About Denise Lee

I discovered that every single day we can accomplish the seeming impossible if only we believe that we can, because God (or the Universe, or whatever you believe in) makes a way where there is no way. You are the creator of the masterpiece that is your life but your doubts and fears keep you in bondage, remember that everything you need to accomplish your goals is in you already.

Accidental Dry Hair Remedy – Cholesterol, egg and honey

My hair has been really dry and pouffy since my last henna because I did not have time to deep condition afterwards. I had planned to end my busy week with a greek yogurt conditioning, but I forgot to buy the Greek yogurt.
On Sunday I found a mostly used bottle of Le Kair Cholesterol (I can’t seem to find Queen Helene down here in Middle Earth) and figured I’d throw an egg and some honey in there and see what happens. I cowashed my hair with a little Pantene Pro V and then I applied my home mix, put a shower cap on and a crocheted tee shirt cap to simulate heat. I left it in for about 4 hours I think. Then I rinsed, applied sweet almond oil and my shea butter mix while putting in about 7 two strand twists.
I am sitting at my desk today, running my hand through my hair, and I can’t help but notice how soft it feels. Reminds me of the days when I used to relax my hair.
So here’s the mix:
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey (i’m guesstimating, I just squeezed a bunch in there)
Mix well with a spoon or fork and apply to hair.

Let me know how it works if you try it.

My Upcycled Tee Shirt Obsession

I think that I may have mentioned before that I’m slightly craft ADD and usually have 10 ideas in my head at one time, none of which I actually have the time to work on since I’m probably crafting the ten ideas from 3 months previous. Back in 2011 I came to Middle Georgia (sounds like a place in a sci-fi novel doesn’t it?) for work. The first month or so my husband and I stayed in a room at Value Place (it’s an hotel/studio apartment type thing). To keep from going crazy I started crocheting around my old concert tees that I had saved from the 80s.

Sting Concert Tee

Once the holiday season is past, my Etsy sales are nonexistent, which is great for me because it means that I have time to experiment with designs (some not so good btw), learn new things etc. My latest “thing” is getting back to t-shirt  recycling  I am obviously a t-shirt hoarder and they (like my odd bits of yarn) must go somewhere other than a landfill.

Seriously, who doesn't love Tweetie Bird?

Seriously, who doesn’t love Tweetie Bird?









Today I made this cute pillow cover for my youngest who was in Marching Band  back in high school. It looks as though there is no crochet involved BUT – I did crochet a very long chain which i ran through the hem of the shirt to tie the bottom of the pillow – which makes the cover washable and reusable, I hope he’ll have it for years to come.

Upcycled tee shirt pillow

So there I was writing this awesome post and one half of it has disappeared. Arrrgh.
Anyway I was about to tell you about my new idea for naturalistas who dry their hair with or wrap their wet hair in a t-shirt (leaves your hair so much softer and less frizzy that a towel). It’s still just an idea/experiment. Here’s a sneak peak:
My upcycled tee shirt idea for naturalistas

My upcycled tee shirt idea for naturalistas

Visit my Etsy site for more of my repurposed tee ideas, unfortunately I don’t yet have the time that it would take to create AND create tutorials, but I hope to share some of my ideas in the future.Enhanced by Zemanta

It’s Not The Size of The Wave – It’s The Motion Of The Ocean

Let me start by saying that this blog post is not about what you’re thinking it’s about.

I’ve been thinking about the whole concept of “overweight” and what the numbers and measurements do to us and why we diet and exercise like mad men and women (right before succumbing to lunch at Golden Corral cause everyone’s going).

This morning , as I rooted about in my closet for something comfortable to wear to the grocery store, it came to me. It’s not my skin that I’m not comfortable in – it’s my clothes.

I was one size (small to medium) most of my life and then suddenly I wasn’t anymore. And no matter what I did, I couldn’t get back to the place where I was the most comfortable in my clothes.

The thing is that there are plus size (how come there isn’t a minus size? I’m just thinking out loud here) women who know how to work it. Their clothes, their hair, their make-up is just always on point. These women look so good that their being “overweight” is a non-issue.

I am not one of these women. I gained weight and totally lost my sense of style. When my reflection and I cross paths we both cringe.  I am constantly trying to lose weight hoping that I will regain my good taste in clothes and remember how to dress myself.

I am not alone. I talk to women all of the time who are doing Sensa, Zumba, the military diet etc. and so on – just so they do not have to start buying clothes in the next size range. I actually wonder if big girls who wear it well, do so because it’s the size they’ve always been and it’s their comfort zone. OK that might be a reach, my sisters have been all along the size spectrum and they always look good.

Maybe it is just me…..maybe I should jump into the ocean and get out of the Nile.

Wherein I Reminisce About Basketball And Baby Naming

20 years ago on a day not unlike today, The Woodchuck (well of course he wasn’t the Woodchuck back then, he was still just “Honey””) and I had still not selected a first name for the child were expecting.

We knew that his first name would not be Simon (family tradition be damned). The problem was that we needed a name that had flow ( I used to write poetry and The Woodchuck still had Tony Rock in his blood, so yes we needed flow), and were having trouble finding (OK agreeing) on  anything that would flow into Simon.

Looking back I can’t think of why we  agonized so much over a name. I mean , really I gave my oldest a majestic name “Rahsheen” what do people call him? Rah. What’s the point? Oh and did I mention that after all that agonizing, our little one once asked us -” why didn’t you give me a normal name, like Jonathan?”

So anyway, back to 20 years ago – Final Four (yes I know it’s not really called that once they get to the final two, I am obviously a horrible sports fan) is on (this is back when there was  one TV in the house and everyone watched what was on said TV), Michigan , North Carolina. I’m rooting for Michigan  (I don’t remember why, no). We’re discussing names still, Juwan – No. Chris? No. Jalen Rose – I had a teacher with the last name Rose when I was in Elementary School – wait – Jalen Simon – now that flows.

The Fab Five didn’t win that night (i think it was the night of the time out incident, I also think I mighta got teary eyed), but strangely enough – I don’t remember the names of any of the North Carolina players. Maybe the Woodchuck does.

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Me- Just Rambling On

I don’t Facebook much anymore, but when I do, I inevitably run into some political discussion about black and white or male and female. Discussions usually started by people who don’t realize that what they know is all they know and probably all they will ever know because that’s how they like it. But what really gets to me is the people who jump into these discussions armed with nothing, not realizing that they are just as clueless as the ignorant ones, and are doing nothing to advance their own cause. They are, as the Woodchuck is fond of saying, going to a gunfight armed with a knife.

Sometimes I still hear people talk about affirmative action. They seem to believe that for some of us (read Blacks and women) success has come only because of affirmative action.

When I began my life in corporate America everyone told me how lucky I was to be a double token. They (and to some extent I) assumed that being black and a woman would take me places. I am still waiting for the magic dust to work.

Further down the road someone else told me that it’s not who you know, or who you blow; it’s how you blow who you know. Well that totally explains the failure of my double token magic fairy “come in here dear boy have a cigar you’re going to go far” dust.

I Love New York – Don’t You?

I was telling a Facebook friend that it surely is difficult to work full-time, crochet part time, manage an online shop AND find time be a social media maven and blogger. I know that I have to do better, but once my work day is over I turn into the happiest hooker ever and ignore my computer. I really need to do better…sigh.

This month sales have really slowed down, so I am using my free time to work on my I Love New York collection. Remember that tee shirt I showed you in my last post? Well I did a little re-work and think I was finally able to be true to the vision that I had. What do you think?

I have also found a wee bit of time to round out part one of the collection with a sexy V-neck upcycled tshirt, a slouch and a beanie inspired by the recent successes of the New York Knicks. And a pair of boot cuffs with orange and blue ruffles which can also be worn as wrist warmers (yes I know, what a great idea Miss Nisey!). Here they are for your viewing pleasure. Part two involves black, white, and the Brooklyn Nets (I’m from Brooklyn…but you knew that).

This HandMade Life- It Ain’t Easy Being a Designing Woman

No matter what you’ve seen on reality TV.

I have a little time now that the Christmas season is over and, while I spend most of it being totally fricking UNinspired, every once in a while I get an idea. This week’s idea was “I Love New York”, a collection of items inspired by my love of the greatest city in the world (or maybe I’m homesick, whatever). I made the mistake of starting with up cycled tees ( we went home last summer, bought a couple or three tee shirts, no one actually wears that stuff once they get back home, so you’re left with a bag of brand new t-shirts).
I wanted something sexy, off the shoulder, with Knicks colors and frills and all that. This is what I ended up with
- yes I’m frogging as we speak, then I’m going to hopefully redeem myself by creating something totally awesome….tomorrow.

Because Michelle Obama Ought To Wear NiseyLee for the Inauguration

It’s 10 days and 16 hours before the inauguration festivities kick off and I have not yet heard from Mrs Obama or her stylist, what gives? here are some suggestions -:)

Never mind me, I’m probably just giddy from my awesome (to me) holiday sales season. Don’t know that I ever mentioned it, but most of my sales used to come from an artists co-op type store near Atlanta, GA. After I moved 86 miles away, it became difficult for me to maintain my 80% commission on my items as that involved devoting several hours a month to working at the store. I initially switched over to a 50 percent split and made a tidy profit last Christmas. But (call me what you will) I just wasn’t very happy about giving up 50% on each sale . Yes I realize that there are arguments to the contrary, and that the store had all of the overhead while I had very little etc and etc. Bottom line was that I wanted to be there to see how my products were displayed and talk to customers about things, and get reactions and feedback AND I wanted to feel rewarded for my hard work. I wasn’t getting that.

I have had my Etsy shop for years , but the secret to success on Etsy is being able to spend time each and every day actually doing stuff in your shop. Given my hours and my commute, I had found that almost impossible to do. So last year I decided to make it a family business – I asked my husband and kids to do whatever they could to help me to help them by creating a successful online presence. They updated my products on a daily basis, created Treasuries for me, posted ads, and mentioned the shop fairly frequently in their Twitter, G+, and Facebook streams.

Knowing that I was creating a lot of items with no way to sell them except on Etsy or Artfire forced me to learn how to get noticed. Granted I am a very small fish in a very,very big pond but I passed a few signposts this year that were very encouraging- like multiple sales in Canada, Australia and England. I was also gratified by the number of sales made to men this year. But probably most encouraging of all was having return customers as well as customers who bought more than one item in a single purchase.

Like so many others, I am not going to be able to retire in my 60s the way my older relatives were able to. Crafting is my back up plan, my role models are Grandma Moses , Colonel Sanders, and a nurse I read about who became a successful novelist after she retired. Like wine, I’m improving with age-:)

I am having a 35% off sale this pre-inauguration weekend , so if you are attending the festivities, there is still time to grab a niseylee original  (I ship Priority Mail so I am almost positive it will get to you in time) and show up all of the celebrities in attendance.


My Jaco Pastorius Beanie Fixation Update

very close to the original I thinkBack in August (gee has it been that long?) I told you how obsessed I was with this Jaco Pastorius beanie that I’d seen on the cover of a bass player book. At the time I was stash busting, so I went all in and made like a whole 5 beanies (hangs head in shame). My excitement was so contagious that even the Woodchuck agreed to let me take pics of him wearing my beanies while playing his favorite basses (actually I think he just wanted the pictures of the basses, but we take what we can get, right?).

I posted my items on Etsy and promptly crocheting is like music and sometimes you have to jazz it upthe Woodchuck can't pick up a bass without playing itforgot about the whole thing because it was time to start crocheting for the holidays. I posted these items thinking that women and/or girls would find these to be cute little presents for their significant others. I was surprised to discover that guys shop on Etsy too (does this make me sexist?) and they are very decisive shoppers. None of that  “I’ll favorite this now and see if I still like it later” stuff.

Which made me realize that I had been all but ignoring an important demographic – men and teenage boys. I am working on fixing that as we speak (well not really because who can type and crochet at the same time anyway?).

And, finally (because I have been under the musical tutelage and influence of the Woodchuck), I’m just so happy to see that Jaco is still remembered and revered by the youngsters.


I’d Rather be Red

If you asked five of my close relations what their favorite color is, three of them are more than likely going to say “red”. That’s just the way it is with us, we love red in our houses and on our persons.

Red looks good on everyone and it comes in so many shades that you can wear it to stand out and you can wear it to blend in. You can wear it to honour your favorite team or you can get all sparkly for a night out (or you can do both at once as in this beanie which has the red white and black of the Atlanta Falcons but with a lot of sparkle).

Red White and Black Beanie

Red White and Black Beanie With a little red sparkle

When I decorate my house for the holidays I think red tablecloths, fat red candles, heavy red velvet drapes, and a lot of gold and silver for accent.  My favorite holiday accessories tend to be red – red hats, red scarves and a red fleece that I’ve had since (probably) the nineties.

Therefore it follows that I crochet a lot of red items leading up to the holidays and that for Black Friday and Cyber Monday I should offer these items to you with FREE SHIPPING via Priority Mail, so that you too can get your red on for the holidays!I'd Rather be Red