Ah, the last minute Valentine’s Day scramble. It can turn into a frenzy of pink and red, ribbons and ruffles. Let’s all take a deep breath and survey our on-hand supplies carefully.
How to Make a Valentine’s Day Gift Topper from Diane Gilleland on Vimeo. Sister Diane at CraftyPod also has a roundup of Valentine’s projects on her blog right now.
Want a unique gift for the SO (significant other)? My friend Niki made her husband Ben this…. constant reminder of her.
She says “I made this pillow case with fabric I picked up from Walmart, but you could just as easily purchase one and add ribbon/trim (or not). I used Microsoft Publisher to add a border, text and clip art to my photo, printed it on Xfer paper (from Michael’s) and ironed it on.” Doesn’t Ben look happy?
Looking for an original way to give a bouquet of flowers? Try this tulips and candy combination from Martha Stewart.
One last one. Have you thought about crocheting some hearts? This pattern from Attic24 would go super fast.
It’s Earth Day! Which is odd only because normally Easter happens much earlier in the season, so it’s rare for the two to overlap. I’d love to talk more about Earth Day, but I’ve got to start on my own Easter dinner plans and decorations, so today I’m going to sit at the junction of both holidays and talk about natural dyeing.
There are a lot of advantages to using kitchen and garden-based dyes. They are generally easy to find and inexpensive. They are safe, meaning you can have them around kids and pets with little concern. You can use them in your regular cookware. When you are done you can compost the leftovers, and you have the assurance that anything that ends up in the water supply is safe. The colors may not be as bright as the artificial dyes, but they generally lovely and closer to actual spring colors.
One of the interesting things about dyeing with natural ingredients is that it can be done on a lot of materials. Yarn, roving, some fabrics, possibly hair, and definitely eggs. If you try eggs, please remember that most methods have you boil the eggs for 15 minutes in the dye, so if you want hard-boiled eggs you can kill two birds with one stone.
There are many different options, but for almost all of them you’ll want to have some vinegar handy. Below there are a few lists of suggested materials for dyes, but play around as well. You may find that the thing you were sure would be red ends up green, and the surprises are (pretty much) always fun.
About.com has a great list of materials by dye color.
What’s Cooking America has another list with more options.
Easter eggs! Egg salad! Deviled eggs! I’m getting ahead of myself! Before we talk about the wonderful things you can do with Easter eggs you have to… well, Easter-ize them. Here are a few of my favorite methods for getting pretty eggs:
Photo courtesy of Marielle Jordan
Dyeing using silk – In the above photo my friend Marielle used silk ties for the bottom three eggs and silk blouses for the top three.
Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com
Napkin decoupage on eggs
Washi paper covered eggs – See a beautiful example at http://www.flickr.com/photos/12163087@N04/2692105345/