Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Favorite Moniker: Aunt J

It's true, I have a slight obsession with my eight (eight!) nieces & nephews. Five boys + three girls= lots of giggles & fun. I absolutely adore each & every one of them for the awesome little people that they are.
When my niece unpacks my suitcase at the beach & organizes my things in the bathroom or when my nephew touches the mole on my cheek with curiosity, it truly warms my heart. They are so, so dear to me.
I sometimes think about things like talking to them about their first boyfriend/girlfriend, watching them graduate from college, or making toasts at their weddings. It occurs to me that by that time, they probably won't think that I am very cool and I will likely annoy them by kissing their faces wearing too much lipstick and saying things like "I remember when you came to visit me when you were three & peed on my rug."  With that in mind, it is my goal to be the coolest aunt possible until that day comes.

I would be remiss if I did not mention my two precious aunts: Aunt Judy and Aunt Peggy. I finally understand why they think I am fabulous, even when I am not. They are always on my side and in my corner cheering me on and that is a very cool feeling. I am very lucky to have them both as well as a very special Great Aunt Mavis. Aunt Mavis has the sweetest spirit of anyone I have ever met! I love that she always wants to touch my face or hands because I see myself in her when I am around my nieces & nephews.

Since this summer has me running around like a crazy person, (anyone else feel this way?), I will simply share some pictures of two of my nephews that recently visited us in Atlanta. We had a blast!! My favorite keepsakes are always the videos that I take of them...but I like to keep those all to myself :)

 Legoland, of course!

World of Coke 4-D movie

Playing with Marlin & Mardi

  Playing at Peachtree DeKalb Airport playground 

The Georgia Aquarium is fabulous!

Playing teatherball with their uncle...it was much funnier to watch him try to play this game on his own though. I will give you a moment to visualize..... 

Playing in "Uncle Ance's" Jeep

 How on earth do I have a flesh & blood nephew that doesn't like to have his picture taken? 

Mardi made sure that everyone knew that I was her mama :)


P.S. Does he not look just like the kid from The Hangover?

After a long, fun-filled day, a nap was in store

After a long, fun-filled day, a fruity cocktail was also in store

A BIG thanks to my sis for travelling all the way to Atlanta with two little cuties just to see us.
Stay longer next time!!

If you are an aunt to a fabulous & funny kiddo or two, (or eight), check out Savvy Auntie on Facebook or visit http://savvyauntie.com/defaulthome.aspx

Monday, June 3, 2013

Turn Blush and Bashful Into Bold and Black...or Something Close to That

A dear friend of mine, loyal blog follower and donor of a few thing that I have re-purposed, started asking me questions about the Rit dye project I did for Mardi Gras. She ruined a silk dress a while back by spilling a tiny bit of red wine on it and then tried to use club soda to remove it, which is apparently a no-no for silk.
She wanted to give it the old bridesmaids do-over, aka: dye it black. We all say that we're going to dye those dresses black but do we? No! Should we? Absolutely! I would like to take this moment to thank my very best friend, Ginger, for selecting a (beautiful) black bridesmaids dress to begin with. :)
I was going to show my friend how to do it but with both of our busy schedules and my general aptitude for lounging on the couch on Sunday afternoons, it wasn't looking like that was going to happen. So, I offered to do it for her whenever the mood struck me. Incidentally, she liked the dress so much that she ordered it in its original color so, if I mess this one up, it won't be that bad, right?
This is the dress in its original form. I have to say, it is even prettier in person.
And this is the stain.
Can you see it? Me either :)
The keys to success with any dye job you ask? A great big tub, rubber gloves and following directions. That's it! I swear it!
Wet the garment in warm water
Heat 3 gallons of water (for every 1 lb. of fabric) & pour into your large tub with pre-mixed color remover
Place the garment in the color remover bath
After 15 minutes the color lifted to this baby pink color
I gave it another 5 minutes but this was as light as it would go
In a large sink or bathtub, give the garment a gentle bath in woolite
Since the garment is already wet, you can immediately dye it
This time, I used the liquid dye in the bottle vs. the powder dye that you have to mix. While I liked the ease of use, this garment only required "half" of a bottle. Not wanting to pour black dye into any of my measuring cups, I was left to guess how much was half.
Note to Rit Dye: Please make a clear strip along the side of your bottle so one can easily see the "half" mark. Thanks!
 After 5 minutes, add 1 cup of vinegar to the dye bath (for silk)
A beautiful, deep color saturated the dress in about 8 minutes. I stirred for a total of 20 minutes which allowed me to skip the gym.
I forgot to mention earlier that you need another smaller container to transport the garment from your sink to your laundry room, bathroom or wherever you are dying. You don't want this to drip on your floors!
I hung it up to dry overnight. I placed a drip pan underneath and used a dry cleaning bag to protect my cabinets. It looked like a very even dye job.......
The next morning, however, I realized that it was actually purple!
I think this may be due to two factors:
1. The dress would only lift to a light pink vs. white
2. I couldn't tell if I was using enough dye since the Rit Dye bottle isn't see-through
Also, the stitching remained pink. The Rit Dye website said that this happens sometimes due to the way the stitching itself is dyed. I actually think having a different color stitching is pretty cute.
Alas, my friend & I both wanted to make this dress black so, I tried it again.
As you may can tell, it actually didn't turn out black like we had hoped.
It is, however, a lovely deep shade of purple, much deeper than the original color I achieved.
Mishaps are a reality of crafting and a regular occurance in my projects. Isn't it fun to experiment to try to figure out how to remedy a problem? With a healthy mix of creativity and flexibility, I am telling you, you can do this. It is so, so easy!
Speaking of wedding season, have you checked out Vera Wang's black bridal collection? She's kind of a genius!
In case you are thinking of giving a dress in your closet a bridesmaids do-over, here are tips from the Rit Dye website:
Rit works best on many natural, washable fabrics and materials, such as:
  • 100% cotton, linen, silk, wool, ramie
  • Synthetics such as rayon and nylon
  • Fiber blends with at least 60% cotton or other dyeable fiber
  • Natural materials such as wood, wicker, paper, feathers and cork
There are fabrics and materials that will NOT accept dye such as ...
  • 100% polyester, acrylic, acetate, fiberglass, spandex and metallic fibers
  • Fabrics with rubber backing
  • Fabrics with special finishes such as water repellents
  • Fabrics with bleach damage or extensive staining
  • Fabrics washable only in cold water or labeled "dry clean only"
  • Polyethylene plastics such as golf discs
  • Polycarbonate plastics such as eyeglass frames
I picked up two adorable lamps for a very cheap price. I absolutely loved the mint green color that they came in but they needed to be changed to fit the room I bought them for. Well, that and you know how much I love to spray paint!
Tape all around the base and the cord
Then tape a plastic bag over the top
Tip: Before spraying your items, use wax paper as a barrier to avoid any sticking to towels & such
You know, I always pause to re-consider my color choice after I use primer because I think everything looks great in white!
The Finished Product!
I am starting spray-painters anonymous very soon....

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