Posted in Beauty, hair, how to, tutorial

Hairstyle Tutorial: If I Were Nucky Thompson’s Girlfriend


I have a major crush on the ladies hairstyles of Boardwalk Empire.  Everyone else might be watching for the gangsters and mols, but I’m watching to see how Margaret and Gillian are wearing their hair.  And their shoes.  Those shoes are all kinds of adorable.

Yesterday, I realized that my hair has grown out to the point that I could make a passable attempt at some BE hair, so I scrubbed up, grabbed the rat tail comb and a handful of bobby pins, and went to work.

The first step was to make finger waves with the front sections of my hair.

2012-12-05 20.32.222012-12-05 20.32.40

To make a finger wave (and that one on the left is pretty messy) I hold my index finger down on a section of hair, then use my other hand to draw the lock into a C shape.  I use a bobby pin to secure the rounded part of the C.  Then, I curve the lock again, making a backwards C, this time using the bobby pin to secure the bottom part of the C.  The curved part of the C comes forward against my temple.

When I have two Cs, I take the length of the lock and make a pin curl above my ear.

To make that pin curl, I wrap the lock around my index finger, then slide it off, and secure it with a bobby pin to the side of my head.  If you can twirl your hair, you can make a pin curl!

 

Once the front sections were finished, I went to work making little pin curls all over the rest of my head.  The more curls you make, the more body your hair will have.  I used TIGI’s Catwalk strong mousse for holding power.  My hair is very fine and doesn’t hold curl well, and I was pretty impressed that my finger waves are still holding.  That’s some good mousse.

Blurry AND dark--but I was trying to take a picture of the back of my head with a cell phone.
Blurry AND dark–but I was trying to take a picture of the back of my head with a cell phone.

Pin curls aren’t hard, per se, but they do take a few goes to master.  The technique that works best for me is to use one hand to take a pinch of hair about two inches from the end, then use the other hand to curl the end up into the pinch.  That gives you a circle.  Then, you roll the lock of hair around that pinch, rolling it up to your scalp, keeping the circumference of your original circle as you go.  When you run out of hair, lay that circle down against your scalp and use a bobby pin  (or whatever floats your boat) to secure it to your head.

You’ll want to work with damp hair–that makes things easier.  Too wet and your hair is just floppy and hard to work with.  Too dry and the curls won’t set.  It’s a balance that depends on your particular hair, though.

I wrapped my curled up head in a scarf and went to bed.  When I woke up in the morning and undid the curls, my hair looked like this:

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That’s not a great look, but listen, those waves?  Perfect!  I got started on my Boardwalk Empire hairstyle by separating out the front section of my hair and pinning it out of the way.

2012-12-06 07.55.41I wanted to do a style Gillian wears frequently, which is several pincurls layered across the nape, with a fingerwave ending in a curl on the sides.  My first try was more elaborate mess than Mob Mol, but I will show you the steps I took to get there:

I started making pincurls at the middle back of my head, working my way out.
I started making pincurls at the middle back of my head, working my way out.
I built in more curls, securing them into each other for stability.
I built in more curls, securing them into each other for stability.

 

 

I kept making curls until I had all the back section of my hair in a nice arrangement.
I kept making curls until I had all the back section of my hair in a nice arrangement.
Then, I took down the top section that was pinned up, and separated that into three sections.  I teased the middle back/crown section for some height.
Then, I took down the top section that was pinned up, and separated that into three sections. I teased the middle back/crown section for some height.
This is what it looked like teased.  You can kind of see what would come next naturally.
This is what it looked like teased. You can kind of see what would come next naturally.
I made three more pincurls from that crown section, securing them into the first line of curls from the back section of hair.
I made three more pincurls from that crown section, securing them into the first line of curls from the back section of hair.
Then, I looked like this.  Hot stuff!
Then, I looked like this. Hot stuff!
Careful not to pull so tightly that I pulled out my finger waves, I swept those side sections to the back middle of my head and secured them as pincurls.
Careful not to pull so tightly that I pulled out my finger waves, I swept those side sections to the back middle of my head and secured them as pincurls.
Then, I used my comb to smooth out the rough spots and tuck strays into the curls.  I think I've gotten pretty good at taking pictures of the back of my head!
Then, I used my comb to smooth out the rough spots and tuck strays into the curls. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at taking pictures of the back of my head!
I put on my makeup, paying attention to the eyebrows because 20s eyebrows were darker and rounder than what we're used to wearing today.
I put on my makeup, paying attention to the eyebrows because 20s eyebrows were darker and rounder than what we’re used to wearing today.
And I added some flair.
And I added some flair.
But, I decided that was too many pincurls for the office.  It looked too costume-y.  So I took the back down and modified it into only 5 big curls.
But, I decided that was too many pincurls for the office. It looked too costume-y. So I took the back down and modified it into only 5 big curls.
I took a silver necklace, put bobby pins on either side, and hooked it into my hair like a little headband.  I used two more pins on each side to secure it, hiding the pins under the side waves.
I took a silver necklace, put bobby pins on either side, and hooked it into my hair like a little headband. I used two more pins on each side to secure it, hiding the pins under the side waves.
2012-12-06 09.12.41
The modified style wasn’t as Boardwalk Empire as it had been, but it was a good compromise between an office friendly French twist and my desire for a little hair drama.
It worked out, and got several compliments, including three from men, who don't usually notice my hairstyles.
It worked out, and got several compliments, including three from men, who don’t usually notice my hairstyles.

 

I’m not interested in the Boardwalk Empire life, but I sure wouldn’t mind having someone show me how to do a few more of their hairstyles.  And I want all of Margaret’s clothes from Season 2.  All of them.

Random bit of interest:  It took 17 bobby pins to hold my final style.  I don’t have a lot of hair, so you might want to double up if you’re going to try this at home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Friends of Mine, Good Housekeeping, how to, Style

Party On, Lane


Five months into the year, I finally kicked off my “entertain/socialize more” resolution from New Year with a little garden dessert party, which was very, very satisfying.  I know some really wonderful people, and I was happy to have so many of them gathered in one place.  I was also happy to feel like I could set up a good looking space for our dessert spread.

I showed you how I recovered my cafe table set for the party.  I recovered my patio dining table and chairs with a red-on-red tonal, print tablecloth by Paula Deen, also purchased at Ross for $4, and I used another $4 Paula Deen print as a tablecloth for a little card table, where we set up prizes and food.

I think things mixed and mismatched nicely.

 

For the party, I made brownies, mini-cupcakes, and soft pretzels.  My friend, Francine, made some amazing lemon sugar cookies, and we also had a cheese tray.  For drinks, we went through two pitchers of lemonade and some ginger ale, and those of us who imbibe had Birthday Cake cocktails:  1 part Cake flavored vodka, to 2 parts ginger ale, on the rocks.

Mini-angle food cupcake with chocolate icing (piped on with a ziplock bag that I cut the corner out of) topped with a mini-marshmallow.
And the mini-red velvet cake cupcake with cream cheese icing (same piping technique), topped with a stemmed, maraschino cherry. I based these off of one of my screen print designs. Food imitating art!
Cupcake Ninja! You can still order these, by the way. $25 for a tshirt. If you want one, contact me through lane@theoutsidelane.com.

 

So, great party!  No one cried.  No one threw up.  No one salted the earth in front of my door.  And Thor got to play with my friend Emily’s delightful daughter, who is the teensiest, most adorable, fairy-pirate I know.

Here, Thor coaches MissA on her frisbee grip.
Posted in Good Housekeeping, how to, Style

How To: Recover Patio Seat Cushions


When I married Bryan, I inherited this adorable cafe table and chairs.  B’s mom lovingly, and carefully painted it bright red, and covered the seats in red and white canvas for us, and it was truly a great set.  But, years in the sun faded out the canvas, and then a year in storage didn’t do much for the fabric.  It was high time to recover the seats, especially since I have a little party coming up this weekend.

I am neither as good at, nor as equipped to cover chair seats as my mother-in-law (who owns a staple gun! I admire this woman so much!), and I am also cheap.  Lucky for me, I grew up watching Todd Oldham on MTV’s House of Style, so I know all about faking fabulous.  He used to do these great episodes about recovering chairs with old sheets, hot glue, and buttons.  I thought about that after a couple of weeks worth of me hunting for what I wanted on the internet failed, and I decided to hit up Ross and see what I could find.

What I found were three great, vinyl tablecloths for $4 each.  Just enough to cover the cafe table chairs, and give some new life to my other patio dining table and chairs.  Along with a roll of duct tape that cost about $2, I can spruce it up nicely.  Tonight, I worked on the cafe table.  Tomorrow night I’ll hit the bigger set.

I started with this Waverly tablecloth. It was felt backed, so I thought that would give the covers a little longer life.

 

I plopped a seat cushion down in the corner of the tablecloth (60″x120″ sized rectangle), and started cutting as though I were wrapping a Christmas present.

 

Those of you who have received Christmas presents from me will not be surprised to find out that I used an obscene amount of tape to secure the cover. I pulled and tucked, and taped as I worked for a smooth top of the cushion, and sides that were flat enough to fit into the chair rims. Duct Tape. Is there nothing it can’t do?

 

The finished product looked like this.

 

Thor gave the newly revived seats two thumbs-up.

 

I had enough tablecloth left to cover the glass top of the table, which has become smokey over the years. I tucked the tablecloth into the table frame, then went to work cutting around the edges like it was a pie crust.

 

And now, for $6, my little table is ready for the party. And when it’s said and done, I won’t feel bad about having to recover it because I only spent $6.