tie-dye fun with kids

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

After holding off for months on doing this project with the kids, they finally wore me down and we've ventured into tie dye territory. What the heck- it's another teacher in-service day. Might as well do something semi-educational.
We've had these Tulip Tie Dye Kits in "brights" and "moody blues" since the summer. I think I was dreading the mess, but we could have done the project outside then. We managed with trash bags laid out on the floor, but these are serious dyes. I was careless and stained my hands fairly permanently.
The kits each come with 4 squirt bottles of dye that you mix up from a powder. They are not stingy with the dye. No dipping involved with these kits. We had a couple of kids over and did 8 shirts and still had plenty of leftover dye. Unfortunately it does not have a long shelf life, so you can't keep it for later.
The kits come with rubber bands and suggestions for how to get different effects. The kids were more interested in just winging it.
After reading the directions more closely, we were disappointed to learn that we would not get instant gratification. The shirts had to be sealed up in bags for 6-8 hours before rinsing and laundering.
This is what they looked like the next day. Not as saturated as a true dipped tie-dying, but not bad!
À la Jackson Pollack.
Hey this swirly pattern based on the enclosed directions actually kind of worked!

fun with etsy treasuries

Thursday, November 4, 2010

All of us sellers on Etsy have to find ways to be found in the haystack of it all. One of the funnest ways is through curating your own and being featured in others' treasuries. It's sort of like creating a mix-tape was back in the day. You want to have variety, but for all the choices to work next to each other and together as a theme while at the same time showing off what good taste you have. And you can't include yourself in the group. But that's OK because if people think the collection is interesting, they click on the curator's shop out of curiosity. At least I do anyway!

All treasuries wind up here (or go to etsy.com > buy > treasury) and make their way up or down the ranks as time and number of views dictate. I've never made it higher than page 4. Some treasuries go viral, make it to page 1 for a spell, get tons of views and hopefully sales for the featured shops. Some get selected to be on Etsy's front page for part of a day which is a badge of honor for curators as well as the featured shops. I've never had either happen to me, but I did win a "treasury challenge " this week hosted by Curation Nation, a treasury making team! I'm not on the team, but sometimes I enter their challenges just for fun since they are open to all. The challenge was to make a holiday hostess gift guide of which half of the items needed to be from team members' shops. It was totally enjoyable and got me looking forward to party season. I'm going to buy a few of these too!
Rustic Raffia Wreath Balsam Fir Sachet by bstudio
Pineapple Rhubarb Jam by bovinebubbles
Daring Young Girl Blank Moleskine Journal by marysgranddaughter
Calendula Castile Handmade Soap by Blushie
Personalized wine identifiers by HattieRex
Screen Printed Organic Cotton Kitchen Towel by ohlittlerabbit
Ceramic Drink Coasters by GlazedOver
Recycled Silk Kimono Tree Ornaments by SewnNatural
Vintage Wooden Teardrop Bowl by DovieMoon
Bird with Ribbon Letterpress Cards Set by pistachiopress
Blackberry Sage Soy Wax Candle by aBreathofFrenchair 
Sock Monkey Magnets Set by katieleroy
Maple Granola with Dries Cherries & Spiced Walnuts by marasmaples
Ceramic Bottle/Bud Vase by khphillips
Raspberry Sables by zugarhaus
Betty Crocker Vintage 1959 Entertaining Book by MatildaFairDesigns

Or just click here to view the actual treasury.

I've heard of some people who habitually put together a treasury every single day. I'm not one of those. I like to do a "rough" in poster sketch first. Sleep on it. Tweak. Sleep on it. Start over. And so on. If I made one a day, I'd have no time to actually make stuff for my shop!

On that note, I'm going to head down to the studio to sew something...