Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bleach Shirts

I saw an online tutorial, so I was inspired to try my hand at making Bleach Shirts.  They turned out pretty good.  It's basically just spraying on light layers of bleach and building them up to the shade you want.  You use freezer paper to draw the design on, then an exacto blade to peel off the layers, starting with the lightest first.  All my shirts are my own designs.

Here's my first attempt:

I decided I didn't like the bit he's laying on, so I did this one instead, which is available to buy at my Etsy store.
(the pocket was an accident.  I don't have pockets on the ones I sell).

Here's my second bleach shirt ever:
With this one I learned that you can burn the freezer paper and it's impossible to get off.  I poked holes in the shirt while trying.  Can't decide if I want to sell this one too or not.  It's a little more work, cutting out all those teeth.

This next one is another available to buy in my shop.  Penguin!
Unfortunately, you can see my handprints on this one.  After I made this I made a system to blot the bleach without leaving handprints.

Close up of the penguin:

And finally, I made a dinosaur shirt.  This one I really like, but the delicate lines are so tedious that, again, I'm not sure if I want to sell this one. (Again, you can see the handprints before I figured out how to avoid them).

Close up:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Tea Party

Back in January, I hosted a Ladies' Tea Party.  It was a huge success and a lot of fun.  The only problem is, I forgot to take pictures!  I made a ton of food, including cucumber sandwiches, and I used every tea cup I owned so everyone could have tea (I bought a large variety).  For games, we did a blind tea tasting and played some Mad Libs.

Once I knew I wanted to have a tea party, I got lots of inspiration from Pintrest.

Here are the few pictures I do have:

For invitations, I found a pack of cards at Michael's that were blank inside.  I printed onto them using a few fun fonts, then added some stickers and a couple of stamps.  They ended up nice, but I had to make a few corrections--I got my phone number wrong, I forgot to include the time, and then I realized I'd gotten the year wrong in the date.  Always have someone else proofread for you!  I also wish I'd written, "Hats and pearls are recommended, but not required."  The most often-asked question from my guests was what to wear.

I put a sign on the door so people wouldn't stand outside knocking--I was busy getting everything ready, and didn't have time to keep answering the door.  Preparing all the food that morning took a lot longer than I expected.  And you can't exactly pre-make sandwiches, because they get soggy.

For easy decorating, I got a whole bunch of fake flowers and put them in vases all over the house.  The best time to get them at Dollar General is after they're "out of season"--I got all mine 50-75% off.  Maybe all of them cost $3?  Way cheaper than I even found them at the local thrift shop (though the thrift shop ones may have included a vase with them.  I had plenty of vases, and couldn't get just the flowers).

Used a couple of nice tablecloths I already had that I got as wedding gifts.  It was nice to get them out and show them off.  I never get to use them because my two-year-old destroys everything.

Couple of odds and ends I had that I took out for decorations.

These were the real stars of my decorating.  I folded maybe 70 of these origami butterflies and had them scattered over every surface--tables, counter tops, even tray tables.  They ended up looking very nice.  After the party, someone gathered them all up for me, so I can use them again some time.  It took a long time to fold all those--that's why I start planning a party months in advance.  Whenever I'd put on a movie I'd just take a little stack of paper and fold away.  I think a homemade decoration that takes a little time goes a long way--without costing much.  Or in this case, anything, as I already had the paper.  A note on folding origami: definitely use regular paper.  I used thicker construction paper, and my folds would not hold their shape, I ended up having to use a dot of glue on each of them.

I rearranged my furniture to open up the room a little more.  The whole counter top was lined with my tea cups.  During the party, I had an electric water heater running at all times and another metal teapot on the stove, then I'd pour the hot water into two china teapots for people to use.  This was the first time in the 7 years since I've owned it that I used that electric water heater, but in this case it came in handy.

These teacups belong to a complete china set that my mom gave me when I got married (that I never ever get to use).  Her mother gave it to her on her wedding day, and her mother gave it to her on her wedding day.  So it's from my great-grandmother.

My daughter, my mother-in-law, and her mother-in-law (my husband's grandmother).

My little girl in her little tea party dress.

Everyone had a really good time, so I think I might do a tea party again.  Though I already know what my Autumn Ladies' party will be: Death By Chocolate!