Happy Easter

I hope you all enjoyed a safe and happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I spent mine with my family, painting mum and dads dining room.

We spent three days prepping and painting it.

Day 1 – Wash, wash, wash the walls. And fixing up holes.
Day 2 – We painted the ceiling with two coats of paint!
Day 3 – we painted the walls. We left the architrave for mum to finish.

We managed to fit some down time in amongst all the painting! My mum, my sister and myself had a small dyeing session. My mum dyed two shirts for herself, whilst me and Jodie dyed a pair of converse each.

Jodie dyeing her shoes
Me painting my shoes
Mum dyeing a shirt
results drying on the line
our shoes

Jodie had this amazing pair with iridescent toe and heel. I thought the pink and purple combination went well with the sparkles!

I still have another pair of shoes to dye, but I’m still trying to decide what colours they should be! I think some colour swatching is in call.

Lets not forget about the epic food that always happens when family gets together! Mum had most of the dinners sorted before we even arrived! Tuna mornay, lasagna and roast pork! Whilst Guy had us sorted for breakfasts!

It’s a bit of a tradition to light our mud oven at Easter and to have wood fired pizza for a lunch! We then cooked a pork roast and potatoes in it!

pizza cooking in our mud oven
Dad cooking pizzas. This is always a collaborative effort. Mum made dough, Guy assembled the pizzas and Dad gets the oven ready and cooks the pizza.

Another tradition is drinking baileys out of Easter eggs!

Baileys in Easter eggs – it has become a tradition!

Now for a short week of work for the last of school holidays, and back to a normal routine next week!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was my birthday last Friday! And I have been in celebration mode all week!

The day started early, getting up to have breakfast with Guy before heading off to do the morning shift! I donned my sparkly converse and pleather jacket and off I rode on my bike!

Riding to work in style!

I had a “chicken burger friday” date with Guy for lunch. The cafe at his work used to do an amazing fried chicken burger with pineapple relish. Alas, I got there, only to realise they had taken it off the menu and replaced it with a sub-par grilled chicken burger! Still, was pretty awesome to be able to have lunch with Guy, that doesn’t happen often!

I only had a small amount of time between the morning shift, chicken burger Friday date and the afternoon shift, but I made the most of it! I filled it with something that never fails to make my heart hum! Sewing hexagons!! I’ve been collecting fabrics with a lot of texture – they have come in the forms of skirts, dresses, jackets, pants and shirts so far.

Making hexagons on my birthday!

I had an amazing pair of velvet pants, but I hated the cream colour, so whilst I had the dyes out last week, I threw some dye on them as well. I love them and they are going to look fantastic in this new hexagon quilt!

a pair of deconstructed velvet pants await the dye treatment!
the velvet pants marinating in their dyes (The finished fabric is the hexagons in the above photo)

Guy got me a copy of the new Lego Movie 2 PS4 game. But of course we couldn’t play it without first seeing the movie! So we went to the mall for dinner and a movie!

And then the celebrations spilled over into the rest of the weekend. We stayed in the city Saturday night. Setting up the PS4 to play the Lego game. We had an amazing four course dinner at Courgette, which was epic, to say the least! Then Sunday morning we finished off the celebrations with pancakes at the Pancake Parlor!

Heading off for Birthday dinner!

We also managed to hit up the Green Sheds free clothes bins for some denim jeans to add to the up-cycling pile!

Yeah, I’m pretty spoilt!

And now school is on holidays, so I’m working longer days at my “day job” which hasn’t left me much room to be super creative. I’ve been trying to get a pair of up-cycled denim overalls finished, but it just hasn’t happened yet!

The beginnings of my up-cycled denim overalls
The pants part of my overalls. I have made the bib and back, I just need to attach them to the pants.

We are also digging up the garden and getting ready for winter crops. We harvested one of our sweet potato plants! It came up in one big tangle!

Sweet potato tangle!

Easter is also on our doorstep. I’ll be heading home to help Mum and Dad paint their dining room. My sister has suggested we try and squeeze some dyeing in there as well!

Hopefully I’ll have something finished to share with you next week! (hopefully its the overalls haha !)

Until then – Have a very happy and safe Easter!
<3 Cate

Dye Experiments

We got a spare bed for Guys study a couple of weeks ago. Its basically a single bed with two single mattress, the base pulls out so the mattress can be placed side by side to form a king sized bed. We were brainstorming the best ways to cover it for ever day use as a day bed. The room is painted lime green with white trim, the curtains are black/grey/teal/lime green. I suggested an ice dye could be a fun addition, and so the experimenting began!

I ordered a box of dye, found some fabric, and got my dye experimenting on!

Ice dyeing on a lovely sunny autumn day

First up I tried ice dye. I tied my fabric in various ways, laid them on cake coolers in the bottom of a box, layered it with ice, then sprinkled dye over the top. I put the lid on the box and left in in the sun. And waited. The waiting is the worst with tie dye! You want to know if it turned out now! But know the longer you leave it the better it will be!

Ice dye results

The idea behind having cake coolers in the bottom of the box was that the ice would melt and drain away from the fabric. But I miss calculated the volume of liquid the ice would turn into, and the fabric was left sitting in the muck anyways. It wasn’t a complete fail, I was pretty happy with the results for my first go at ice dyeing, although I do have a lot more experimenting to do before I commit to a large enough piece of fabric to cover a single bed!

This is the room and bed we are looking at making a cover for. Currently the bed has a teal sheet coveing it, but we want to make a cover out of some more robust material. I’ve found this lovely cotton/linen blend that is almost like a soft canvas.

Whilst I think about the ice dyeing process and how to get better results next time, I’ve been doing some other dyeing as well.

Guy sold a pair of shoes I dyed as practice before dyeing our converse. He had so many inquiries about them, but they were the wrong size for most people. It made us realize that there are plenty of people out there who would love their very own pair of hand dyed shoes! So I grabbed another couple of pairs of canvas shoes from Kmart and tried out different colour combinations. I think I have this shoe dyeing thing down pat!

these shoes are still drying after pulling them out of the washing machine this morning. The dark blue rinsed out more than I was expecting.

And then I was bitten by the dyeing bug and couldn’t stop. I have a stash of white bed sheets, which, after our recent clean outs, found there way into “Cate’s up-cycle pile” yay! I ripped one into some smaller pieces and have started working my way through “Orizomegami” a book written by Kristin Lawson, published by Artwear Publications. It has been a good way to get started and I’m slowly seeing where or how I could change bits to make them look different.

A rainbow spiral

I’m looking forward to stitching back into some of these pieces. I envision my hand dyes being used in quilting. The sheet I used obviously has some polyester content, it came out more muted than I would expect 100% cotton to dye and you can clearly see the warp has not taken any dye.

I have so many projects on the go at the moment. The lounge room is covered in bits of cut up denim as I work to up-cycle some jeans into a pair of overalls. And I need to make a birthday present for my niece!

I’m loving dyeing so much, my set up has expanded to take up most of the laundry cupboard, there are things drying in front of the dining areas windows and on the backs of chairs!

So for my next trick, I’m going to dye a pair of pants I want to up-cycle! I’m sure I’ll share the results in the coming weeks 🙂

Have a creative week, and I’ll be back next week with some more obscure art projects I’m working on 😀

<3 Cate

Turning Mens Shirts into Paint Smocks…

After Guy cleaned out his cupboard, I was left with a bunch of his work shirts that didn’t fit anymore. Work is in need of paint smocks for the children, so it made sense to grab them to use as paint smocks.

In the past I just rolled the sleeves up, put them on the children backwards and buttoned up the top button. But I thought they might be a little more child friendly with a few alterations.

I started with an average men’s shirt. These were all size XL

I cut off the collar

cut off the collar

I cut off the cuffs above the button detail.

Cut off the sleeves above the button detail

I removed all the buttons and put them aside. They might come in useful another day.

The shirt looks a bit like this. The sleeves are off and so is the collar. I removed the buttons because I might be able to use them in another project someday.

I bound the sleeves and collar with fold over elastic, pulling it slightly as I went.

I bound the sleeves with fold over elastic. Pulling it slightly as I went

At the neck area I left a very small gap where the fronts meet and continued around with the elastic.

For the collar, I started in a few inches from the edge
I used the elastic to join the two edges together. I left a gap between the edges. When sewing the elastic in the gap, make sure you are still pulling it, this will make sure the stitching doesn’t break when it is stretched in use.

And wala! A paint smock from a shirt!

The back of the shirt becomes the front of the paint smock
The front of the shirt becomes the back of the paint smock

Hopefully they do the job!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate