Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Halloween 2018: Anastasia

"Princesses don't marry kitchen boys."

This post is so late, but our last few weeks have been terribly busy!

We decided to celebrate Halloween with some Don Bluth 90s nostagia in our Anastasia costumes. This was a most challenging costume duo yet. I'm not sure how many packets of Rit dye I used! At least the costume pieces were all second-hand, with the exception of Steven's hat. His trousers were the same from his 2015 Shaggy costume - I just de-bell bottomed them. His vest was cut and sewn from an old dress shirt.

I really loved the 1997 movie Anastasia as a kid. It was so beautiful and sparked a real interest in the history behind the animated fantasy-version. I think the style of the film subtly influenced my aesthetic and fashion choices throughout my life. (The boots and cap I'm wearing here are an every day part of my wardrobe). Steven encouraged me to create these costumes for our 6th Halloween together, and I'm so glad he did.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Visiting Jupiter

I just wanted to share a few photos of Jupiter, who's three and a half months now. This was our first visit in more than two months, so he was shy around us, but he's very happy in his forever home with my parents. They call him "Mr. Kitty." He's had several rounds of vaccination and will get his last soon, and will have his neuter surgery sometime next month. He's a playing manic and loves his cat toys and cardboard boxes.

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Late October

This October, Steven and I celebrated our 6th anniversary. It's so cliche, but time really has flown!

Although it was a busy month, my sister was able to visit (she brought us the most beautiful sunflower bouquet) and we all went apple-picking. Since Steven and my sister (and a lot of my friends) are teachers, and very busy at this time of year, I was really grateful they could take a short break and we could do some simple fall activities. The apple orchard we visited had the most delicious apple donuts, too.

Do you like my little Halloween decoration? I picked up this vintage pumpkin-head at a thrift shop last year, and I love him so much. When it's not October, he holds my pens and pencils - he's so cute and creepy that he gets to stick around all year. I get strong Over the Garden Wall vibes from him.

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

Early Fall Photos

My photos from the last two weeks. The leaves are changing slowly in Western NC.

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Monday, October 1, 2018

Dip-Dye Removal Sweater

Happy October!

I wanted to share a little project I did recently. This is a dip-dye look sweater. It's actually a sweater that's been dyed and then dip-dye-removed. If that sounds confusing, I hope this diy will make it clear.

You will need:
1. A thrifted 100% cotton sweater
2. Rit dye in the color or colors of your choice
3. Rit dye remover
4. A pot for dying and removing dye from the sweater
5. A stirring stick or wooden spoon

Find a Sweater

For this project I found a cream-colored cotton sweater at a local thrift store. It was in excellent condition. I went for a chunky, over-sized sweater since the other knits in my wardrobe are thin and more fitted. You can use a colored sweater, but keep in mind that
the underlying color +
the dye on top =
the final color.
For instance, if you start with a yellow sweater and dye it with blue, you'll likely get a shade of green. Just remember the color wheel.

Choose Your Colors

I mixed lemon yellow with a little dark brown Rit dye to get this brown/yellow ochre color. If you decide to color-mix like I did, I recommend adding small amounts of dye to your mixture and test the color by dipping a white paper towel into the dye bath. If you want to be more precise, you can always browse the color formula library at RitDye.com. Of course, you can choose one bottle of dye and skip the color mixing altogether.

Dye Your Sweater

Heat a large pot of water on your stove and follow the dye directions on your bottle or packet of dye. I have a large pot that's only for dying and craft projects. I never use it for food. I also have a wooden spoon that is for dying projects only. You will dye the whole sweater in the pot. The dip-dye look comes later.

Wash and Dry

Wash and dry your sweater. You can set it aside the dyed, dry sweater and do the next part later, or you can go ahead and move on to the next part.

Color Remover

Heat a pot of water on the stove top and add Rit Color Remover. Make sure your area is well-ventilated - this stuff smells strong. Also watch the heat so you don't burn yourself on any steam from the pot. Take your sweater and dip into the pot to the point where you want the color change to start. You will have to watch the color leaving your sweater to decide when you're happy with the color removal. It didn't take long for the color to leave my sweater. I lifted the garment to leave just the edge of the sweater in the pot to create a slight gradient.

Wash and Dry

Wash and dry one more time and your sweater is ready to wear.
There are other, easier ways of getting a dip-dyed effect. You can try using the dye remover on a colorful cotton sweater and see if the dye is removed - although results can be mixed on commercial dyes. You could also find a light colored cotton sweater and dip-dye with a bottle of Rit. The reason I added the extra step of removing dye if I wanted to have more control over the color of my sweater. If you try this project, please let me know.

Now, I'm going to wish for actual sweater weather here in North Carolina!

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