Monday, November 23, 2009

To Dye For

As I've mentioned before, I absolutely love SisterDiane of CraftyPod, and every day I am reminded why. She tweeted about a nifty tissue paper craft she spotted over on Things to Make and Do. She said she was "Ready to blow off my entire to-do list and spend the day making tie-dye tissue paper," so I knew it had to be extra-good. I tweeted back, "I will if you will," and she took me up on the deal. The race was on and I went straight for the finish line! Here is the result of all that tweetin':

Even though my folding prowess stinks; I was too lazy to put the dye into bowls and took a short cut by dripping the dye directly on to the tissue paper; got it a little too wet on one corner so it ripped;

and I have multi-colored fingers;

I would say the results were not too shabby.

Cool, eh?

Oh, yeah! The tissue paper was recycled from the packaging of a prize I won by entering a contest on Diane's mother's (Pam) Web site, Gingerbread Snowflakes. So in a way her unintended gift will keep on giving because I'll be wrapping someone's Christmas present with it.

Thanks, Diane, for getting me off my duff and inspiring me to go make some art!

Friday, November 6, 2009

What to do with those sample books?

I come across these fabric sample books ALL THE TIME, and every time I do I think, "Banners, bags and pillows, oh, my!"

I have accumulate quite a few of these and only made one thing, a little bag with a handle (I'm embarrassed to post a picture). Wait, I lied. I did try a small rug once, but that was a disaster. I think the best idea for these large fabric swatches came from a woman who was shopping at my favorite thrift store. I spotted her with a couple of them and simply had to know what she had in store for them, so I asked.

She told me she was an activity director at a nursing home and likes to use the pieces to make those nifty banners everyone seems to be hanging these days. It touched my heart when she went on to explain how she puts them to use. Besides using them to spruce up the residents' rooms or to decorate for parties, there are times when the residents need to stay in their rooms temporarily, while the hallways are being mopped or vacuumed, for instance. Some of them don't have all of their mental faculties, and it doesn't take much to get them turned around to where they should be, so the banners are placed across the doorways (with tape so they easily fall away and not hurt anyone). When the resident sees the "barrier," they stop in their tracks and go back the other way. Clever.

This particular sample book measures 10" x 11", which seems perfect for banners. There is usually cardboard adhered to one side, but it can be sewn through and act as a stabilizer of sorts. Then there's the sometimes difficult task of taking the book apart. But with names such as Red Pepper, Coral Sea, Sunglow and Buttercup, it's well worth the effort!