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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Monday, September 10, 2018

End of Hydrangeas

Disclosure: eShakti sent me a customized dress to review, but no other compensation. The opinions in this post are my own.

Online shop eShakti recently asked me to review one of their products. if you're not familiar with this brand, they offer customization on their garments - which is a huge plus if you're like me and have trouble finding a good fit among standard sizes. I've worked with eShakti before and had a positive experience. They have fast shipping and great customer service.

Here are some of the things I love about this dress. These are also things I look for and seldom find when buying a garment:
- High-quality buttons. This is seriously important to me! I recently hand-sewed brass buttons on one of my skirts because I hated the cheap-looking flimsy buttons it came with. These buttons are similar - sturdy, brass-colored buttons, and they all function. I like being able to unbutton the skirt and/or bodice to change the look of this dress.
- Excellent fit. It was so exciting to get a dress that fits my waist, boobs, AND shoulders and arms! I was able to provide my measurements on the website, and here is the result. If the sleeves look a little long to you, it's because I asked for extra long sleeves. My arms are already long, but I love sleeves that go over my wrists. It just feels very comfortable to me. That leads me to...
- High quality and comfortable fabric. This dress looks like date night but feels like pajamas. It was a little too hot when I wore it for these photos, but I'm going to be living in this dress when the weather gets cool.

You can follow eShakti on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter.

I'm on a fall (and likely winter) buying ban for my wardrobe. This dress is the last thing added to my wardrobe and I love how it fits in with my other pieces. I'm looking forward to wearing it with my jackets and sweaters.

dress: c/o eshakti
boots: thifted
bag, silk scarf, necklace: vintage
hat: target (old)

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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Around the Clubhouse - September 6, 2018

The end of August and beginning of September - hectic times. We managed to squeeze in a nice hike off the Blue Ridge Parkway, but otherwise we've been working hard. I finished a collection of mauve and blush acrylic paintings on canvas, which I am getting ready to list in my shop.

I've spent a little of my free time managing my wardrobe. I've been on a clothes-buying ban for autumn, and I will likely continue the ban into the winter. When I pulled out my fall/winter clothes I realized I was in great shape for the cooler months. I've really tried to analyze all the pieces I need for my lifestyle, and with that in mind - knowing I have everything I need - it keeps me from getting anything new.

Little Jupiter is so happy living with my parents. We visited him last weekend and he's already grown so much. He bounces off the walls and chews on everything he can find. All the available electric cords have been hidden or placed out of reach. He's an adorable nut. Although he tested negative at his last vet visit, it recently became apparent he has worms (ugh), so he's currently getting treated for it. I'm hoping for a quick recovery, and so far it hasn't slowed him down. He's such a happy boy.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Jupiter

On Thursday, August 14, this tiny orphaned kitten showed up on our front stoop, crying for help! It was a very hot day and he had three little plant burrs stuck in his fur. I scooped him up and brought him indoors, feeling a little panicked because I wasn't sure how to care for him.

Steven was home sick with a cold, but he ran to the store for some cat food a litter. I gave the kitten a dish of water and put him in an empty plastic container. When Steven brought the wet food home, the kitten ate like he was starving. I was worried he wouldn't eat solid food, since he was so young and small, but he had no trouble with the pate-textured cat food.

He was a survivor. I realized that I was hearing his cries around our house for two days before he made it to our front door. Every time I went out to investigate the cries, I found nothing, and ended up believing it was a bird. I can't imagine what it was like for him, alone in this terrible heat, with no food or water.

We named him Jupiter and moved him to our bathroom with food, water, blankets, a cardboard bed, and little box. I was so worried he would be sick, but he was very responsive, playful, and he used the litter box regularly. In fact, he never had a single accident - he already knew what to do with a litter box! We was such a purry friendly boy.

It was only a day before we knew we wanted to keep him. It's kitten season and all the shelters are full. He would be killed at the local animal shelter. Unfortunately, we knew how our landlord felt about pets. Steven still had a meeting with her to ask about keeping the cat, but her answer was no. We may have done some ugly crying when it really sunk in that we couldn't keep Jupiter.

Next came an anxious time of searching for forever homes. Jupiter was living on borrowed time at our place. Instagram was a great resource and some lovely people spread the word about a little black cat who needed a home in Western NC. @TabbyCatLiability, @MaddyTheHousePanther, and @black_cat_crew, were some of the few that reached out to give us kind advice and and Jupiter's story. Our sweet local friends supported us by bringing us gifts and telling us it was all going to be okay.

We took Jupiter to the vet on Monday. We needed to know see if he was healthy and let potential adopters know he was safe to have around other pets. I was so nervous, but the vet gave him a completely clean bill of health. All his tests came back negative. He didn't even have any fleas. I was so happy that day. The vet was able to answer my questions and let me know that we were indeed feeding him the right diet. (I was concerned because Jupiter was completely uninterested in the kitten milk replacer we bought him - snubbing it in favor of solid food).

Long story short, my parents, who live in the Raleigh area, fell in love with him. They were pet-free but had a lot of experience with cats. My sister lives near them so they have a built-in pet sitter. It's been a stressful week with a happy ending. Jupiter loves his new home, which is a lot safer and more kitten-proof than our little rental. He's running, climbing, exploring, and basking in all the attention.

#SpayandNeuterYourPets #cleartheshelters #blackcatappreciation

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