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

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

 

DIY, Soap

Making Cold Process Soap for the First Time

About a month ago, I finally tried something I’ve been wanting to try for ages: making cold process soap! I think I’ve been drawn to soap making not only because of how beautiful artisan soaps can be, but also because they contain simple, real ingredients (and I’ve been known to have several mysterious skin allergies crop up from time-to-time).

Cold process soap making kit

So, I bought myself a beginner soap making kit from Bramble Berry. The kit came with everything you need to make your first batch of soap, including a recipe. The kit did not come with any colorants, however, so I purchased some of those separately to try (go big or go home, right?). The box the kit comes in even doubles as a soap mold, though if and when I do this again, I’ll purchase a proper silicone mold.

Other than the oils, lye, fragrance and other basic ingredients that come in the kit, you’ll have to supply a few things on your own like bowls, a stick blender or other mixing tool, gloves, eye protection, etc. Bowls and gloves I bought at the dollar store on the cheap, and they worked just fine!

Since I’ve been dying to try this and because this was my first time, I made sure to do a bit of research before diving in. I found some soap makers I like on social media and learned what I could from them. Bramble Berry’s blog is a great source for this kind of thing. Their youtube channel, Soap Queen TV, has a lot of great info and tutorials. I am also in love with just about every soap made by Tania of Soapish, and she’s got a great youtube channel and an even better instagram account.

Cold process soap

So, feeling mostly well informed, I got started (and soon learned that soap making is more about trial and error and less about feeling well informed from the get-go)… I mixed all my ingredients and then portioned things out into several bowls and mixed in my fragrance oil and mica colorants (Caribbean Blue and Aqua Pearl) – one bowl had fragrance oil but no colorant.

Cold process soap

I had to work pretty quickly because I got a little overzealous and I think over mixed my soap a bit. So, not much time for process photos here! But I did what I think is called a drop swirl, adding my base soap and then the colored soaps as well. I let the batch cure for about 24 hours and then cut up my bars with a sharp knife before letting them continue to cure for several weeks.

Cold process soap

Obviously there’s some room for improvement here, but I feel really good about the results of my first attempt. And the Cranberry Fig fragrance smells so delicious (though next time I think I’ll find some colors that “match” the fragrance a little better)! The soap lathers really nicely and has a smooth, creamy feel. I definitely see more soap making in my future.

kimberly

This post is not sponsored and there are no affiliate links here – I just wanted to share my thoughts and experience :)

DIY

DIY Holiday Decor // Rose Gold Reindeer

Rose gold reindeer on mantle

Hi! I come to you today with a different sort of paper crafting experiment that I did over the weekend. Some of you may remember my bright, sparkly, reindeer DIY from several years back. For that project, I sketched a reindeer image onto a large canvas, covered it in Mod Podge,added lots of sequins, and stuck it on my fireplace mantle. Something about antlers and sparkles screams Christmas to me. That’s normal, right?

This year, I thought I’d do something a little different, but mostly the same. I used the same subject matter, but made a smaller version and used a different technique, and I love how it turned out!

Foiled deer holiday decor

To start, I google image-searched “reindeer silhouette” until I found a simple image that I liked. I then printed it out with a toner ink printer (NOT an ink-jet or other kind of printer) onto some cardstock. I needed this to print with toner ink because I planned to foil it with my Minc foil applicator (though you could try using reactive foil and a general laminating machine for this as well). I had some 5″x7″ picture frames hanging around and wanted to use those, so I made sure to cut the printed sheet down to a size that would fit inside my frame. I got the frames at the dollar store, so this project was really inexpensive, too!

Foiled deer holiday decor

I ended up making two framed reindeer. For this first one I chose some rose gold foil. I cut a piece of the foil, layered it over my appropriately-sized panel, put it in a carrier sheet and ran it through my Minc to fuse the foil onto the printed image. I have the larger-size Minc, but the Mini Minc would be perfectly for this, too.

Foiled deer holiday decor

I chose a different reindeer silhouette and some gold foil for a second image, and then put both in frames. One lives on the fireplace mantle and the other in the dining room.

Gold and rose gold foiled reindeer

I love the chic look of these decorations, and they were so simple and quick to make! The beauty of this project is that you can use this technique with any subject matter and with any size frame – as long as the panel will fit though whatever size Minc machine you have!

I have a few other holiday decor DIY ideas in mind – we’ll see if they make it off the ground. Never enough time!

kimberly

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DIY

Easy DIY Wine Rack

DIY wine rack

It’s been such a long time since I’ve done any real DIY projects around the house, but I’ve been wanting to construct some kind of wine rack for quite a while. I found this plan on Shanty 2 Chic and knew it would be perfect (and easy enough for a girl who is still a novice when it comes to power tools).

DIY wine rack

The whole project went very quickly. We followed the directions (I did have some help!) and were able to assemble everything in less than an hour. All of the cuts were very simple, and everything is attached with screws and some wood glue.

DIY wine rack

Once everything was put together, I sanded and then stained the rack with some Dark Walnut stain – two thin coats!
DIY wine rack

After the stain dried, I got out the sander to rough sand it in some spots to give the wine rack more of a rustic look.

DIY wine rack

Once I was finished roughing it up,  hex bolts were inserted into the pre-drilled holes on each shelf. Lastly, I painted on some chalkboard paint at the front of each shelf so that the wines can be nicely labeled. However, I have yet to get out and buy some chalk, so that part will have to wait. :)

DIY wine rack

Some of the wines fit a little too snugly, so if you decide to make a wine rack for yourself, make sure you drill the holes for the hex bolts as close as you possibly can to the edge of the shelf. I have to learn to be careful about snagging the wine labels on the hex bolts, too.

DIY wine rack

We had to mount the rack with heavy duty toggle bolts, but wood screws would probably suffice in most cases.

DIY wine rack

I love how this little lady turned out. She’s such a nice addition to the dining room!

kimberly

DIY

Homemade Dog Treats // Peanut Butter Parsley Bites

Radar CookieLast night, Radar was in desperate need of dog treats. We were fresh out and he was behaving, so it really was becoming somewhat of a tragedy. So, not willing to go out and pay for treats, my husband and I decided we might as well make him some homemade ones. I’ve made some in the past (here) but hadn’t made any in quite a while and I’m not sure why because these were so quick and easy to make. They only have a few ingredients (although some of them you may not have on hand), and only took about 30 minutes to bake. Granted, some of ingredients are little strange, but he LOVED them.Totally worth it.

Knowing what’s going into the food that your dog is eating is so satisfying. Here’s the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 C brown rice flour
  • 1 C rolled quick-oats
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 C dry milk
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C peanut butter
  • 1 egg white (optional, for coating)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300°. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, oats, parsley flakes and dry milk). In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add the water and peanut butter and mix. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it comes together and can be rolled out. Roll out the dough about 1/4″ thick and cut into desired shapes. Place the cookies onto a greased baking sheet for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and crunchy. To give the cookies a shiny finish, brush a thin coating of egg white over each cookie before baking (optional).

Recipe adapted from here…(and be sure to check out that post for even more home made dog treat recipes).
kimberly
DIY, Inspiration

So That Your Headphones Don’t Get Tangled…

Posting today to share a quick tutorial I followed a few months ago to create this cute pouch for my earbuds.

Earbud PouchI am not someone who sews. by any stretch of the imagination, but with a lot of help (many thanks to my friend, Molly!), the little pouch came together. Now it lives in my purse helping to keep my earbuds from winding up in a tangled mess at the bottom of the bag. All you need is a sewing machine, some fabric, a zipper and some basic sewing skills.

IMG_3115

Zip Pouch for Headphones

The Circle Zip Earbud Pouch Tutorial from Dog Under My Desk can be found HERE.

kimberly