A Felt Flower Crown…

A felt flower crown, bouquet and other accessories. That’s what I have been madly trying to finish this week.

I’ve spread myself out all over the dining room floor!

I started in December last year with an order of brightly coloured wool from FeltFine. I spent months playing around with different ways to achieve felt flowers. Sometimes I made disasters that I hid away, other times I made something splendid and made a mental note on how to achieve the result again.

With the wedding fast approaching, and all the dyeing out of the way, I’ve had to knuckle down and commit to flower designs, so I can build a bouquet! Why a felt flower bouquet you might ask? *shrugs* Because why not? I’m approaching this wedding from the perspective that it’s a giant art installation, and it has been a great opportunity to test and refine my skills. I am having lots of fun with it too!

This is what I’ve got for the bouquet so far…

A spread of flowers. Some still need finishing, some still need to be made. I also need to work on stems and leaves (the green element)

And after I decided on making my own bouquet, I decided to make a bunch of other accessories too…

I have made boutonnieres for my Dad …

For Guy …

I made a hair piece for myself …

And a big piece I have spent way too much time on this week … A beautiful flower crown for my niece! I went to town with the beads on this one too!

I have it scheduled in to finish all the felting by the end of August, so I can focus on my dress in September (yep, a little nerve racking not even having started my dress two months out from the wedding!) But with September only two days away, its an unlikely achievement! Which means I must rush back to felting now!

Until next week, stay creative!

Dyed Converse

Our wedding shoes are complete!

His and Hers rainbow Converse shoes hand dyed by Cate

Guy was adamant that we walk down the aisle in hand dyed rainbow Converse. I’d done a little bit of dyeing in the past, but not a lot. Luckily, my mum had given me a small starter pack some years ago, just enough to play with and figure out that the idea of me dyeing them wouldn’t be catastrophic!

I practiced on two cheap pairs of canvas shoes we had laying around. I had my technique figured out by the second pair! So I ordered more dye, and some Converse. The dye I am using is DrimareneK. It is suited for cottons and silk. I wrote about my first attempts here.

My first attempts at dyed shoes

I ran the shoes through a wash cycle first, to get rid of dirt, dust, sizing etc. Then soaked them in a bucket of soda ash for 20mins. I did them across two separate days, so I dyed the first pair damp straight out of the soda ash solution. The second pair dried before I got to them, so I sprayed them with the soda ash solution to make them damp again.

I didn’t head straight for the Converse, I dyed a pair of canvas shoes to warm up on, then did the Converse.I was hoping to minimize any mistakes, but I did manage to drop a big blue splotch on one of the tongues of my shoes. Luckily this is hidden when the laces are done up!

Using a paintbrush I painted the colour on in sections, blending between colours as I went. I started with yellow then went to red, then to blue, finishing on yellow again. This meant it faded through yellow to orange to red to purple to blue to green to yellow. I used the same pattern for both pairs of shoes.

Getting ready to dye! Deep breaths!
the first colour goes on!
Second colour goes on
Then BAM! rainbow shoes! These then go into zip lock bags and wait until the neck day for washout.
High tops ready to go
rainbow Converse high tops!
They go in a ziplock bag overnight, just to let the dye marinade and really take to the fabric. Then they go through a wash before they are done!

I think patience is important when dyeing shoes. The times I tried to rush through were the times I made mistakes. I also found that the Converse took the dye much better than the cheaper canvas shoes.

a neck tie and hankie to match the shoes

To match the shoes, I also dyed a silk neck tie and a silk hankie. The ties came with a warning that they be painted and not immersed dyed. I found out why when the fabric bunched up. This ironed out well at the end, but the dye took differently in the areas it bunched up. Luckily, Guy loves the effect that it left! The silk hankie dyed beautifully. It is also just the right size to fold up and tie as a head scarf!

Dyeing the tie
The finished tie

And just for funsies, I dyed a batch of socks!

Dyeing socks
The finished socks!

I have really enjoyed dyeing! I have collected bits and pieces to make a more permanent dye set up, so I see more of it in my future! But for the moment, I’m focusing on getting through the ridiculous amount of things I decided to make for the wedding. I have put in my to-do list that my bouquet, along with boutoneirs and a flower crown, will be finished by the end of August, so I’m off to felt the days away! (Lets not mention the fact that I haven’t even started my wedding dress yet)

What a week…

Oh what a week(s) it has been!

We’ve hit the 3 month mark in the count down to the wedding, which means the heat is ramping up! And the to do list is running hot!

And every single person we have ever met has decided it is a great time to catch up, crash on our lounge for a few days, or go on a shopping trip!

I had mum, my sister and my niece over for the weekend, interspersed with my dad, my brother, sister in-law and my other sister.

(Lots of phone pics this week! Sorry for the poor quality!)

It’s not often we’re all in the one place at the one time! So when we are, we eat!

My mum, my oldest sister, my niece and myself checked out the Quilt and Craft Fair on Saturday! I enjoyed the woodworking display, I was mesmerized by the kaleidoscope eggs! And as always, the Canberra Quilters and the Modern Quilters displays were amazing! The shopping side of it though was a massive let down. There just seems to be less and less store holders there each year.

me, my niece and my mum, enjoying the craft show! (thanks for the pic Sophie!)

I didn’t leave empty handed though! I found the Scissorman and got another 3 pairs of little, sharp snips. I swear the sock monster likes these as well! I KNOW of several pairs of little scissors that are in this house, do you think I can find ANY when I need a pair? Nope! So its just a given, whenever I see the Scissorman, or any cute snips really, I grab a pair or three!

Scissors!

I also grabbed some swarovski crystals whilst I was there too. No idea what I’ll do with them, but they were cute!

And all that walking did nothing to my nieces energy levels, so a visit to the park afterwards was a given!

We hung out in the park for a bit. It was icy cold and windy! Our favs were the seesaw and the roundabout thing!

We kicked everyone out of the house Sunday morning and headed to Sydney for the P!nk concert!

P!nk

The rumors were all true, she puts on a spectacular show! With fire works and flying stunts and all kinds of rad things to see! It was hard to figure out what part of the stage to watch sometimes! This was a big bucket list tick!

P!NK singing “Just Like Fire” complete with fireworks!

And now I find myself madly dyeing all the things! I just minutes ago, pulled my converse shoes out of the washing machine, and they look spectacular! I did another tester pair of cheapy shoes too, so I am going to be forever wearing rainbow shoes! I painted a tie today aswell, but it doesn’t look like its appreciating the dyeing process and I might need to find another way to do that.

I took the leap and dyed a pair of converse. I still have a pair of high tops to dye.

I have a feeling my life is going to continue being insane for a while longer! I hope to have the converse finished to show you the results next week!

Until then, Have fun!

Paper towel flowers

Hey there!

Whilst I was making my wedding invitations I used a lot of paper towels to blot up excess dye. They looked so pretty I couldn’t throw them out, instead turning them into paper flowers.

This would be a great activity to get the kids doing! Especially after absorption experiments such as walking rainbows, colour mixing and colour separating. Personally, I just had tonnes of fun splashing dye around!

You will need :

  • paper towels
  • Food colouring
  • pipe cleaners
  • scissors
  • paint brushes/pipettes/spray bottle
  • jars or paint tray

To start, rip your paper towel off in squares. Then have fun colouring them. Use droppers to drop spots around, use brushes to brush colour on, use a spray bottle full of water to encourage the colours to move. Experiment. Have fun. I watered the dye down slightly, use glass jars, yogurt containers, plastic packaging to dillute colours in. If you need to move them around, be very careful as they will be fragile whilst wet. Leave them to dry before doing the next steps.

Once your towels are dry, make stacks of four.

take four paper towels
and make a stack

You will then need to concertina fold them. Fold all layers in about an inch along one side. Flip it over and fold it back the other way, the same distance as the last fold. Continue folding like this until you run out of paper to fold.

To begin the concertina fold, fold along one edge of the stack about an inch
flip it over and fold it back in the opposite direction
continue folding until you can’t fold anymore!

Using a pipecleaner, secure your papers by wrapping it around the center. Twist ends together.

Using the pipe cleaner, secure the folds by wrapping it around the middle
paper towels all secured with pipe cleaner

Cut the ends into a curve.

cut the ends so they are curved
and you should end up with something that looks a bit like this…

Gently tease the papers out. The paper towel I used was two-ply, so I separated those layers out too. You need to be very gently with this step as it is easy to tear the paper.

start gently teasing the papers out
gently tease all the layers out
gently tease and fluff out the layers, being careful not to rip the paper. Fluff until your happy with the results.

Fluff out the layers, and wala! you have a paper towel flower!

Make a bunch!

Use them as decorations, or make a bunch to give to some one special!

 

Colourful Wedding Invitations

The blog is turning into a bit of a “wedding blog” at the moment! It won’t always be that way, I promise! By the end of the year I will be married and will be able to focus on something different, but for now, I hope all my crazy wedding DIY projects still inspire you!

I have been madly working on our wedding invitations for weeks now. My inital plan was to throw something digital together and hit print at the local print shop. Alas, somewhere along the line, we decided to add a “handmade” touch to everything, and the messy journey started.

I have been playing with food dyes since the start of the year, using them to create little water colour designs. This set off a whole heap of experiments with different papers, splatter effects, drips etc.

We even pulled out a heap of paint and channeled Jackson Pollock for an evening.

In the end we settled for a wash of colour that transitioned from yellow to orange to red to purple to blue to green around the page. Once settled on a design I had 40~ wishing well cards and invitations to paint. Whew that was a lot of work! Took me a couple of weeks, doing a bit here and there! We had to stack books on top of the papers to get them to sit semi flat!

I used a lot of paper towels in the painting process, mostly to blot up excess dye and keep the area clean. I’m a sucker for waste and made them into paper flowers!

We found some wording that was suitable for the wishing well cards and printed that out. We also designed the wedding invitations and printed those. The paper we printed on has a tiny silver fleck through it! Looks awesome in real life!

Using double sided tape we stuck the printed pieces to the painted pieces. For the invitations I got a little fancy and did a zigzag stitch along the bottom for a little bit of an extra “Cate made this”!

To complete the invitations I also made a brochure with lots of extra wedding day information that didn’t go on the invite. I wrote about that last week.

On Sunday night, we layed them all out, made sure we had enough for everyone and hadn’t forgotten anyone, packaged them up, and sent them off into the world.

And with a sigh of relief, they were done!

People have already started receiving them in the mail, and RSVPs are starting to trickle in!

I’m off to keep sewing a dress! I’ll show you when it’s done!

Have a great week!