DIY – BATIK DYE WALL HANGING

Nicole and I have partnered up again for the second installment of our DIY series!  Coming at you once a month! Remember last month’s watercolor paper flower tutorial!?  Well, today we are teaching you how to batik dye, creating a beautiful tapestry for your wall….or any fun special occasion!

Supply List:

– Drop cloth or heavy cotton canvas

– Paraffin wax or Beeswax (or a combo of the two)

– Crock pot or double boiler

– Rit liquid dye

– Pencil

– Scissors

– Gloves

– Old paintbrushes

The first thing you will need to do is cut your fabric to the preferred size and lightly sketch out your design.  We cut our drop cloth to 34″ X 46″ and went with a simple flower crown illustration for our design.

Next, heat up your wax in an old crock pot or using a double boiler on the stove. Heat the wax to around 170’F (80’C) making sure that your wax does not get to the flash point. (never leave it unattended).

Take an old paint brush (one you don’t mind tossing)  and trace over the design with the wax as you would with paint.  We recommend placing some cardboard underneath the fabric so you don’t destroy the surface of whatever you are working on.  Remember, you are painting where you do NOT want the dye to go.  Make sure your wax is at a hot enough temperature so that it absorbs into the thread.  You dont want your wax just sitting on top of the fabric, because that will effect the outcome.  Allow wax to harden.

Take liquid RIT dye and mix with warm water in a large plastic bucket (or mix the dye as indicated on the packet you are using) Don’t be a afraid to play around with the ratios of dye to water- use test strips until you achieve the color you really want.  We used a black dye and the color ended up being a purple-ish charcoal tone.

Put on some plastic gloves and dip your fabric into the dye….if you want it darker, allow dye to soak in as much as possible to achieve the darkest shade.  Ours was left in the dye for about 15 minutes before rinsing.  Rinse with room temp water and hang to dry.

To remove the wax: Place a paper towel on both the top and bottom of your fabric.  iron the fabric until all the wax has heated and lifted from the fabric. Replace the paper towel as you go until all the wax is absorbed.

Your fabric is ready to hang!  You can choose to display your fabric however you want, but what we did was sew a small pocket at the top of the fabric, about an inch wide.  We inserted a wooden rod and attached string to either end to hang.  The edges were left unfinished.

Voilà!

Hope you have fun with this one!  Let us know if you give it a try!

 


FREE PRINTABLE BUNNY ILLUSTRATION

Happy Easter!!  I illustrated this little rabbit the other day and decided to make it available as a free download for you all before Easter sunday rolled around.  Print it out, give it to a friend, hang it on the wall….whatever your heart desires!  My hope is to offer more of these freebies for you as time goes on, just as a thank you for following along and always making me feel so loved.  There are two download options, both sized at 5X7 with a 1/8″ border.  The only difference between the two is that one says “Happy Easter” and the other does not!  I figured you might want to make it relevant for more than a day!

**Free for personal use only

Obviously, for me, Easter is about a whole lot more than cute bunnies and flowers (it’s just what I like to draw!).  Easter is a reminder of the incredible sacrifice God made for us on the cross.  It’s a story of ultimate love and redemption.  Him dying, so that we might live. It’s humbling and overwhelming and sometimes hard to even comprehend.  And all I can say is that I am ever thankful.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with your loved ones.  If you live in SD, I will be selling some of my art at ‘The Night Before‘ event on Saturday where Jon Foreman will be playing a free (yes, free!) concert.  Anyone is welcome, and I’d love to meet / see you!  Rylee girl will be there and so will the hubs.  I’m looking forward to it.  And i’m also looking forward to the family easter egg hunt that will ensue on Sunday afternoon.  (For the kiddos, that is).  And the thanksgiving style dinner my mom is preparing.   I can’t believe it’s been one whole year since these photos were taken!  I need to try to dig up those ears again!

What are your easter plans!!?


DIY // WATERCOLOR PAPER FLOWERS

I’m so excited to share this DIY with you today!  But first, I want to introduce to you my friend Nicole from Bloem Hill, part owner of an amazing floral and design company based  in Southern California.  Nicole and I have partnered up to bring you a fresh new DIY project once a month, and I can’t be more excited about it.  If you are anything like me, you need someone to challenge you in your craft endeavor’s, and Nicole’s my girl!  Be sure to stop by her blog to say hello.  She is incredibly talented.

Naturally, we are kicking off our DIY series with florals!  But even better, florals that will never die! (my kind of flowers!)  We decided to put our own spin on a paper flower with an organic, natural and painterly feel.   It took a bit of trial and error, but we love what we came up with!

First, you will need a pair of scissors and some paper.  We used this natural fine paper from Paper Source.  Cut about 10-12 rectangular pieces roughly 4″ X 2.5″  in size (larger for  a larger flower, smaller for a smaller flower).  You could then use your scissors to cut them all into the shape of petals, but we preferred tearing the paper by hand so that the edges were left rough and slightly frayed.  They all don’t have to be perfect.  In fact, having them irregular looks even better in the end.  After you are done shaping your petals, you’ll want to paint them.  We used Winsor & Newton watercolors in mustard, peach and grey.  But use whatever color palette is inspiring to you! This is the part that allows you to get creative.  Mix your paint with water and start painting your petals.  I would suggest making the bottom portion of the petal darker, and then fading up to a lighter shade at the ends.  Let the petals dry.

Next you will need some rustic floral wire and some pliers.   The wire will serve as your stem, so cut it to the length you desire.  To create your flower, take the petals (they should be fully dry at this point) and begin wrapping them around the top of your stem using floral tape (not pictured) to secure them.  We did 2 petals at a time.  After you have attached all of your petals and your flower is full, it will need a “center” to cover up the exposed wire in the middle.  We just twisted solid black paper into a small ball and used a glue gun to attached it to the center.  We also added touches of black paint along the edges of our petals to give them a little definition.

A fun trick for adding a little extra sparkle to the center of your flower :

Cut a strip of metallic tissue paper and using shredding scissors, cut along the edge leaving at least a centimeter uncut. Roll it, metallic side facing in, around the top of your wire before you start attaching your petals.  This will leave you with a pretty little pom in the center when you are finished!

I hope you all love these as much as we do!  Let me know if you give it a try!

 


6/52 + A HANDMADE DRESS

I am quite proud of this little dress.  It’s full of flaws, but it’s the first dress I’ve made for Rylee…and because of that, I think I’ll always remember it.

My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was about 10.  I remember carefully sewing together these miniature red santa claus suits filled with jolly ranchers to give to all my friends at Christmas time.  I actually kept one of them and still have it today.  Every time I bring it out during the holidays, it brings me right back to that moment in time with her.  I remember it so vividly.  Watching over her shoulder and she showed me how to lower the presser foot and reminded me to “never forget to backstitch”.  I’ll forever be thankful to her for introducing me to sewing.  I never knew it would be something I would grow to love so much.  Come high school, I thought I was a pro.  My favorite thing to do was take oversized vintage clothes and either tailor them to fit me, or deconstruct them entirely and make them into something new.   I started a little “business” where I would make custom skirts for my friends.  They would choose the fabric and I’d create the perfect skirt for them.  I thought I was killing it at 30 bucks a pop!  Ha.  But somewhere between college and my first job, my love for that amazing little machine dwindled.  It never totally went away, it’s just that other things replaced it.  There was a span of about 4 years where I don’t think I even touched it.  Fast forward to today and not only have I brought that machine out from hiding, but I have been putting it to work!  My passion for sewing has come back in full force and it has everything to do with Rylee.  I know a lot of times it’s easy for me to say that being a mom often takes away from my creative productivity….but in other ways….having a daughter totally inspires it.  And this is a perfect example!

  The 52 Project – a portrait series of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013 – inspired by Jodi

 And if you’re interested in the dress making process:

I hand stamped the fabric using foam board cut into a 1″ triangles (doubled up) and soft matte fabric paint by Tulip.  I just eyeballed the spacing and made mistakes here and there, but didn’t mind the imperfection.  I used the same stamping process as in this DIY if you want to read it more in detail.  For the dress pattern, I used a vintage McCall’s pattern that I purchased on etsy (similar here) …but modified it a little for Rylee (and it’s still too big!).  If you have any questions feel free to ask….but know that I’m no expert!  Happy early Valentines day, friends.  xo.