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71  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / Getting to know Blue... Japanese shibori dyeing on: October 01, 2014 05:01:44 PM
My mom was from Japan, but I grew up in the USA, so I really did not pay much attention to my Japanese heritage until I got way older...now, I can't seem to learn things about Japan fast enough! Grin

What I am really interested in are the traditional arts and crafts...I have done quite a lot of origami (paper folding), made a lot of things from kimono fabrics, and of course, Japanese cooking.  I must admit that I love textiles and love to sew.  What better combo than to make my own fabric for sewing projects?

So, here is what I hope is a fairly simple and fun tutorial on how I design and dye my fabrics using shibori techniques.  I am NOT an expert, so this is more my own journey of learning and doing...
1. I used the book, Shibori for Textile Artists, as my inspiration as well as my basic "how to" guide...I also ordered an indigo dye kit on the internet..there are some pretty easy instructions in the box along with everything you need to begin dyeing right away. I have tried Ritz navy dye, but it just does not give the right blue for me...and warning:  indigo dye really stinks...I mean, REALLY stinks...don't let anyone use your bathroom while you are dyeing or they might die from the combined smells!  Wink


You will also need a 5 gallon bucket, a small bucket to hold dyed items, wooden pieces, a pole or pvc pipe, a spoon or stirrer, gloves, and a clothespin for your nose.

2. The dye kit I use makes enough dye to do a lot--like 15 pounds worth of fabric. To give you an idea, I dyed 4 t-shirts, three silk blouses, two silk scarves, six cotton napkins, lace, seven yards of fabric, some beads, and a sweater (fail!) and had to throw the leftovers away after three days.  Indigo dye will keep for about 5 days if you can stand the smell...you must cover the bucket!

So, gather what you want to dye. Natural fibers are best, but the lace I dyed was polyester and did fine:

3. You now need to prepare your items for any designs.  I only wanted patterns on my fabrics so I did several different techniques.  They all have special names but you can learn about those on your own.

I used rubber bands and strings to make different kinds of circles:

This one also has a small marble in the tip.  Let's call it SAMPLE #1.

This one is just rubber bands, SAMPLE #2.

The one on the left, SAMPLE #3, is folded and then placed between two pieces of wood and tied tightly.  The one on the right, SAMPLE #4, is folded and tied all over the place.

This is what I know to mean "shibori"...the fabric is wrapped around a pole, string is wrapped all around, then the fabric is scrunched down, SAMPLE #4:

Put all your prepared good in the box and head to your dyeing station (my pink bath tub!).

You will see that I also left some fabric plain, scrunched some into some plastic netting, and tried tying some into knots.

4. Prepare the dye, following the instructions in the kit or book...indigo dye needs to "bloom"...what this means is that a sort of foam flower will appear when it is ready...it looks as nasty as it smells...my hands and tub turned blue, but the tub is being replaced, and well, blue hands are kinda cool... Grin.

5. Start dipping and dyeing! The dye is reactive to air, so be careful not to splash or cause air bubbles.  When you take your pieces out, they will look green or very light...it takes about 20 minutes for the blue to appear...you can keep dipping until you get the color you want.  I do very light indigo, 1-3 dips, medium indigo, 3-5 dips, very dark indigo, 6-8 dips.  It is a long process, having to wait between dips!

6. Here you will see the various changes happening...it is very exciting!

As you dye, more foam will appear...it can affect your piece and make a pattern.  I like the surprise so I leave it...you can skim it off with your gloved hands if you like.

That's about all there is to it!  For longer pieces, like the pole shibori, I use a wallpaper tray and dip the entire pole in the tray.

Want to see what you get?

Sample #1...the marbles and rubber bands:

Sample #2...rubber bands in two spots:

Sample #3...wooden blocks...if the blocks are heart shaped, you would get heart shaped white areas...this one is really fun!  I got stars that I want to do next...you can get these shapes at most craft stores.  See the upper left hand corner?...you might get some leakage, but, hey, if it is suppose to be perfect, go buy machine made, right?

Sample #4...traditional pole wrapping shibori.  I love this one because it looks like the patterns in sand when waves recede on the beach. You will never get two identical patterns no matter how many times you do this one.  It is a favorite.

Remember the netting one?  Here is how it turned out!  What a surprise!

And, then here is the rest using various scrunched up patterns I made up:

If you have any questions or want to share your own experience in this type of dyeing, fire away!  I had a blast and even though it was a bit of work, I am happy to have these fabrics and to share them with some of my craftster buddies!

Thanks for looking!

oh--I almost forgot!  Bonus:  You can save the string that you used in your projects!  Nice for wrapping packages or using in mixed media art projects, quilting, etc. YAY!
72  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Vintage Lotus Pattern Scarf on: August 23, 2014 05:21:48 PM
I was looking for a sort of Queen Anne's Lace pattern when I came across this pattern in my search.  Of course, I can't find the printed out pattern that I used right now, but it had instructions and a chart.  The chart was very helpful because I sort of got lost in the instructions.  I also believe there are little video clips in the instructions to help you.

I love this scarf!  I tried making it with a lighter weight yarn, but the leaves kept flopping...and the pattern gets lost easily with fluffy or variegated yarns.  The yarn I used is a washable worsted wool in a tonal colorway.  I can't wait for colder weather to wear it.

It is about six feet long so that it can cascade down the front to show off the lotus leaves.

Closeup to show the open lace pattern.

It went pretty fast but you do have to pay attention to where you are making the joins...goofed up several times until I got used to the pattern.

Thanks for looking!
73  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / [CLOSED]Fake Swap Craftalong for Swap Junkies!!! 2014 on: July 25, 2014 07:15:23 AM

SWAP JUNKIES--We Want A Double Rainbow of Goodies!

I am restarting this craftalong because there are just too many swaps that many of us can't join but we want to craft!!!

This is a craftalong for swap junkies.

Do you love swapping?  Do you love getting inspired by swap themes?  Do you maybe get more done with a deadline?


Are you trying to save money? (shipping is pricey!), or maybe you love a theme, but you want to make certain items?  

Whatever your reasons, feel free to join up!
In this craftalong we will be "fake-joining" swaps that are current.  Then we will craft along the parameters of the swap, including send out dates, what needs to be sent, and if extras are allowed or encouraged;  at the end of the swap period we will give ourselves the things we have made!

For example...(fake example)
I want to join the Carnivorous Plant swap, but I don't have a lot of money for shipping this month, and I really want a mug rug embroidered with a plant , so I'm going to fake swap.

I will post in this thread like this:

My name is alwaysinmyroom
I am joining the Carnivorous Plant Swap.
I will make 1 mug rug for this swap
It is due by September 15, 2014.

And now I'm signed up!

I am organizing this fake swap, so I'll keep track of all the participants, and send out reminders when people's swaps are almost due.  When you have finished your item(s), please post here gallery style, so we can all congratulate you!!

Just to be clear, you can sign up here to fake-participate in ANY swap...and I'll let you fake-join up to 5 fake-swaps.

Please, only sign up if you are serious about completing the swaps.  I understand that life happens, but I'll take time every day (or 2 or 3) to update everything, so please don't sign up if you're not going to try, you know?




organized by due dates:




Abbeeroad(and Mr.!)
Terrific Faux Taxidermy Swap due 10/22/14

Quilt Block Swap due 10/20/14

OWS 109 due Dec 31

August 2014 Pinterest due 8/25/14

Quilt Block Swap due 10/20/14

Holiday Edition Handy Quilted Dish Mat Swap  due 8/30/14
Mini 12 days of  Christmas 11/26/14

Fall Ninni Swap due 10/23/14

3-D Bird Swap due 9/10/14

OTT October Holidays Edition due 10/8/14

Cryptid Swap due 11/18/14
I miss that due 12/2/14

Crafted Notecards Swap due 8/15/14

Holiday Edition Handy Quilted Dish Mat Swap  due 8/30/14
Quilt Block Swap due 10/20/14
Fall Ninni Swap due 10/23/14
HP Holiday Craft Swap

Disney Swap due 8/29/14
Quilt Block Swap due 10/20/14

Frugal Living Swap due 9/8/14
Movie/TV swap due 9/20/14
TM Swap 11/3/14

Whimsical Shrine Swap due 8/11/14
Bookmark Swap Rd 3 due 9/14/14

Summer Nerd Games 2014 due 8/23/14
Half a Hoopla 8/25/14
Lexophiles Unite due 9/30/14
Holiday Edition Handy Quilted Dish Mat Swap due 8/30/14

August 2014 Pinterest Swap due 8/20/14

Whimsical Shrine Swap due 8/11/14  
Half a Hoopla 8/25/14
Faux taxidermy Swap due 10/22/14

Holiday Edition Handy Quilted Dish Mat Swap  due 8/30/14
3-D Bird Swap due 9/10/14
3-D Bug Swap

Fall Ninni Swap due 10/23/14

Frugal Living Swap due 9/8/14


Whimsical Shrine Swap due 8/11/14
Frugal Living Swap due 9/8/14
Terrific (faux) taxidermy Swap due 10/22/14

74  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Scarf to use up sock yarn leftovers! on: July 23, 2014 07:22:51 AM
My buddy jemimah posted a scarf she made using this pattern:


I thought it was a great way to use up those pesky little bits of sock yarn left over from last year's sock knitting binge!  I used two solids and one variegated balls.  I just knit randomly until I ran out of the solids...I still have a small bit of the variegated yarn, so I am going to use a different color scheme...more purples next time...so much fun!

I love this pattern!  The scarf is lighweight, can be made longer, wider, etc. The only part I hated was weaving in all the ends from the color changes, but it was worth it!

75  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / AARG! Almost Paradise Altered Spool on: June 20, 2014 01:33:55 PM
I made this for rackycoo in the first Altered Spool Swap.  It was weird because we both picked ocean/beach themes for each other...we must have summer and vacation on the brain! Grin

I am using one of her pictures because it is way better than anything I took...

The spool is from my mom's sewing kit from the 1960's.  It originally had dusty blue thread, but that is not a color I like, so I wrapped two other blues over it...I think it gave the spool some depth and the feeling of water...of course, I had to add waves, hence the beads...and a few baubles like Mr. Crab, who has been waiting in my first ever Archie McFee jar of whimsies from way back when...

The hole in the top of the spool was begging for something...and I was destashing all of my fake floral stuff when lo and behold, a few things fell onto the floor...magically, they looked like palm tree tops!  So I used some wire, floral tape, and paper twist to create a palm tree...distressed it with ink...you can't see in any of the pics, but I also added bead "coconuts".

The sand is really artificial snow, painted cream...when I put the tree in, the spool would not stay upright, so I used an old rusty washer glued to the bottom to give it weight...the washer was found in the roots of my poor fallen 60 year old apple tree...and I found it 15 years ago! Grin

No room for a real treasure chest on such a little space, so I used broken pieces of wood leftover from my wee house.  Just pretend the chest got busted up when the bad pirate dug it up in his haste to get rich quick!

Oh, and poor pirate...he forgot to tie up his row boat, so it drifted away...leaving him on the island with loads of treasure, but no way off...oops...

The little flag was cut from a pirate print that I have had for some time...but it had skulls everywhere...well, say hello to my little friend, Mr. Black Sharpie...I colored them all in except one... Grin.

More pictures can be seen in the swap gallery, courtesy of Ms. Rackycoo, my awesome partner...

I would have loved to keep this to go with the Mermaid Spoolie she made me, but alas, it was not meant to be...I did take pictures of the two together...they made a nice beach scene! *sigh* I wish I were going to the beach now!
76  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Easter Nut Hunt! on: April 01, 2014 06:43:20 AM
My husband and his buddies are really kids at heart.  Each Easter, now that all of the real kids are gone, he complains that he misses the Easter egg hunts.  At their age, these guys do not need the cholesterol and fat in all of those eggs.

Some of the other wives and I decided to have a party this Easter with our own special adult Easter hunt...only instead of eggs, we will have the guys search for nuts!  Much healthier!

I am in charge of the invitations so I decided to make something simple...I drew a path in my yard and hid some nuts in the grassy areas and among the twigs. Can you find the almonds, hazelnutacorn, walnuts and peanut?

I will be taking the card to our local Mom and Pop shop to be reproduced.  They are a nice, conservative couple who will get a laugh at our crazy Easter Nut Hunt!  There will be about 100 people, so I better start buying nuts and thinking about the refreshments and decor!

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77  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Mock cable fingerless gloves in my favorite purple! on: February 07, 2014 01:32:36 PM
Just to show how versatile this stitch is, I made a pair of fingerless gloves for Watsonc7in the OWS 100 swap...again, this is a free pattern on the knitPicks site...I love this stitch...easy and fast and just looks fancy dancy!

78  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Mock cable socks on: February 06, 2014 02:41:28 PM
I love knitting socks, but you would never know it here because most of the socks I knit are for swaps or given to my mod buddies...well, I was told to start posting in the other boards, so here I go...

I made these socks for JillHogan in the OWS 100 swap.  They are a standard top down sock but I decided to do a mock cable on the leg and down the front of the sock.  I love variegated sock yarns since they do not compete with the stitch and yet, they still add some life to the monochromatic color scheme.  This one is from KnitPicks.  Don't worry, Jill, I washed them before I sent them to you...no stinky feet smell on your socks! Grin

and yeah, I made two matching... Wink

This pattern is fast and easy...very little counting and one of my favorites---I actually had made a pair of mitts and a cowl using this mock cable and figured it would work with socks as well...and the pattern for the cable was FREE!!
79  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / [CLOSED]50 Projects 2014--Let's continue the craftiness! on: December 26, 2013 10:23:11 AM
Welcome (or Welcome back...Grin) to the 50 projects in 2014 craftalong!!!

My own creative messy room that I am always in... Grin  It is an ongoing WIP...

In this craftalong,the intended goal is to be creative and have fun making projects.  When many of us started tracking what we were making, it was amazing how many projects we got done....and when we set our goals, WOW, we got even more done!

If there is a board on Craftster for the project, it counts:  home decor, cooking , knitting, sewing, beading, etc. etc.  

Amaze yourself and keep a pictorial history of all that you get accomplished, whether it is 1 major project or 200 smaller ones, just making something will be special for you and those of us that you share your pictures with.

We will continue to have challenges and prizes...I am not the faster organizer or the best moderator, but I try hard and am encouraged by all that I have seen you guys make...

Get your list ready, if you want, or just post as you go...whatever works best for you...share your tips and share your encouragement and techniques...also, be sure to post "out there" for others in the community to see!!!  We love pictures, so, no such things as "Pic overload"...bring it on!!!

Oct-Dec 2014CLOSED

WINNER:  crazyda79

She requested an Amazon gift card!

Aug/Sept 2014 CLOSED

EVERY project will be entered!  Drawing October 11 so be sure to post pics of your August/September projects!

June/July 2014 CLOSED

Winner: Naanjte!!!!

Naanjte requested an Etsy Gift Card.  She used it to purchase a beautiful ear cuff

April/May 2014 CLOSED

WINNER: bunny1kenobi !!!!

Bunny was emailed a gift card!

February/March 2014 CLOSED.

WINNER:  lindyv321!!!!!!

She was awarded a gift card from www.etsy.com!

January 2014 CLOSED!

WINNER:  cursive_queen!!!!

She was awarded an e-gift card from www.etsy.com!!!
80  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bo Bo the Bear on: December 10, 2013 10:28:54 AM
My younger brother brought me his childhood bear to repair when he came for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  When I saw it, I looked at my brother and said, "Are you kidding me?".

Bo Bo was the first bear he got when he was born in Germany...that thing is over 50 years old and has seen better days!  It was disgustingly filthy and in shreds!  It was stuffed with who knows what...and made worse because my brother tried to wash it by hand...ugh!

I can't tell you how many times in my years that I remember sewing on an ear or a leg...even when I went off to college, I would come home and there would be my brother, asking me to fix Bo Bo...after he got married and I got married, I never expected to see that thing again...alas, 35 years later, he's back!!!

Here is what I mean:

Front view:

Back view:

Can you see why I told him that it was time to let Bo Bo go?  There is a Bear Heaven, I am sure...last night, my brother called again to see how Bo Bo was doing...I told him that it was a lost cause and that I needed to throw him out...nope, he said he was going to come to my house and take him home as is...

Well, won't he be surprised when I give him this:

Yeah--I am a good big sister...and Bo Bo is now ready to face another 50 years... Grin.

What I did:

1. Took off what parts were left and unstuffed them.
2. Gently washed all parts and sewed all seams again
3. Embroidered a new face and replaced missing eye
4. Used body parts to make new ears
5. made new body from brown fleece
6. Stuffed with new stuffing
7.  hand sewed legs, arms, ears and head to body
8.  made a new shirt from one of my brother's old shirts
9.  I am going to make some jeans as well as soon as I can get a pair of my brother's old ones

I hope my sister and mom can keep a secret until Christmas day....ha ha...thanks for looking!
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