An event brochure

This week I’ve been a stressball. I’ve still been ticking along, and have a few things in the works. I’m trying super hard to get our wedding invites out before the weekend.

I’ve spent the last two days remembering how to use the adobe suite. I’ve been playing across Indesign, Illustrator and Photoshop to produce a three fold brochure that will complement our wedding invitations, providing a little more in depth information that we couldn’t fit on the official invitations.

This also meant heading back to basics to hand paint the background for the brochure. I did a simple rainbow gradient splash across the page. I’m not fancy, I’ve been using red, blue and yellow food colouring to dye/paint everything lately. I then scanned this into the computer and used Photoshop to touch it up and remove the white background. This image was then used in several different ways and saturation to create the backgrounds in the brochure.

I created a map in Illustrator. I took a view from google maps and then used the paintbrush tool to draw out all the roads in the surrounding area. I added street names, event signs, parking signs, and some pink flamingos to show the walking path.

We hated the background, and looking at it here, it is even more ghastly than I first thought! I ended up using the rainbow splash behind it.

Then I put it all together in Indesign. The great part about using the adobe suite is that they interact well together, makes life much easier!

Now I need to do a couple of test prints to make sure I have everything set out correctly. Unfortunately my printer did a terrible job of that last night and i’ll have to head into office works at some point to print a few off!

We’ve also hand painted all our invitations and wishing well cards. I need to finalise the text for that, print them out, then I’m thinking I’ll stitch them to the painted paper with a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine.

painting wishing well cards
Lots of wishing well cards awaiting there text papers to be stuck on

Now I’m off to try and finalise the invitations! Enjoy your week 🙂


Bar Sign

First up – I have to admit this wasn’t really my project. It was totally Guy’s project. I just helped him realise his dream! But it is way too awesome not to share!

Guy got the idea that he wanted to make a statement “BAR” sign for our wedding. He took his time researching and pinning ideas on pinterest.

He settled on the idea of using rough fence pailings, then painting these in a rustic way, in a rainbow of colours, before painting “BAR” over the top.

We managed to pick up the palings for free (well, I did spend $300 on a Happy Jack Quilting Frame, which I am still yet to find out if it was worth it or not, and the wood was thrown in for free, but that’s another post) from our wonderful “The Green Shed“. Seriously, if you ever find yourself in Canberra, check them out!

Guy wanted the wood a little darker, so we spent an evening staining them. Then a week airing out the garage because the smell of the stain was so strong!

Next up, we dug through the garage and found some leftover paint. Some time last year, we painted a set of chairs in bright colours for our alfresco area. These were the perfect colours for this project! (Yes, we love our colour in this house!) We dry brushed each plank of wood a different colour.

Once we had arranged the planks in a colour order that we were happy with, we flipped them over and screwed supports onto the back to hold everything together.

Now for the text. This is where my amazing graphic design skills came in. I jumped into illustrator and we played around with different fonts. We settled on a pretty basic font. I then copied and pasted the text behind the word, and made it grey. This became a shadow. I saved this in tiles, then sent Guy off to Office Works to print it out (because, as most things we have been doing for the wedding, it ended up being massive!). We then had to sticky tape all the bits together.

We placed this on top of the wood and used ball point pens to trace over all the outlines. This left an indentation in the wood, which we then traced over with chalk so we could see it a bit better.

We painted the letters out in white paint, (leftovers from the house). For the shadow, we added a small amount of charcoal to each of the colours of the planks.

It turned out amazingly! I can’t wait to see it hanging above the bar area at our wedding!

Dyeing shoes – the first attempt

Last week I wrote about dyeing some nylon/acrylic in the slow cooker with landscape dyes which can be found here.

Whilst the slow cooker was bubbling away, I was also dyeing cotton yarn and canvas shoes! These take a different dye and different dyeing process.

I used Drimarene K dyes. These are fibre reactive dyes. I had a little starter pack my mum gave me years ago. This included a red, blue, yellow, rubinole, and a black. I have since got larger quantities of the red, yellow and blue to further experiment.

Using the fibre reactive dye requires your textile to be first soaked in Soda Ash. After that you paint, dip, squeeze the dye onto your object.

I started out with a pair of canvas shoes. I squeezed the dye out of sauce bottles on the first shoe. I quickly discovered that this put too much dye on the surface and I found it extremely hard to control, and I had dye running everywhere!

Attempt #1 = fail! It’s all part of the process 🙂

Luckily these are just practice shoes, and on the next one I experimented with painting the dye on with paint brushes. Winner!

Attempt #2 was much better! Learnt a few things!

To get the best results from these dyes, you keep them moist for 24 hours before rinsing. I put each shoe into a ziplock bag, and placed them in a nice warm spot for the night.

wrap them up and leave over night

I had another pair of shoes to practice on. This time I painted each shoe. And they looked great!

Getting better at this shoe dyeing thing!

After letting them sit for 24hrs, I rinsed them, then put them through a washing cycle. Using Synthrapol to get rid of excess dye.

Drying in the window

Now I’m fairly confident with dyeing the shoes, we have ordered Converse to dye as well. Guy has high tops and I have ordered low tops. These will be for our “Colourful Wedding” in November.

I also tried my hand at dyeing some of the cotton I wrote about in my last post. For this I layed out a skein of the presoaked cotton on a length of glad wrap. I then squirted the dyes on in a stripe pattern. Then I wrapped the glad wrap around it. A bit of a squeeze helped blend the colours, but not too much as to make a mess of it. I left it wrapped for 24hrs as well before giving it a good rinse. I have to hope a good hand rinsing will be ok for this, as it won’t get a proper washout until it has been made into something.

cotton yarn drying


Yarn balled up. You can see the effect dyeing the yarn like this has.

There will be plenty more dyeing adventures in my future. I still need to dye two pairs of converse shoes for the wedding, and a tie to match! Not to mention how much fun I have dyeing yarn! And I have a massive bag of white roving that needs dyeing too!

Slow Dyeing

I discovered in my dyeing research adventures, that using a slow cooker is a legit way to dye yarn, more specifically, wools and what not, as they need the heat source to set the dye.

Much to my delight, when a neighbor was having a clean out, I managed to grab a bag of yarn! And it was all white and natural colours! Perfect for dyeing!

Inside the bag was 7 and a bit balls of 4ply nylon/acrylic blend (all white) and 8 balls of cotton (half white, half natural). I was happy to find out that my “Landscape” dye would work on the nylon/acrylic blend! This presented the perfect opportunity to try out “Slow Dyed Yarn”

I picked myself up a cheap slow cooker, and set up a “Dye Studio” in the laundry. Some plastic table protector helps keep the washing machine and bench tops clean. The slow cooker sits nicely on top of the washing machine, whilst I have supplies and running water close at hand! (I’ve even cleared a shelf off to store stuff, so it has turned into quite the studio space, but shhhh told tell the housemates!)

Welcome to the Dye Studio!

To dye the yarn, I first skein it. I use a niddy noddy to wrap the yarn around, then some cotton string to tie it together in (at least) four places.

After that I soak it in a vinegar/water solution for half an hour, then gently squeeze out excess fluid, but leaving it fairly wet.

Whilst it is soaking I mixed the dyes. I have “Landscape Dyes” suitable for dyeing wool, silk and nylon.

Lay it in the slow cooker. I manage to get two skeins in at once.

Now apply dye as you wish. I’ve tried laying it on in stripes so far, but its open to a whole world of exploring!

Make sure you get dye right through the layers, as you might end up with patches that don’t come into contact with the dye and get patchy bits. This could be fun to experiment with too though! A gentle squeeze will also help get the dye through the layers, but be careful as this could result in colour mixing (something else to explore!)

Turn the slow cooker on high, place the lid on and let it do its thing. I have left it in for 3 hours whilst I do other stuff. The water should be fairly clear. Then I turn it off, Take the lid off and let it cool. Then rinse out until the water runs clear. If your dyeing wool you’ll need to be extra careful to keep everything a similar temperature to avoid felting, but I didn’t need to worry about that with this yarn! Once rinsed, its time to let the yarn dry. Squeeze it between a towel to get excess water off, then hang on a coat hanger to dry. I tend to hang a coat hanger with a towel on it to catch any drips. This is a habit I picked up from washing handspun, as it helps set the twist, but it works to keep things clean too.

Once dry, you can ball it up on a ball winder, ready to use! And its happy creating time!

And whilst I was doing all that, I was also dyeing up a storm using Drimarene K dyes on canvas shoes and the cotton yarn! Stay tuned to see how they came out!