Category Archives for "DIY Fun"

Dec 01

It’s an Indigo Christmas!

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Over the summer I was reading Issue 22 of my favorite magazine, Uppercase, and became utterly entranced with Indigo dyeing and I set out to learn as much as I could.  Lucky for me there have been many centuries of experts sharing their wealth of knowledge, and modern-day masters who are kind enough to post videos online. At this stage of my learning I am at the skill level of a kindergartner, but on my bucket list now is to become skilled at the art of the Shibori technique (see video at the end of this post!).  Even though I’m definitely an Indigo novice, I had a blast making Christmas gifts this year (SPOILER ALERT – to my family and friends reading this post).

There is so much to learn about dyeing with Indigo,  and I don’t want to bore you with too much detail, but below are some tips I picked up through my experience. Hopefully they help you out too:

****** INDIGO DYEING TIPS & TRICKS ******

* Allow 2 full days in a row to dye (you can’t rush Indigo dyeing). There is a lot of prep and set up involved and for best results you want to make sure you’re not rushed.

* Plan to dye a lot of pieces.  You’re going to have a huge Vat of dye to work with and once you get going you’re not going to want to stop. Also, make sure that you prewash everything you plan to dye (don’t cheat on this step – the desired end result really depends on working with clean and sizing-free fabric).

* Read cover to cover the information booklet and instructions/tips paperwork provided in the Indigo dye kit.  I must confess that I often skim or overlook small print paperwork, but in this case I didn’t and I’m SO grateful for that! There is so much valuable information to learn and tips on how to avoid huge messes or mistakes.

* Find a corner of your yard or an  open area to work in (if possible don’t do your dyeing inside your house).  I watched one tutorial from a woman who lives in an apartment and did her dyeing in her bathtub.  That is definitely possible, but I am afraid the dye would permanently stain my tub, so if possible do your dyeing outside.  Also, take the time to fully set up your work areas before you dive into actually dying. Set up a table for a tying area and tarps on the ground where you plan to do your dyeing. I also set up my camping clothesline across the back of my yard to hang all the pieces to oxidize. SIDE NOTE: The clothesline I used is now stained and I think I’m going to have to purchase a new one before we go camping again so I don’t have any indigo residual getting on our clothing. Nothing will go to waste, however, because I plan to store this clothesline, as well as the clothespins used, for the next time I dye with Indigo.

* Don’t use the gloves the kit provides (they’re too thin and tear easily) – I had the blue finger for a week to attest to that! A lot of the tutorials I watched on YouTube showed people using heavy duty gloves, but I actually found them cumbersome – especially if I needed to tie a section while the fabric was partially dyed.  What I found worked best was to buy a box of latex standard gloves and layer two to three gloves on each hand.  It allowed me dexterity in tying but also provided the protection from the dye.

* After your pieces are oxidized I left them outside for 24 hours before rinsing them with water and washing them.  Plan to launder your pieces at least 4x times to insure you get all the excess dye out.  No one likes to receive a gift that runs color the first time they wash it.  

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For more info, follow the links here for 

where to order the best Natural Indigo Kit,

and

to read the instruction manual and learn about the amazing history behind the art of Indigo.

Check out this video on the Shibori Technique (love it!)


Oct 31

Fun Freebie: Printable Dia de los Muertos Party Coasters

Printable-Dia-de-los-Muertos-Party-Coasters

Click here to download this fun freebie I made especially for you:  

Printable Party Coasters for Dia de los Muertos

I know I’ve said this before, but Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite holidays. There is still a lot of confusion about this celebration, with many people assuming that it is a continuation of Halloween and all things spooky and frightening.  Unlike Halloween, however, Dia de los Muertos is a beautiful and joyful celebration of Life and is a time to remember and honor the people in our lives who have passed on.  

Download and print these fun little Calavera Coasters (and they also make great gift tags too) to use as you celebrate the next few days, Oct 31 – Nov. 2!

Little-Pumpkin

Jun 26

Meet “Harry”

This past weekend I got a bee in my bonnet to make two succulent wreaths from some old wreath frames I’ve been storing in my garage. I picked up some trays of succulents at the nursery, a couple of bags of soil and peat moss, lots of wire, and set to work. 

I decided to go a little crazy on one of the wreathes and turn it into a peace sign, but I’m too cheap to buy a specially designed wreath frame so I  jimmy-rigged one. It didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped but I still love it. Mark and I were sitting outside that evening staring at it hanging on the fence and we decided it looks like a Green Abominable Snowman.  We named it “Harry”.  He makes me smile every time I see him now.  

Wreath-Harry Make-a-wreat

 

 In case you were wondering, here’s the other wreath I made.  I gave up on doing another peace sign,

Plus there can only be one “Harry”!

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Feb 17

My beachy Valentine

Beachy-ValentineI spent an amazing day taking my youngest Valentine to the beach for a much needed get-away outing. It has been ridiculously warm and glorious here in So-Cal, and the beach was perfect. I can’t think of a better way to spend Valentine’s Day. Oh, and BTW – I got a lot of beach inspiration, especially in the below driftwood “peace” wreath. I LOVE IT!  I’m going to make my version out of shells and Cole and I gathered a big bag of them to get me started.

Driftwood-peace

 

Feb 12

Be a Super Hero – “Capes for Kids”

capes-for-kids-banner

My friend, Janice, passed this information on to me and I was so inspired that I wanted to share it with you as well.

“Capes for Kids” is a program run by Enchanted Makeovers:  Transforming Shelters for Women and Children from Surviving to Thriving Spaces, and here is what they believe

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Capes for Kids represents hope. Since every cape is unique and handmade with love, each child who receives one will feel their own superpowers, and know that they have the strength and ability to create whatever they want for their lives.

Sending Hope, Faith, and Love to Children Living in Shelters Across the Country.

As children, we often play “dress up”. But beyond just having fun, the clothing or costumes we put on our body send us a message.

Many children play “Superhero” because the messages that Superheroes “save the day” is everywhere, but Enchanted Makeovers believes it’s not about calling on “superman” or “supergirl” to swoop in.

It’s about calling on our own strength, from within, that we never knew we had.

It’s about the power of our minds, tapping into our imaginations.

It’s about putting on our daily armor and believing in ourselves.

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How fantastic is that!  For someone like me, who isn’t very adept at sewing, it has inspired me to pull out my mom’s old sewing machine and some fun fabric and give it a whirl.  
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Go-make-someone-Smile-today-KPD

 

 

Jan 02

DIY Fun: Etched Cocoa Jar

KPD-DIY-etched-Cocoa-Jar In my zeal for etching this past Holiday Season I made this cute Cocoa Jar to give as a gift. I absolutely loved how it turned out so I thought I’d share a tutorial with you in case you’re interested in trying it too.  It is really easy to do, I promise! 

KPD-DIY-etched-Cocoa-Jar-instructionsKPD-DIY-etched-Cocoa-Jar-instructions-2KPD-DIY-etched-Cocoa-Jar-final

 

Dec 11

Making the “Orb of Light” Chandelier

I’m just going to say it – I love my new “orb of light’ chandelier.  It all started last summer when I stood staring at an old hanging planter frame and tried to figure out something creative to do with it.  I decided I wanted to create a “chandelier” to hang over my favorite reading lounge chair in my yard.  I bought the chain to hang it, and got as far as thinking briefly about what lights I’d attach to it and how, but then my son’s high school graduation and all the hustle and bustle of summer kicked in and the chandelier got tabled indefinitely.  That was until Mark surprised me when he was in the garage a week ago trying to sort out our Christmas lights.  He decided to let his inner creative spirit take over and made me the worlds most awesomely fabulous bright and gawdy chandelier I could ever have dreamed of!  I love it and I can say right now that it is a year-round keeper for sure; not to be retired with the Christmas boxes in January.  The only problem is that it is on a sensor timer that sits too far in the shade so it seems to have a life of its own; turning on in the middle of the day for no reason.  Needless to say, those quirks are what make it my new favorite lawn and garden accessory!   :0)

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