DIY, Inspiration

Ice Dyeing and Exciting News!

Wow. It’s been a loooong time. I’ve really been neglecting this blog, and I’m sorry about that! I hope some of you are still hanging in there with me! I do have a fairly good excuse for my absence this time: I’ve been busy growing a human!

Baby O

Look at that little thumb sucker!

I found out in late April that I was pregnant, and this little one zapped my energy (and my desire to eat or keep food down) for quite a while. Now we’re doing pretty good, cruising through the very end of the second trimester and prepping for his or her arrival in a few short months. In the meantime, though, I’ve done very little card making or crafting, and even my soapmaking ended up on the back burner. The good news now is that I’m feeling a little more energized and a lot less nauseous lately! So, I’ve started to do some little DIY projects here and there that I plan to start sharing here soon.

The first of the projects I want to share is an ice dyeing experiment I tried (and re-tried) last week.

Ice dying

My friend gifted me a massive, amazing, pregnancy pillow (that I now can’t imagine living without) and the all-white pillowcase was screaming at me to do something with it. After some pinterest searching, I decided that I loved the look of Ice-dyed fabrics. They’re not in-your-face tie-dye. To me they seem a bit more subtle than that, and you end up with great results using minimal effort. The set it and forget it aspect really appealed to me.

Ice dying

Here’s how I did it:

Materials:

  1. white fabric
  2. soda ash (this is an optional ingredient, but I would recommend it. It helps your fabric to absorb the dye and is said to make colors more vibrant overall)
  3. ice
  4. fabric dye (after one failed attempt using indigo powder, I got smart and ordered this stuff, which worked fantastically)
  5. dish rack
  6. wash tub
  7. plastic gloves (important! I learned this the hard way…)
  8. spoon

Ice dying

Ice dying

Instructions:

  1. Put your fabric(s) in your was tub (or sink) and soak according to soda ash package instructions. I soaked mine in a ratio of 1 cup soda ash to 1 gallon water for 15 minutes.
  2. When time is up, wring out all the extra moisture from your fabric(s), but do not rinse.
  3. Spread your damp fabric on top of your dish rack that sits atop your wash tub. Add some twists and turns here and there to give the end product a nice, interesting look. You could position your dish rack over your sink but I’d recommend doing it over a wash tub because you don’t want to stain your sink. As the ice melts, the water and dye will drip into your bin.
  4. Cover the fabric in lots of ice. Lots!
  5. Put your gloves on if you haven’t already.
  6. Using a spoon (metal is best), sprinkle your dye on top of the ice. If you want a less saturated look, use way less dye than I did. I went a little overboard, I think.  Feel free to add lots of different colors here, too!
  7. Now you wait. Let the project sit for about 24 hours before you give it a good rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.
  8.  Throw your fabric in the washer with detergent on a cold cycle and then send it through the dryer or hang to dry.
  9. All done! Enjoy your new colorful project!

Ice dying
It’s so fun to watch the magic happen!

Ice dying
I have a few more onesies and some other colors of dye, so you know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

Ice dying

Let me know if you try this technique for dying fabrics. I’d love to see how your project turns out!

kimberly

Cards

Floral Focus // Best Wishes

It’s been a while! I’ve been in a serious card-making rut, but I did manage to make this going-away card for a friend recently. The design is inspired by one of the many gorgeous cards made by Natasha Valkovskaya who has a wonderful instagram account that you should check out! I’ve seen her use the technique of stamping stripes over an image and then die-cutting it and popping it up on some dimensional foam, so that’s what I did here. I’ve seen many other great card makers use this technique, too. It’s a great one!

Best Wishes

I used a large outline bloom from Altenew’s Beautiful Day stamp set. I used images from Mama Elephant’s Brush Strokes set for the brush-stroke lines across the image. I stamped the lines using ApricotButtercup and Tutti Fruity pigment inks. The best wishes sentiment came from the SSS Birthday Farm Animals stamp set.

Best Wishes - detail

I’m sure there’s a name for this particular technique, when background-meets-focal-point, but I can’t seem to figure it out at the moment. If you know what it’s called, or have an idea of what to call it, let me know! I know many people have used this technique before.

Best wishes

Have a great week!

kimberly

Cards, Soap

Boston Voyager Magazine Q&A

Well, my craft room is a complete disaster zone, which means I haven’t been in there in a while. If we’re being perfectly honest, I’ve basically just closed the door so I don’t have look at the mess. Out of sight, out of mind, right?! I know I’m going to have to buckle down and get things cleaned up in there soon though, because I have Mothers Day cards on my to-do list. I also need to get a backlog of unlabeled soaps labeled. Maybe this weekend? Wish me luck, I’ll need it.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you that I recently did a Q & A with Boston Voyager Magazine for their Inspiring Stories series. If you’d like to read it, click here.

It was fun to do, and it’s even more fun to see my story on their website! I still don’t feel like I’m anywhere near as awesome as a lot of the other people featured on the site, but I’ll take it!

Here’s the link again if you missed it: http://bostonvoyager.com/interview/meet-kimberly-toney-freshwater-studio-worcester/

Enjoy the rest of your week!

kimberly

DIY

DIY “Marbled” Mug Using Alcohol Inks

I have a new obsession with alcohol ink.

Alcohol ink mug

I’ve been playing around on Yupo paper with various inks. I share photos of those pieces on my personal instagram from time to time, if you want to check them out.

Today, I just wanted to share a quick and easy alcohol ink DIY project. It’s sooo simple! All you need is a glazed ceramic or porcelain mug, paintbrush, alcohol inks, a straw (optional), 99% isopropyl alcohol and an oven. Maybe gloves, too. This can get messy.

  • I bought a white ceramic mug for $2.99 at HomeGoods.
  • I used a paintbrush to paint some isopropyl alcohol onto the surface of the mug first
  • I then started dropping my colors on, randomly. I used colors from this Lakeshore set and this Nature Walk set of alcohol inks.
  • I swirled the mug around here and there to let the colors run *sort of* where I wanted them to. You really just have to give up a bit of control when it comes to alcohol ink!
  • I used a straw every once in a while to push some ink around even more by blowing air through the straw onto the wet ink.
  • When I was happy with the results, and after I was sure all the ink was dry, I put the mug into my oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes to set the ink. I’ve also read that you can cure your mug (or plate, or bowl?!) with a layer of dishwasher safe Modge Podge, but I haven’t tried that.

Voila! I’m pretty much ready to alcohol-ink anything ceramic at this point. So much fun!

kimberly

 

Cards, Recipes

Mom’s Big Birthday

Just popping in today to share a few photos from a birthday party I had for my mom over the weekend. She turned the big 6-0, so I figured I should bake a fancy cake to go along with her card and birthday gift!

Mom's Birthday Cake

I made a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and a raspberry compote on the inside. Poured a white chocolate ganace over the top before adding some sprinkles, meringues, raspberries and macarons. I made everything from scratch (!!) except for the macarons. Those I ordered from Ma-Ka-Rohn and they were outstanding. Highly recommend.

Mom's Birthday

I also purchased some fancy balloons from Chrissy B Party shop on Etsy. HBD for Happy Birthday. They arrived quickly, and I crammed them into my tiny dining room after going to a local store to have them inflated. They’re still floating around my house as I type this!

Moms birthday card

The color theme for the party was gold and rose-gold, so I tried to stick to that color combo for the card I made. And you know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! So, I designed this card similarly to the last few I’ve made – stamped and embossed images with an ink blended background and bold sentiment. You can find those previous cards here and here.

Mom's Birthday Cake

The cake tasted SO GOOD! Sometimes I really surprise myself. :)

If you’re interested, here are links to the recipes I followed:

Mom's Birthday Cake

All in all it was a great little party for my mom – we were even able to keep the whole things a surprise, so I was happy about that!

Mom's Birthday

Now, I just have to work on getting more camera-averse people into my photos! :)

Mom's Birthday Cake

Happy *almost* weekend!

kimberly

Cards

Aquene

Aquene

I’ve been experimenting with making cards that highlight indigenous words for a while now. You might remember that I’ve made a few Nipmuc language thank you cards in recent months. As I’ve written before, the making of these cards is my way of highlighting Native language reclamation efforts. Many tribes, not only in Massachusetts but also throughout New England and North America in general, are working to revive languages that were lost for years (hundreds of years in some cases) because of colonization and Native assimilation processes that have taken place for centuries. This week I’m sharing a very basic language card that features the word aquene.

Aquene means peace in the language of my ancestors.

Aquene

 

And nothing too complicated here. I die cut the letters in black from this die set, and mounted them to a craft card base. I used a stamp from this Wplus9 holiday stamp set to provide the English translation. I’m thinking this would make a good sympathy card, though I’m hoping I won’t need another one anytime soon.

Aquene,

kimberly

Soap

Freshwater Studio Soap // Salt Bars

Happy Friday!

Cactus Flower Salt Bars

I thought I’d do something new here, and take the time (once a month, or so?) to highlight a specific soap I’ve made. So today I thought I’d talk about salt bars. They are quickly becoming a new favorite.

Wild Rose Salt Bars

Salt bars are a bit different from a regular cold process soap bar, because they contain a high amount of natural sea salt. The salt added to the bar – whether its grey salt, Himalayan pink salt or another kind of fine sea salt (except dead sea salt – don’t use that!) – is added at a ratio of between 50-100% of the total oils used in the soap. So, for example,  if I made a salt bar using 100g of coconut oil as my only oil, I would then add between 50-100g of salt to the bar as well. Typically, a salt bar will have a high amount of coconut oil added to the recipe to combat the fact that a high salt content in a bar can really zap the amount of lather you’ll get. Coconut oil helps to combat that. But, you can also play around with the recipe and add other oils to the mix. My salt bars contain lots of coconut oil in addition to olive oil pomace, rice bran oil, shea butter and kaolin clay. You can read more about my cactus flower salt bars here. More about the Wild Rose bars here. These bars are 75% salt to oil.

At some point, I’ll post more about the specific ingredients I choose to use in my soaps, and why they’re good for your skin.

Cactus Flower Salt Bars

The thing about salt bars is that the high salt content makes them a bit crumbly coming right out of the mold. But, I kind of love the rough look of them! Otherwise, once they’ve hardened completely, I don’t find them to be very crumbly at all. In fact, salt bars are incredibly long lasting because they are so solid once they set.

The other thing about salt bars is that they’re pretty luxurious. They’re sometimes called spa bars for this reason. Not only are the bars long lasting, but the lather they produce is gentle and creamy, and not drying at all (even though the term “salt bar” might lead you to suspect otherwise)! The minerals contained in natural sea salt means that you’re also giving all that natural vitamin and mineral goodness to your skin. The bars help to lightly exfoliate, detox and purify your skin, and the salt can also aid in allowing the other moisturizing oils in the soap to absorb more readily into your skin. Win-win.

Wild Rose Salt Bars

So, now you know why salt bars are a new favorite of mine! I’ll certainly be making more of these in the future. And the Cactus Flower and Wild Rose bars I’ve made have just landed in the Freshwater Studio Shop as part of the spring soap release.

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!

kimberly