Monday, February 25, 2013

DIY Tie Dye with Red Wine

Easy Do It Yourself Dye

 I'm obsessed with Fabric, especially canvas. It's natural, it's strong, it has more uses than a swiss army knife... and it can be a challenge to Dye. There's nothing I love more than a challenge. 

I also love red wine. 

Here is how I use Red Wine to Dye Fabric, including so-called "non-dye-able" Canvas, and a shirt I never wore:

White or light colored fabric (I used cotton)
2+ cups Red Wine
Rubber Bands or Hemp Twine
Clean Baking Pan
Jar or Bucket 
An Old Towel

Supplies laid out ready to start dying fabric

 Step 1: Tie up items to be dyed. If you bind it with more wrinkles you will end up with more light colored areas after you are done. The tighter you tie or band it up the more areas of light color will remain as well.

Cotton articles tied up and ready to be Dyed with Red Wine

  Step 2: Steep the items in the Red Wine for at least 2 hours. I let mine soak for 4 hours.

A white shirt after soaking in red wine for 4 hours

Step 3: Squeeze the wine out of the fabric. Leftover wine can be saved to re-use next time you want to dye but the color won't be quite as strong. For really dark dye wring until no liquid drips. For lighter dye wring as much out as possible.

Wine Dyed items being laid flat to dry in the oven

 Step 4: Lay items as flat as possible on your clean baking sheet. Try not to let them touch or overlap so the color doesn't bleed from one article to another. Your baking sheet must be clean or you risk discoloring your dyed items. I covered mine with foil just to be safe.

Wine Dyed clothing and fabric drying in an oven

 Step 5: Set oven at 170 to 180 Fahrenheit with damp dyed items inside. The combination of heat and drying with the wine pigment still on the fabric helps set the color. Make sure to set a timer so you don't start a fire. I checked on my items every 10 minutes. The small items took about 20 minutes to dry fully while the shirt took over an hour. I didn't want to put freshly dyed items in the dryer in case it might leave color behind which is why I chose to do it in the oven.

Check your items every 10 minutes: Safety First!

Step 6: (This step is optional. I did it to make sure the color was fully set.) Lay your old towel on an ironing board. Iron dyed items as you normally would. The heat will help set the color so it won't fade with washing. The towel prevents your ironing board cover from getting any color on it if your dyed articles aren't fully dry yet.

Small test items in a Red Wine Dye Project

Step 7: Hand wash dyed clothing and fabric in warm water to get rid of any pigment that didn't set. This way the color won't spread to items you don't intend to dye when you wash it after regular use. After dying an article you should avoid washing it in hot water to keep the colors bright.

Gorgeous color and pattern from Red Wine Tie Dye

 And the finished product... 
I like this shirt so much better with the natural earthy rouge dye than I did when it was plain white. I think I'll actually wear it now!

Thanks for reading!!!
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Home Brew Heaven - Part 1

The foam shows the beer is brewing.
As time passes I am learning to appreciate the smaller things in life. Things like good beer, quality wine, and pungent cheese... fresh veges from the garden and the earthy smell of a well maintained compost. Right along with learning to love these small things comes the desire to learn how they are created.

My husband and I have a friend who has some experience brewing beer at home, home brew if you will. Let's call him Spiky since that is what my son call him. Spiky showed up the other day with malt and hops and a bunch of other things and said, "Let's make beer!"

Spiky poured some goo, malt extract, into a large brew pot and we all waited impatiently for 50 minutes until we reached the final 10 minute stage where the hops are infused into the concoction. After the flavor of the hops had time to infuse our brown liquid we drained it into a large glass carboy and waited for the temperature to reach around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point we added the yeast and sealed the carboy to keep germs out.

We sat the 5 gallon carboy in our den to ferment. Our den stays between 55 and 65 degrees since we keep it closed off to save money in the winter. I wrapped an old towel around the base to catch any splooge that came out of the bubble airlock. It seems so simple I don't know why I've never done this before!

Supposedly in 3-4 weeks we will have some Pale Ale Homebrew to bottle and keg. Spiky is fairly confident it will taste good since he has experience with this. I'm just excited to know how beer is made. I'll let you know how it turns out when I finally get to taste it.  ;)

Last night I had some lovely "me time" while the boys had a night out so I took the ultra rare opportunity to enjoy some wine, cheese, and blueberries. Cabot from Vermont makes an amazing white cheddar that pairs well with almost any red wine. Bicicleta by Cono Sur was a good wine for under $10 and fits well with my recent Chilean Wine kick. Mmmmmm... was a good night indeed!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

DIY Valentines Day Gift

The Heart-ful Hand Warmer

A Picture Tutorial by Tiny Tipis

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I saw an idea on Pinterest this morning and had to try it. Since I was at a loss for what to give my husband for Valentine's Day I decided to make him something to keep him warm. I like to keep those that I love well-fed and warm. This simple present was free (recycled materials) and took about an hour total even with me pausing for pictures. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

 Supplies: Two scraps of T-shirt, Two rectangles of Fabric for exterior, One scrap of fabric for Heart Shape, Half a cup of 20 minute White Rice, Scissors, Thread, Sewing Machine, and Extra Thread to Hand-Embroider the Message.

Step 1: Sew one t-shirt scrap to the back of each piece of outer fabric. The T-shirt acts as a liner and stabilizer.

Step 2: Place Heart where you want it on the outer fabric and sew around the edge with a zig-zag stitch. You can use any shape you want. I used a heart so I could give it to my hubby for Valentines Day.


Step 3:  Embroider your Message with the visible side on the outer fabric. You could use a machine for this. I did it by hand to give it extra personality. I think this was my first time hand-embroidering.

 Step 4: Zig-Zag stitch around the edges with outer fabric facing in. Leave a 1 or 2 inch gap to turn and fill the handwarmer with the rice.


Step 5: Turn so that the correct side is now facing out and topstitch around the edges. Still leave the gap open so that you can fill the pouch with rice.


Step 6: Fill the Hand warmer with  20 Minute (NOT instant) White Rice. I used 1/2 cup but you can adjust the amount to fit your needs. More rice means longer heat. Less rice means a lower profile to fit better in a pocket. Top stitch the gap you left to close it.

 Step 7: The final step is to toss it in your microwave for 30 seconds. Pull it out and feel the heat. For a warmer effect microwave it longer. For less heat microwave it for a shorter time. The one I made stays warm for almost 30 minutes!

My hand warmer says, "You are loved" in shorthand or nerd lingo. What message would you embroider on your pocket size hand warmer?


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