pink and a thingamabob...

and then i decided to go back to the fabric store and get more fabric and dye and do another color...i decided on pink...
this time i got some of the off-white color to see how it would dye, that is what i used for the pink one.

i used the same process as i described before, here it is wet, i used RIT petal pink for this. it always looks darker when it's wet, here i think it looks kind of coral, but this is at night as well.
here it is dry, the next day

 and here are the two i gave as gifts, finished edges. i just turned the edges under twice and zigzagged them.  they are light and airy blankets, just right for a summer baby:)  hope my friend enjoys them. (and although the purple looks bigger, it's not, just not folded as tight.  also, the thread i used on the purple was actually an apple green, not olive like it looks in the pic:)

and here's a thingamabob that i saw at DI one day and couldn't leave there. it was $4, i am assuming it used to be some kind of jewelry display rack or something.

it rotates around, really smoothly actually even though it's got some rust.

see the rust? (and my messy counter...yep, keeping it real)

here it is after i primed with Kilz, my fav primer

then i used leftover spray paint, two different shades of gray, one valspar and one rustoleum i believe. the rod that goes in the middle, is darker than the "cage" with all the racks.

and what did i use it for????

a THREAD HOLDER!!! i spruced up a spice rack here to hold thread, but it wasn't super functional for me, so i decided to do this instead. i used paint sticks (from walmart) and cut them down with junky scissors to the length i wanted (in this case, the racks were about 6 inches long so i cut them to 6 1/4 inches), and just laid them down on the racks. because they over hang the rack, i didn't need to secure them onto the racks.  then i just set my thread up on them! i love that it spins!

 this was a fantastic idea i saw online somewhere, sorry i can't give a reference, but using magnets to keep bobbins in place, not strewn about.  i first tried just thin magnets (old magnetic business card type things) and they weren't strong enough for the bobbins. then i found i still had some of these SUPER strong, small magnets so i glued those onto the sticks (if i didn't glue them on, they would make a bid for sticking to the rack instead of the bobbin!).
here are two of the bobbins sharing a magnet....ah....so nice:)

i am excited about my new thread holder! and i have room to grow...always a great thing!  and it only cost $4, since i had the paint and magnets and the paint sticks are free.


2 in 1

lots of ideas out in bloggity blogland are awesome and i want to try them...today i am trying 2, in the same project! Look out, world! i know!!! crazy huh?

not really, but we'll pretend.

so these cotton gauze swaddling blankets that are so amazing and large and useful especially in the summer or in AZ period, can be bought at Target but then i saw this idea on MADE (wow, i really like that Dana) to make your own cotton gauze swaddling blanket!!! awesome.  and a friend of mine just had her baby yesterday, 2 weeks early, and when i asked her what she might want, she said some lightweight swaddling blankets...ding ding ding!!!

so i went to joann's...and let me interject, i am not really a snap judgement type person...i really love to give people the benefit of the doubt and i even really like it when people surprise me.  but sometimes thoughts slip in, like when i saw the guy at the cutting counter in Joann's, i might have thought, "i'm not sure how much help this guy is going to be, finding the fabric i need" and i didn't like that thought, but there aren't many guys in joann's, especially at the cutting counter, with tattoos etc. but i asked him where the cotton gauze might be, and do you know what??? he knew just where it was!!!!  good job, guy at joann's for knowing your store and for surprising me when i had no right to think any judgement in the first place! good job!

i digress, so i found the fabric, it was reasonable per yard, so i got enough to make 2 blankets and then Lo AND Behold, the heaven's opened and in the circular for Joann's that's by the door...there was a golden 50% coupon! talk about making my day! i should have bought more! 

anyway, got the fabric. washed it. got the RIT dye at Walmart (which is oddly placed by the bleach and fabric detergent), and went to work. 

i referenced these tutorials by Dana at MADE (here and here), these tips from This Mama Makes Stuff and these tips from Delia at Delia Creates.

there is nothing contradictory in what they are saying, just a couple of differences in method.  i went with boiling some of the water, that Delia suggested, rather than just doing all hot tap water.  side effect: water was so hot i couldn't get my hands in there for the first rounds of squishing and waiting but i made do with my ladle:) decided to use a metal implement instead of wood, so i wouldn't be dyeing one of my wooden spoons... but i did think that using the boiling water helped the dye absorb quickly into the fabric.

 gloves are a good idea. i let the fabric steep in the dye for 5 minute intervals and then would go and swish it around, squish it with my ladle or hands, working the dye into it more. then let it steep again for 5 mins.  after about 15 minutes, i went to 10 min intervals until the fabric had been sitting in the dye bath for about an hour or so.  that's when i decided to stop, you can certainly let it sit for longer, but, as you might have guessed, i'm an impatient crafter sometimes:)
then you RINSE the youknowwhat out of the fabric, with as HOT of water as your hands can stand, until only trace amounts of color run off.

yellow was first, here it is rinsed, sitting beside it's white cousin

purple dye bath (darker color = more prone to stain sink, clothes, hands etc.)

A LOT more rinsing with the purple, LOTS!

Then i washed them separately from each other, in a very small load, with a couple of things of like colors.  one wash in HOT water, one wash in COLD water for each blanket. then dried them, still separated. i feel confident with all the rinsing and washing i've done, that in the future they will be fine to be washed with other items in a regular load.

i am LOVING purple lately and i LOVE yellow....but i am just not feeling them together, for my friend who i will give them to.  so we may go back to the store for more supplies (twist my arm! go back to the fabric store??? crazy talk:)) and i'll try another dye bath...maybe turquoise or pink this time:)

here they are after they were washed (twice) and dried.

as you can see the purple one faded QUITE a bit, which is fine, i was hoping it would lighten up some anyway...although in the spirit of full disclosure, it did dye a little splotchy, i think i'll put it back into a purple dye bath and see if that evens it out:)  after that i just need to hem them...and maybe do another one in a different color:) fun to experiment and try new things!


Meet our New Friends...

the kids have been earning paper fish in a large poster board fishbowl for a while, by being good at church....and when they arrived at 10 paper fish then we told them we would buy them some real fish.  so last night, we did.

the tank we bought

 blake's fish elmo..of course:)

 Ethan's fish Jack

avery's fish Abby (fittingly, she's the smallest of the fish)

another picture to illustrate the different colors the tank can turn...the kids have it on a setting where it rotates through all the colors.

they love them. they cluster around the fish and just stare at them and talk to them. "play" with them, as they call it. i just hope the tank doesn't get knocked off the counter!  our first adventure in "pets" :):)


to think about...

I read a few general conference talks lately.  There were some thoughts in them that I wanted to document and save; More for myself than anything. ***Please know: None of these tidbits are "cries for help" or a roundabout way of asking for help for myself. Mostly they were things that really resonated with me that I wanted to remember and share.  Perhaps they are words or thoughts that you'd enjoy as well...

One talk was by Ronald A. Rasband called Special Lessons

"Put simply, this life is training for eternal exaltation, and that process means tests and trials. It has always been so, and no one is spared."

"Trusting in God’s will is central to our mortality. With faith in Him, we draw upon the power of Christ’s Atonement at those times when questions abound and answers are few."

"Thus another special lesson learned: If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if they need help—or would it be better to just jump in and save them from the deepening waters? The offer, while well meaning and often given, “Let me know if I can help” is really no help at all."

Quoting President Monson
“God bless all who endeavor to be their brother’s keeper, who give to ameliorate suffering, who strive with all that is good within them to make a better world. Have you noticed that such individuals have a brighter smile? Their footsteps are more certain. They have an aura about them of contentment and satisfaction … for one cannot participate in helping others without experiencing a rich blessing himself.”

John 14:27 
“My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The second talk I read was by President Monson entitled The Race of Life 

He quotes William Wordsworth:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting...

Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Hebrews 12:1 
"...let us run with patience the race that is set before us."

"It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding."

These words of men whom I sustain as prophets and apostles give me hope and strength. They help me to know that I am not alone, that everyone has trials and heartache.  But there is a way that our trials and our hurt can be made right. I know, for me, it's not immediate or even quick. It's long and it's hard.  I hurt.  Everyday.  But everyday I hurt a little less, because of the Gospel, because of the fantastic children Heavenly Father has blessed me with.  Because of an amazing partner to endure with.  Because of Him who knows all my hurt and all my pain and worry.

So how am I doing? My standard answer is, I'm alright.  And I am. I am here.  I am learning...through grief. And we are trying to find our joy again.