Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Blast From the Past: Rit Dye

My husband & I have made attending a Mardi Gras ball in New Orleans an annual tradition. While it is so much fun to get all dolled up & head out for a night on the town, it is so difficult to find the perfect formal gown. Ladies, am I right?

Let me start by telling you about one particular gown disaster.....
For Mardi Gras 2012, I decided to order a beautiful, navy Monique Lhuillier bridesmaid dress. Keep in mind that the bridesmaid collection is much less expensive than the wedding gowns. The 1st issue was that I ordered it instead of trying it on. The 2nd issue was that is was strapless (not always the best look on me so I was anxious to get it in). And the 3rd and final issue was that when it arrived on my doorstep, my puppy Mardi opened the box, removed the bag from inside the box, removed the dress from inside the bag, and destroyed it. Think navy, silk swiss cheese. When I drove home that day anticipating trying on my beautiful new gown, I came around the corner where all I saw was white shredded FedEx box followed by bits & pieces of my gown strewn about in my front yard.

I was less than a week from leaving for New Orleans and dress-less. I ran to one of my favorite, (albeit very pricey), stores. All I can say is thank heavens that they were having a huge clearance sale. I bought the only dress they had in my size and rocked it 4 days later....I really didn't love it though.

This year for Mardi Gras, we are heading to D.C.  because a family friend is the "queen" of Mardi Gras. As the "queen", she will be dressed in white therefore nobody else can wear white. Yes, I realize how ridiculous this sounds but I am a little rule follower! In preparation for the big even, I had to buy a cocktail dress, a suit, and two formal gowns. Ouch! I took one look at my fateful white dress from 2012 and had a light bulb thought, "rit dye".

Didn't we all try to tie die t-shirts as kids and then consider making something hombre two years ago when it started hitting the runways? No? Am I the only one? Anway...
This is the dress in white:


I had to heat 3 gallons of water. It wasn't until this moment that I realized how much water that actually is.

Then wet the gown...yikes, here we go!

I added in Rit dye to the 3 gallons of water, then added 1 cup of vinegar to the mixture. I dropped in the gown and stirred it for 15 minutes. This is quite a workout, by the way.

Several summers ago I dyed my favorite yellow swimsuit & it turned our great. What could go wrong with a fully lined, intricately sewn silk gown you ask? Nothing! I basically got a beautiful gown for less than the price of a latte. Check it out!

I can't wait to post all of my pictures from our adventures at the D.C. Mardi Gras celebrations!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Orange You in Love With Color?

These were given to me about seven years ago by my mother in law. I believe she used to keep them on her back porch & I just thought they were so cool. Admittedly, I tried to do a "white wash" finish on one a few years ago that didn't turn out so well. With neutral still being a major trend in home decor, I was trying to follow suit. And, while I love the overall look, I am way too eclectic to not add a serious pop of color here & there.

There are two reasons why I selected orange as my pop of color. Number one is that my home office has orange accents that I just adore. Number two is because my husband & I throw an annual crawfish boil & I thought accenting with orange would be just the perfect accompaniment to my outdoor decor for that particular party.

Before you start a spray-painting project, you should know that spray-painting is uber-fun and ultra-addictive!

I made sure they were clean, snapped one last pic of them in their original form and got started with the primer.

After I got them primed, I was almost convinced that I needed to leave them white...almost.

The particular paint that I used actually contains a glossy finish and primer, (I doubled up on primer just to be safe since the iron was black). The combination means that it takes this paint a really long time to dry. It was a beautiful Saturday in January & I actually got a little hot. In between coats, I opened my fridge and delightfully found a real Coke (not diet!), in a bottle from when I took my niece & nephew to the World of Coke a few months ago. Needless to say, I highly recommend it as a way to pass the time as the paint dries :)

I literally gasped as the first stroke of spray paint hit the metal. I paused momentarily & then reminded myself that everything in life doesn't need to be a safe choice. Look at how adorable these turned out!!

My pups area always oh so curious about what I am doing the part of the yard they cannot access. The big fluffy one is Marlin & the little one peeking out of the dog house is Mardi.

And since I had all of my supplies out, I decided to paint this frame as well. I have had it stored in my craft room for over a year, not quite sure what to do with it. I want to paint something on the wall behind it. Any suggestions?

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