September 3, 2015

DIY, Part 3

Can't believe i'm writing this, but...Happy September! If you've been following along, here is the third of the projects i set out to make from my "DIY didn't i think of that" Pinterest board. It's been lots of fun taking these projects on and this was (so far) my absolute favorite — Shibori Dyeing.

I picked up some 100% cotton napkins to dye and they were the perfect thing to use to experiment with many different kinds of Japanese tying techniques. I followed this tutorial and it was very easy to follow, probably because Erica was much more methodical in documenting everything than i was! I highly recommend visiting her site to learn about the materials and techniques. Sometimes, it's nice to put the camera down and just enjoy the process! But here are a few photos i took along the way...
string, dowel, wrapped and bound fabric
various Japanese tying techniques
first dip
When you pull the fabric out of the dye bath, it's initially yellow in color. As the fabric oxidizes, it begins to turn blue. This is amazing to watch happen before your eyes!
unrolling fabric as it oxidizes
This technique is called "Arashi", the Japanese word for "storm" and used a 2 foot length of PVC piping (bought at Home Depot). You roll your fabric around the pipe, knot the string around one end, wrap the string around 6-7 times, then scrunch the fabric down toward the knot. Repeat until you've scrunched all the fabric and it looks like this. 
You won't believe it, but the print on the right (below) is what it looks like when you unroll it. Amazing!
Here's a detail. Ah! Indigo is one of my absolute favorite colors.
The next technique is called "Kumo" which is a "pleat and bind" process. I improvised a bit from the instructions on Erica's blog and it's really hard to go wrong. The end-results will look beautiful no matter what.
I found myself saying "i wonder what would happen if..." a lot and then dove-in to some freewheeling experimentation. For this one, i did a simple accordion fold and then rubber-banded (that's a verb right?) the whole length.
And this is what it looked like.
I have no idea how i did this next one (and many of the others).
And this one takes me back to grade school. Just gather the fabric from the center (or the more grown-up off-center) and band it at different intervals down the length of the gather.
It looks something like this every time.
So, how about it? Throw caution to the wind at try your hand at this. Well not literally, because they'll end up blue.

Craft yourself a beautiful day!

August 27, 2015

DIY, Part 2

Hope you've been enjoying the summer! It's been a busy month, but i managed to squeak in a couple more of the DIY projects i picked to make from one of my Pinterest boards. This one i like to call "Doodle Dishes". Pretty simple and fun to make! I used Pebeo Porcelaine ceramic markers and a couple white porcelain dishes from Ikea and created these... 
Once the dishes are baked in the oven, the markings become dishwasher safe. So far, so good and we'll see how they wear over time. If you try this, be sure to wash your dishes first and try not to touch the surface as you work. You can see some spots where the ceramic pens resisted the plate surface and resulted in thin, faded lines — probably from finger oils. But no biggie, after all, "handmade" means you actually use your hands and i don't mind the irregularity at all!

Next up...shibori tie-dying of cotton napkins. Some of you may have seen the live photo-feed on Instagram when i was making them. It was an amazing and super-satisfying experience that i'll share more details with you soon. Until then, have a beautiful day!