my skin care regimen of oil and rose water, and have just recently added a oil moisturizer to the mix that actually really does some wonderful things for my skin. But, is it just placebo effect, or is there an actual difference? [caption id="attachment_179" align="alignright" width="300"] Left: c. 2014. Note the fine lines at my eyes and the dull, uneven skin tone. Right: June 5, 2017. My skin is even and bright, and there is no evidence of fine lines.[/caption] The image to the right shows me 3 years ago and just last week.  The picture on the left, my skin looks dull.  It looks like its aging.  If you embiggen the picture, you can see fine lines at my eyes.  I look like I'm in my 30s in that picture (which is so very true! I was 36!).  The image on the left is me just last week. I was picking up Geiri from work and had some time, so I snapped a selfie.  My skin looks clearer, even, supple, and there is no evidence of fine lines forming anywhere on my face.  I look like I'm not quite 30 yet (in fact, I've told people just recently how old I am and they've just stared at me in wonderment...they thought I was only about 25). I used to wear a lot of makeup.  I don't anymore simply because it's a lot of work and I don't always have the spoons to do it.  These two pictures have about the same amount of makeup effort going on, which is why I chose them.  Before, I was using whatever products I could buy at the store to wash and moisturize my face. I have acne-prone skin, so many of the things were super harsh and drying (as is evident in the left picture, on the cheek).  My skin care routine has completely changed and the difference was noticeable within a week. My routine is as follows:
  • Cleansing Oil - I use olive oil as a base and add rosemary and tea tree oil to it.  The olive oil, alone, is fine; I like the scent of rosemary and the anti-bacterial properties of both rosemary and tea tree oil.
  • Toner - Toner is good to close the pores.  Rose water is a fresh type of tone that is mildly astringent, so it also helps quell the raging outbreaks I'm prone to have on a monthly basis.
  • Moisturize Me - This part will vary depending on where I am and what I'm doing.  If it's a normal day in which I will not be outside, I use a moisturizing oil consisting of a jojoba oil base with evening primrose oil and palmarosa essential oil.  If I'm going to be outside, I treat my face with commercial sunblock in SPF 30 (Hawaiian Tropics) and the rest of my body with SPF 70 (Neutragena).  I have one skin and I plan to keep it until I die...which isn't going to be from skin cancer.
I have also switched my hair-care routine to include the use of oils for treatments and as part of my shampoo.  My shampoo consists of peppermint castile soap, coconut oil, coconut milk, and a blend of anti-inflammatory oils to help combat the eczema/psoriasis I have on my scalp. I use henna on my hair, now (and for now... I may go back to blue...or add blue streaks or something), and my hair just looks and feels healthier (though in desperate need of a cut). In Egyptian times, oils were how everyone from royalty to slaves cleaned themselves.  In fact, up until the 1950s, oils were the basis for all cleansers and moisturizers.  I find them healing and effective and I think the difference is clear.
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Blogging

Irish Fair Recap

The Long Beach Irish Fair and Music Festival was fun.  It was not as well-executed this year, likely due to the death of the previous organizer who wasn't known for his delegation.  There were some other issues, as well, but the most significant for us and the other re-enactment groups was that of the Fire Marshal disallowing camp fires.  There was nothing for us to really demo, after that, except for armored combat (which we did on Saturday).  The weather this year was amazing! Last year, it was about 108-F both days; this year, it was a cool 70s-F.  Light rain in the mornings and a strong breeze during the day made it just lovely weather. For those who are coming to this site from the perfumery demos and discussions, welcome!  I hope you find interesting things in this blog.  Pardon the store, at the moment; I have not taken pictures of everything, yet, which makes it difficult to list items for sale. If, however, you'd like to order a custom perfume, please e-mail me at orders@iceandfireworks.com and let's discuss what you'd like. :) On a personal note: I did do a bone-head thing and trip over a lash line on my tent on Sunday evening as I was preparing to break down camp.  I landed squarely on my knees and hands/wrists and it seems my left knee took most of the impact.  Keeping an eye on things, but it's possible I may have a stress fracture in my knee cap.  We'll see how things progress over the next few days. Over all, the weekend was fantastic!  My next scheduled event is Lyondemere Anniversary on July 8!  Hope to see you there!
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Blogging

Potrero War 2017

It's been a long time since I've updated this blog. I do apologize. I've been hugely busy with my dissertation. The good news is I have submitted my proposal for preliminary feedback and have received half of that feedback.  I need to make some edits, then it gets submitted for IRB and RRB review, oral defense, then off to the races with experimenting!  If you're interested in my dissertation stuff (which has to do with using traditional role playing games for training critical thinking skills), feel free to e-mail me and I'll happily talk your ear off about it. Potrero War was this past weekend and it was pretty fantastic!  I spent most of the war volunteering...which ended up being a bit of a mistake for me, healthwise, but c'est la vie! I started by presenting a class on Roman hygiene and perfumes, then started working at Base Camp, Base Camp HQ, and Gate in over-night shifts.  I do love over-night shifts! I decided to run a second iteration of my class, too, because there were people who had wanted to come, but couldn't. It was great and I made sure to give the Queen her own custom perfume (for which she swooned). The documentation for this class and the one I taught at Great Western War are now available for download here.  Enjoy them and if you end up making any of the perfumes, do let me know!
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Blogging

Getting Back to It…

We're home from Great Western War. I'm still fighting some fatigue issues, but I'm working on things for the shop! The skin care class went well and everyone seemed to have a great time. I will be expanding my store to include aromatherapy items (such as bath bombs) for those who may be inclined, and will continue to add new products and remedies from the different time periods. I'm officially in dissertation-writing-and-execution mode, so I may go dark for the next few months; we'll see. By this time next year, I sincerely hope that this will be thriving with information, as well as products for you to enjoy. This is a short update to let you know I'm not dead, yet. :)   Sechen
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Blogging

Stressing…

I really should research some period-appropriate de-stressers. Besides leeching or blood letting. There is a week and half-ish til Great Western War. Our first war. My first time teaching. ...and I have nothing finished because I've been working on this website and my dissertation. I still have to make garb; I still have to buy tent stakes; I still have to design and make the handouts. I still have class work to complete before I go because I don't know if I'll have the electricity to power my laptop to finish my school work. I also need to make our Baroness' birthday present. And figure out what and if I'm entering the People's Choice art...thing. Wars are stressful, yo! I'm hoping that, by this time next year, I'll be preparing for a different trip: The one that takes me to Denver to march across the stage in a cap and gown and be hooded as Doctor. We may have to skip GWW next year. But, I won't know until early July because that's when I'd have to have my dissertation completed, signed off, and published by, and my petition to graduate turned in. If it's not all finished and submitted by July 15, we'll be at war next year, too. :) Regardless, I also hope I have more garb by this time next year. And maybe some armor. I have a dream of participating in Crown and making it to the finals, then completely throwing the fight because I just want to participate, not win. ;) (I know that's not chivalrous; but it's humorous, and that's my bag). Besides. Who'd want a Mongol Queen, anyway? Regardless, I really should be working on documentation and such. Maybe I'll find some more interesting information to post here and more products to offer. Maybe I will also get the website actually finished... ...and maybe I will sleep at some point. Stranger things have happened...
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New Presence
Blogging

New Presence

I've been working on a bunch of things. Today, Geiri and I created a Thing for our cats. [caption id="attachment_66" align="alignright" width="225"]Nekko was really excited about his new Thing. Nekko was really excited about his new Thing.[/caption] Nekko (pictured) is about 13 years old. When he falls asleep, he tends to sort of roll to the side. In this case, he rolls to the side away from the window which causes him to crash into the food and water dish below (not in the picture). I suggested building a shelf at the window ledge to keep him from falling, and Geiri came up with this brilliant design. It has a nice, flat surface above the portable dishwasher (which will be covered in carpet), a nice shelf at the ledge (which I will likely make a cushion for), and a pole across the top (from which to hang dangly bits for them to play with). The two side pieces will be covered with rope and/or carpet for them to scratch at, and we're going to make a step stool type thing to act as a shelf and cover for the food and Drinkwell-360 that sit below the new window shelf. We had just put the dishwasher in place and took a step back to admire. I got out my phone and before I could unlock the screen, Nekko was up on the window sill, exploring. I snapped the picture, then said, "Nekko, do you like it?" I was met with a happy sounding meow, so I took it as a win. After that, I sat down and began working on this site. I really want to have it up and fully functional by the end of next week. Geiri and I will be at Great Western War October 4-10; I'll be teaching a Medieval Skin Care Class on October 6 (Thursday) at 2pm, and October 7 (Friday) at 1pm. If you're going to the War, do come and check it out! Space is limited, and the cost is $5 (because I couldn't go less). ...which brings me back to the website... You'll see that things are slowly changing in appearance. I have a logo now! I kinda like it, though I'm sure it will go through some changes as I continue on with things. I also have a bunch of social media links at the bottom of the page! These are all links for this site's social media! There's a YouTube Channel, which I fully intend to actually use for make up tutorials, skin care tutorials, mini-history lessons, and even live streaming. Be patient with me; I'm still learning YouTube. There's a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Google+ page (which I really need help to learn how to use), and an RSS feed! Please feel free to follow any and all of those! Geiri and I will work on using them, as time goes by. What do you think of the logo? Do you have a better idea for it? Let me know in the comments!
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Blogging

Crash, Burn, & Rise from the Ashes

I had a good many blog entries going. A fair few hours were spent typing each entry, recipe, results update, etc. I had the brilliant idea to convert the site to a standard site; and that went very, very badly. So badly that I lost all of the posts I had made from August til now. There were tears! There were wailings! There were gnashings of teeth! ...and now there's this website. I'm still working on it, quite obviously, but what was once just a blog, is now a blog and online store. Please bear with me as I slowly put up product pictures. I have to find all my gizmos I had on the blog site so that I can integrate them into this one, plus design a logo, plus do art work for the banners, plus do blog updates, plus research recipes, and and and and.... PLUS! Work on my dissertation. For the past two weeks, I had been spending 2-4 hours, Monday through Friday, doing general transcription for a company that shall remain unnamed. If you really want the details, I posted the email exchange with them on my personal Facebook profile. Long story short, they're violating a number of Labor Laws and I was tired of being bullied (it only took once), so I quit. But, that knocks out my income. For those who know me and follow me on other social media sites (like Instagram and deviantArt), you know that I've been doing a lot of art for a long time. It's time I sell my art. And my sciences. I'm doing this stuff, anyway, and I enjoy doing it--plus, it's good for me to do to relax from the stress of the dissertation phases. This site is dedicated to the period re-enactors. The ones who camp out in wool July 1-3 in Gettysburg, PA (you insane people!) for Civil War re-enactments; for the ones who camp out without electricity, preferring a simpler time from the Renaissance and Medieval periods; for those who just really like simplistic face care that will actually improve their skin because it's based on science and history. This site will offer blog posts promoting new products, but also blog posts about different recipes for skin care, or historical documentation for art pieces, or even brief histories on calligraphy or some other aspect of history. If there's something you'd like to see featured, please contact me! If there's a product you want that I don't currently have listed, talk to me and I'll see what I can do! In the meantime, please sit back and enjoy the site as I try to get my previous blog posts back up and running; and browse the shop! Even though there aren't pictures, yet, there's still stuff there to look at! I'm still trying to figure out the gift certificates, so don't buy those just yet. ;)
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