Monday, January 19, 2015

Watermark Tee Tutorial: Glue Batik

I've made it my goal for 2015 to blog at least once a week (on Sunday). As I've been searching for content to share on the blog, it occurred to me that I've never shared my "Watermark Tee" tutorial on my own blog. This was originally a project that I shared on the blog, UCreate. It has been, hands-down, my most popular project. I still get regular traffic from the post I shared on Kari's blog. I even won a Silhouette with this little project. For some reason, though, I've never shared it on my own blog.

It seems like, 3 years later, it's about time.

This really is a fun little project that is pretty easy to get supplies for. A lot of people have contacted me and let me know that it was the perfect project for their kids/grandkids or to make t-shirts for an event. It's cheap, easy, and a lot of fun. Sounds great, right?!

What I love about this project is that it's completely customizable. I used favorite quotes to decorate my shirt but you could also use song lyrics, bible verses, favorite book excerpts, etc. You can also choose whatever color you like. I think it would be a very kid-friendly project as well. There are so many possibilities! 


Elmer's Blue Gel Glue (it must be the blue gel, white won't work)

Fabric Dye (RIT is my tried and true brand)

A white cotton Tee, Tank, Dress etc


If you're unfamiliar with Batiking, it's a method of dyeing fabric in which you create a design with a dye- resist. When you dye your garment in cold water, all will be colored except where you've placed your dye resist. In traditional batiking, you would use wax as a resist. I tried this out and found it to be messy and difficult to control. Using store bought glue is much more convenient and very easy to control. 

Step 1: Prepare

Wet your tee with cool water and place a water resistant board between the layers of fabric. I used the lid of a bin.

Step 2: Design

 I'm not much of an artist, so what worked best for me was writing favorite quotes right across the front of the shirt.

This quote was found via Pinterest


You could also try drawing a simple design like my very amateur sailboat:

Let dry completely. This will take several hours. 

Step 3: Dye 

Your dye bath should be prepared using cool water. Experiment with different amounts of dye until you find the right concentration. Keep in mind that the color that comes out of the dye bath will be a couple of shades darker than the dry, finished garment. 

When you get the color you want, lay your tee flat to dry. 

Step 4: Wash

When your tee is dry (to let the dye set) soak it in cool, soapy water for about 15 minutes. This soak washes the extra glue out. Throw it in the washer and dry as you would normally.

Step 5: Wear and Enjoy!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Zinc Letters: Anthropologie Inspired

We've all seen those beautiful zinc letters from Anthropologie with just the right amount of industrial charm. For $18 a pop, I decided to pass on the real thing, but I did make myself a nice cheap knock-off. 

Anthro's version: $18 each

My version: $3 each

Starting with some $2 cardboard letters from Hobby Lobby, I used an Exacto knife to cut a little slot for each brad. I thought the brads gave the letters a little more authenticity, like they had been welded together or something,

Once each brad was in place, each letter got a double coating of Krylon Stainless Steel.

I used a black chalkboard paint for "grease" and a copper acrylic paint for "rust" to give each letter its own character. 

 Brushing off almost all the paint on to a plate before touching the letter helped me not to over do the distressing. 

I focused on the corners and edges, to give the letters a more "worn" look. 

By the end, I swear they looked like real metal. For now, I'll let them add a little industrial charm to the top of my mirror. Maybe they'll give me the nudge I need to pick up a book every now and then and work on that growing stack on my nightstand. I always have good intentions when I buy a book. 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Greetings, 2015

I love the fresh feeling of a new year, full of possibility. This is one that I've particularly been looking forward to. Not only am I almost back to 100% following my MPFL surgery, but I'm planning a wedding! My high-school sweetheart, Brandon, proposed in the sweetest possible way. He organized an Italian dinner under an umbrella with pictures of us through the years streaming down, tickets to my favorite musical, Les Mis, and a champagne after-party with my family. Talk about romantic. He's the one who is usually behind the camera in all of my posts and my biggest supporter.

After our engagement, we took some pictures with our photographer, Jillian Zamora. Check her out if you're in the DFW area. And if it's alright with you, I'm going to shamelessly share some of the beautiful pictures she took.

Yep, 2015 is going to be a good year. I can't wait to finally marry this handsome fellow at our February Austin wedding. I have a feeling 2015 is going to bring other great things too. One of my New Year's resolutions is to start blogging regularly again. I can't wait to share with you!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

MPFL Reconstructive Knee Surgery

What a crazy year it has been! When I say year, I'm referring to this past school year. I successfully finished my first year as a teacher! I have had such a wonderful experience as a first-year teacher and have had so many supportive co-workers to help me along the way, but they're not lying when they tell you first year is the hardest. I have met and grown close to some of the best people in this position, and I am so excited to start my second year in with all of the skills and knowledge I've gained over the last 10 months!

Meanwhile, I'm taking some time to relax with a little extra weight to drag around, hence the giant mass that is my right leg.

Yesterday, I went in for a Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstructive Surgery, or MPFL for short. I've had an issue that started when I was very young where my patella will go out of place without any warning. My doctor was able to see the that my femoral groove is exceptionally shallow, and after that first fateful dislocation, my MPFL just hasn't been able to keep it in place properly.  Each displacement over the years has resulted in a hard fall and usually some bumps or bruises to show for it. It even happened last summer when I was dressed for a formal night on a cruise. I was wearing a cocktail dress and heels. When I fell my dress flipped right up, giving everyone behind me a nice little show. (;

Needless to say, I'm excited to rid myself of this issue and move on with a little more peace of mind. I'm ready to enjoy an active lifestyle without worrying about my knee constantly. Here's a picture of me from a recent trip to San Francisco with a dear friend. We hiked downhill into Muir Woods, and I couldn't help but look at my feet the whole time to make sure I was being extra careful. A tumble down a mountain would not have been pretty!

And so here we are on the day of surgery about to go into the operating room! I'm trying to hide my nerves with a smile, but really I was pretty scared. Thankfully, Brandon was there to hold my hand and give me a kiss before they wheeled me in. 

Here's the before picture of my knee. I haven't been able to see what it looks like now yet. In a couple of days, I should be able to take off the dressing and take a real shower. Woo hoo! (:

 This is precisely what I look like right now. I'm lucky that my dad has this nice recliner. It's perfect for giving my leg a little elevation. 

Of course, I've got my little buddy by my side. It's funny how dogs seem to know when you're not a 100%. He's been sleeping right along side me, surely willing me to get better soon. (: 

I'd appreciate your good thoughts and prayers to a speedy recovery! If you have any advice on how to avoid going completely stir-crazy, please let me know! This whole reclining, reading, watching t.v., surfing the web thing will only be fun for so long! 


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