Saturday, March 17, 2012

Upcycled tee shirt

Great rainy day to stay inside and do some DIY projects, catch up on reading and recorded TV shows such as Smash which I am really enjoying and relishing that I have four to watch.  It's so much fun to be able to watch more than one episode at a time.  Anyway... thought I'd try my hand at making a scarf out out an old tee shirt.  Have you seen them?  I have some pinned on Pinterest and here is the link the original DIY video.

 I decided to make it my own by dying both silk and the tee shirt cotton fabric and combining them together to make an original funky no-sew scarf.  Here's my DIY instructions and my first finished scarf...voila!

Hand dyed silk and cut up cotton tee shirt
I gathered different kinds of white silk like china, gauze and chiffon and a bunch of old tee shirts that I saved from various 5K fund raising races where I got so called free tee shirts when registering.

White vinegar is the mordant I used.

I soaked all the fabric (silk and cotton tees) in a mixture of vinegar and water for 1/2 hour

I tied up some of the fabric and others not.

I mixed up acid dyes and put it in a gallon size zip lock baggie along with the fabric.  Acid dyes are best for silk and wool which are animal fibers; you really should use protein dyes for vegetable fibers like cotton.  But acid dyes were all I had so the dyes did not take to the cotton as intensely as they did to the silk.

Make sure that all the air is out of the baggie, zip it and put it in the microwave for 1 minute.  Check it and push the air out of it.  Repeat 4 or 5 times.

Rinse the fabric in cool water and use some Synthropol which is a gentle detergent.   I then put everything in the dryer.

various shades of gray

Cut off the hem of the tee shirt and then cut horizontal strips about 1" wide .  Stretch the strips to make narrow bands.

Assemble the scarf to your liking.  Enjoy.

A nutritious and delicious dinner

My BFFs and long time friends Erin and Amalia came over for dinner last night.  We get together for a 'girl's night in' at least once a month and have been doing so for years now.  Last night Amalia brought her two awesomely well behaved sons Elias and Joshua since her husband Robert had a last minute opportunity to go skiing at Mammoth.  We were going to order out (or is it order in?) but I told them  that I had lots of food in my frig and that I'd make dinner.  

So without going to any trouble at all, I made a nutritious and delicious dinner for us girls while Amalia heated up mini frozen pizzas for the boys. 

Dinner - Quinoa with fresh kale & cranberries, chicken, grilled tomatoes, beets, carrots & yams.

Grilled tomatoes are so delicious and so easy.  These are Trader Joe's mixed cherry tomatoes.  Just add a bit of olive oil and some coarse salt.  I added some fresh rosemary too.  Grill in a hot 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Trader Joe's now carries these thinly sliced fresh chicken breasts which is such a better size than those "honkin" big ones.  I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper and then dipped each one in a lightly beaten egg white and then in a bread crumb mixture that I made by:   combining in my Cuisinart about 1 cup bread crumbs with about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese and handful of the nuts that I made the other day.   I grilled these in a bit of olive oil on a high heat.  It just takes a few minutes on each side and then voila...!  You can tent them in foil until the rest of the dinner is ready.

Ok, this doesn't look all that appetizing in the pan but it really was delicious and oh so healthy.  First I made some quinoa - I buy that black and white version from Trader Joe's.  In the meantime, I soaked some dried cranberries in a mixture that came to mind of tamari, rice vinegar and agave.  The tamari was a little too salty so next time I'd use less or maybe add some orange juice.  I sauteed some fresh, chopped kale that my friend Antoinette dropped off the other day fresh from her garden (she has the greenest thumb of anyone I've ever met).  Then I added the quinoa and the sauce to the sauteed kale.  Antoinette brought me a fresh beet too so I roasted that along with a yam and some carrots at 400 degrees.  I put these veggies in at the same time as the cherry tomatoes but the beet took the most time at almost an hour.

Amalia enjoying dinner
Beth and Erin
After all that healthy stuff how about a delicious tiramisu cake that Erin picked up at Whole Foods.  Joshua and Elisa look pretty happy about it...heck, so do Erin and Amalia!!
Elias relaxing with Oliver and Juma
Erin and her Chewwy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Remember the hat

While on vacation in Hvar Island, Croatia my girlfriend Boni and I came upon a charming, old world, upstairs art gallery/shop where we each splurged on handmade hats. After lunch we boarded our rented catamaran and sailed away to our next island adventure but before we were even squared away, Boni's brand new hat blew overboard and was gone forever. I managed to hold on to mine but felt a little guilty. None the less, we'll have the memories of all the fun we had in the shop trying on all the various hats and finally deciding on our selection.  While at the shop I was captured by the simple beauty of a rustic vase of dried flowers sitting on the old brick windowsill with an artsy "curtain" behind made from circles strung together.
For the Day 18 Beyond Layers challenge, I converted this image to B&W and used Kim's Aurora texture.
Shot taken in gallery/shop on Hvar Island, Croatia - converted to B&W in Photoshop

Beth and Boni modeling those gorgeous hand made hats

George and Boni

Beth wearing her new hat

Beth, Valeta, Vernon, George, Boni and Joe at a cafe on Hvar Island, Croatia

We captained and crewed a catamaran that we rented from Moorings and sailed the Dalmatian coast.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pearls on postcards

Another image transformed to B&W using some of the techniques learned at Beyond Layers Day 18.   I used a layer mask to let the red of the postage stamp come through.  Added a few other adjustment layers and two layers of KK Evolve texture, one at Soft Light 66% and the other at Multiply 56%
Pearls on postcards by jpbeth

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Presto Chango - From Color to Black and White

On Day 18 of Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class we learned come B&W techniques including making initial adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) which is a Photoshop plug-in...who knew!!!  Once I converted the image to B&W in ACR and made a few exposure and contrast tweaks, I brought it into Photoshop and made some additional changes. Below is the final image, the initial image done in ACR and the original shot that I took at Mareeba Wetlands in Queensland, Australia.

Final Photoshop B&W image of a heron at Mareeba Wetlands - Queensland, Australia

Initial changes made in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)

My original image of a heron at Marbeeba Wetlands - Queenland, Australia

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