Foxtober graphic textIt’s our favorite time of year here at Fox-Hat and Friends: pumpkin spice, colorful autumn leaves, Halloween around the corner, and foxes everywhere. To celebrate, we’ve enlisted some friends to contribute their creativity throughout the month. On the fifteenth, we’ll feature a list of fox-themed books and books with foxes as characters. Then on Halloween, a group of talented creators will share their take on the Foxtober image above. Expect some weird and wonderful things from that!

There’s also a prize–a cache of various foxy treasures collected throughout the year, including two plush blankets, art items, and knickknacks. Some of our guests might have gifts to offer as well. On November first, one person who is signed up to follow the blog (receive email notices) will be selected at random. That’s it! Make sure to sign up for a chance to win and so you don’t miss any of the cool Foxtober content.

Cruelty-free Product Review–Henna Color Labs


henna.jpgI’ve committed myself to living 100 percent cruelty-free, and so I’m investigating products that don’t test on animals and are preferably vegan. The Leaping Bunny Program has been very helpful, and that’s where I discovered this Henna Color Labs dye. Since the price is reasonable, I decided to give it a try. I went with the dark brown, which is closest to my natural hair color.

I have some gray hair, and my main goal was to cover it up.IMG_1299 The Henna Color Labs kit very helpfully comes with gloves and a cap. You’ll need something to mix up the dye, such as a small bowl. The dye itself comes in powder form and is designed to be mixed with water until a paste forms. Easy enough, though I imagine having a professional-quality applicator brush is helpful.


You will want a paste thick enough not to drip. There’s really no need to measure; just gradually add water until you have the consistency you want. This stuff has a vegetal smell, kind of like alfalfa or the grass clippings you empty out of the lawnmower bag. It’s a bit strong but not unpleasant. It’s quite different to the strong chemical odor of many dyes, and it also doesn’t burn or sting skin.

It goes on pretty smoothly, and for my hair length, half a packet was enough to get the job done. You’ll notice it’s still green on my hair, but brownish where it got on the mirror.

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I put it under the cap to process. The instructions say it can be left on up to two hours, and because of those grays, I left it on for the maximum time and opened up the laptop to get some work done. Because it doesn’t contain the harsh chemicals, it’s easy to forget it’s there. There’s no skin irritation or eye-stinging smell.

After the two hours, I rinsed and conditioned without shampooing, per the instructions. My hair felt soft and smooth, but the grassy smell hung around. Did it do as I hoped and cover the gray? Well, mostly. Some of those stubborn bastards resisted it. The overall effect was much improved; at first glance, the gray was not noticeable. However… maybe because I spend a lot of time in the sun and saltwater, the grays began to reemerge pretty quickly–after about a week or so.


Natural and cruelty-free; gentle; application is easy; economical. It really is a quality product at an affordable price.


Didn’t quite cover all the gray; seemed to fade rather quickly. They offer only a limited range of natural colors (no pink or green, for example.) You can’t drastically change your hair color with these products.


This product will be just the thing for someone who wants to give their hair a tint or color boost without the use of harsh chemicals, and I have the utmost respect for Henna Color Lab’s commitment to producing cruelty-free products. For me, the gray coverage was not quite what I wanted, but I would be curious to see if others’ experiences have been different. If you’re curious, try the product. The price is not prohibitive to experimentation, and the absolute worst result is a little less dramatic color than expected. Add the cinnamon exfoliating soap to your order–smells amazing!



Cover Art for Renewal

front coverGood morning and happy Friday!

I’m pleased to share my artwork for Queer Sci Fi’s flash fiction anthology, Renewal. It’s the culmination of an annual contest to discover the very best in LGBT-themed flash fiction. Prospective authors are invited to interpret the theme, which was renewal this time around. As the cover artist, I did the same (with some helpful feedback from the project’s editor), and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy it, and stayed tuned for the release date on what’s sure to be a great collection of stories.

You can find more information on Renewal and other queer speculative fiction at the Queer Sci Fi site.