Inkodye Dos and Don'ts

When I first heard about Inkodye I knew I had to try it. It's a dye that develops when it is exposed to sunlight the results look so neat!! I was determined to become a pro but so far, I've managed to graduate  from C squad to JV.

This is my most recent attempt. It's still not perfect but I'm getting better and still learning. I'm sharing the dos and don'ts that I've discovered thus far so you can learn from my mistakes!

  • Start with a simple design. Consider coins as your first silhouette - they are heavy and flat so they won't curl or cast shadows. 
  • Mix in a little bit of water with the dye to make it easier to spread. 
  • Use a sponge brush for application. 
  • Paint your fabric in a room without direct sunlight to avoid prematurely exposing the color. 
  • When exposing the dye, try placing the piece in indirect or filtered sunlight (cloudy days work well). I found that direct sunlight cast shadows and left blurry edges. 
  • When the exposure is complete, wash the fabric like crazy in a room without direct sunlight. If you have any dye left over on the fabric, it will continue to color when exposed to sunlight again. 


  • Don't use items with dimensionality for your silhouette. I tried scissors but since they aren't flat, they cast shadows where I didn't want them and let sunlight in to areas I didn't want exposed. 
  • Don't use colored paper for your silhouette - the dye from the paper will transfer to your fabric. Use white card stock instead. 
  • Don't get impatient and sneak a peek while you're still exposing! If light hits the fabric for just a second it will color. 
  • Don't hang your piece in a sunny place to dry. You'll risk further exposure. 
  • Don't give up! I've probably tried 20 different projects and have only been reasonably happy with the result of 2 of them :). 
Have you tried Inkodye before? I'd love to hear any tips, tricks or project ideas you've thought of! 

Fall Inspired Barrette

My felt leaf obsession continues over at The Lovely Cupboard :)! Drop by to check out the simple barrette I made for pairing with my fall wardrobe.

In real-life news, work has been bonkers for the last few months but in 2 weeks, all of our most important launches will be complete and my schedule will (hopefully) get back to normal. I can't wait to have more time for "life" - dinner with the hubby, exercise, week night crafting, blog visiting, dog walking, cookie baking, craft swapping, friends!! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope you all have a marvelous weekend!! I'm doing a bit of work but will also find time to hide in my craft room to play with some Halloween projects.

Quilling Paper Pumpkins

I love seeing the piles of pumpkins outside all of the stores this time of year! I couldn't resist picking up a basket full of these little round beauties on a recent trip to the mart. They are adorable on their own but I decided to doll a few of them up with quilling paper!

Quilling paper is a great supply to keep on hand, even if you don't do any kind of paper filagree! I use it a lot in card making and other paper crafts. It's great for borders and accents since it's already sliced into a tiny strip! Why not use it to decorate a pumpkin??!

This project takes 5 - 10 minutes and only requires a few supplies; a pumpkin,  strips of quilling paper and glue.

Start by placing one end of the paper strip at the base of the stem then wrap it all the way around the pumpkin and back to the stem. Trim the strip to the length you need.

You can now trim all of the other pieces to the same length or measure them individually since pumpkins aren't perfectly round.

Next, place a dab of glue under the end of the strip next to the stem. Wrap the measured strip around and glue down the other end. I used hot glue.

Repeat this for all of your strips.

Flip your pumpkin over and add a drop of glue on the bottom. This will keep the strips from sliding around.

You can add as many or as few strips as you like. Once you're happy with the look, you're done!!

I added a couple of stamped fall phrases for extra pizazz. The "boo" pumpkins will decorate the front porch and I'm thinking the "thanx" pumpkin might be cute for a turkey day decoration!

Cute and easy peasy! My favorite kind of project.

PS - check out this pretty fall bouquet my Mom made with flowers picked from her garden!! If I were going to make a bouquet from what's in our garden right now, it would consist of dead grass, prickly weeds and brown leaves. I don't know how she does it!

I hope you all have a great week!

Blue Prints

After my recent toilet paper printing adventures, I've been inspired to try other fabric printing techniques.

The first thing I experimented with was Inkodye. I purchased a few bottles of this light sensitive dye at the beginning of the summer but haven't had much luck with it (present project included).

It is amazingly cool stuff but it seems to require a fair amount of trial and error before getting the hang of it. I'm getting closer to success with each attempt! Once I nail it, I'll share everything I learned with all of you.

The basic idea is that you paint your surface with the dye, cover the areas that you don't want to be colored and then place the whole thing in the sun for processing. After the dye has set, you scrub the fabric and are left with a silhouette of the item(s) you covered the surface with. I used coins for this trial.

The picture on the top was taken after just a few minutes of sun exposure. The second pic was snapped about 10 minutes later. It's both fun and frustrating to work with. I already have another project in mind and I'm hoping that it will be the first print I'm actually happy with.

I also played around with some good old fashioned potato printing! I sliced a potato in half and then carved a series of simple lines into it. I dipped it in fabric paint and randomly stamped it onto a piece of white linen fabric. Each dip and stamp look a little different but it has character. 

I plan to experiment with some embroidery now. I think it might be fun to embellish the design with stitches. We'll see how it goes! 

I'm having fun playing with new printing techniques and learning new lessons. I'm hopeful that all the practice I've been doing will pay off with a successful project soon. Stay tuned!! 

Fall Inspired Wall Hanging WINNER!!

I'm happy to announce the winner of my fall inspired felt leaf wall hanging!!

Congratulations to landofbreadandhoney!

This wall hanging will be on it's way to you just in time for autumn!

Blog Swap! Chevron Leaf Tutorial

I'm so happy that my friend Leslie is taking over Lime Riot today to share a wonderful tutorial with all of you! Take it away, Leslie...

Hi--I'm Leslie, from Leslie's Art and Sew.  Mareth and I have swapped blogs for the day, so be sure to visit my blog to see what she has come up's awesome, as always!

I love to sew, and I always want to put a personal spin on the things I make.  I designed this pretty leaf patch to decorate the front of a journal cover, but it could be used on anything that's looking too plain--you could use it on the front of a purchased tote, or a bag you make yourself; on the front of a t-shirt, or on the back of a denim jacket.  You could also make it in different colors for seasonal items.

Materials you will need for the patch:
--four different green cotton print fabrics, cut 1 1/4" x 12"
--blue fabric cut 3 1/2" x 5 1/2"
--green fabric cut 4" x 6"
--matching thread
--Heat n Bond Lite (You can buy this in any fabric store.  You can substitute any brand of iron-on adhesive. I used the "Lite" version so I could add stitching for visual interest, but if you want a quicker project, use the "Ultrahold" version, and you can skip the top-stitching.)

Here's how the finished patch looks:

Start by cutting a leaf from paper.  I made my template by sketching a leaf-shaped curve onto a 4" x 2 1/2" rectangle of paper that had been folded in half lengthwise, and cutting it out.  You might have to cut out a few leaves before you get one you love!

Next, sew the four green fabric strips together lengthwise, using a 1/4" seam. Press all the seam allowances in the same direction.

To assemble the leaf, cut two strips from the sewn-together fabrics on a 45 degree angle, 2" wide, as shown in the picture below.  (The easiest way to get the angle right is to use a gridded cutting mat and acrylic ruler.)

In order to get the chevron appearance, the two strips must be cut from opposite ends of your sewn-together fabric, with the 45 degree angles running in opposite directions, as in the picture below. (You will end up with an extra triangle of pieced fabric in the middle.  I'm sure you can think of something cute to make with it!)

Sew the 2" strips together lengthwise, using a 1/4" seam.  Press the seam to one side.

Now it's time for the HeatnBond Lite!

Trace your leaf shape onto the paper side of the HeatnBond, and cut it out, including an extra 1/4" all around.  Place it on the BACK of the chevron fabric, and center it.  Iron the HeatnBond in place according to the directions on the package.

With the paper backing still in place, cut out the leaf along the marked line.  When you are done cutting, there will be scraps of fabric with HeatnBond on them; cut a stem freehand from these scraps.

Okay, you are halfway done!!

Measure and cut a piece of HeatnBond to go on the back of the green and blue fabric rectangles; the HeatnBond should be 1/4" smaller than the fabrics.  Iron the HeatnBond to each rectangle.  When the fabrics have cooled, trim them down to 3" x 5" (the blue fabric) and 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" (the green fabric)--this is the best way to be sure you have HeatnBond entirely covering the back.

I wanted some words to go with my leaf patch, so I ironed HeatnBond to the back of plain white fabric, taped the fabric to a piece of paper, and put it into my computer printer.  I used two different phrases and printed them in different sizes so I could choose the best one for my finished product.

Assemble your leaf patch by first removing the paper backing from the leaf and stem.  Carefully center them on the blue fabric and iron in place.  Let it cool for a moment, then remove the paper from blue fabric, center it on the green fabric, and iron in place.  Your patch is now complete, hooray!

The next step is to remove the paper from the green fabric and center it on the item you are decorating.  Iron it in place.  I put my patch on a journal cover.  You can find a tutorial for it by clicking this link to my blog, Leslie's Art and Sew.

You can see that I made two leaves, and two phrase patches.  I always like to have choices when I'm creating something new!  I assembled the phrase patches using HeatnBond, just the same way that I made the leaf patches.

After ironing the patches in place, I sewed around the edges of all the fabrics.  I used matching thread for each one.  It would look good with a contrasting thread too.

Isn't it cute?  I use several composition books to keep track of different things, and I LOVE this new cover! The best part of decorating your belongings with a fabric patch you make yourself is that no one else will have one just like yours!

Now, run over to Leslie's Art and Sew to see the project Mareth is sharing there is surprisingly similar to mine, even though we didn't plan it that way!  (Great minds think alike!)

Thanks for letting me share this project with your lovely readers, Mareth!  I'm honored to be your guest!

[It's me, Mareth, again :)] Thank you, Leslie. This is such a wonderful idea and your tutorial is great! I can't wait to make my own chevron leaf.

Fall Inspired Wall Hanging Giveaway!

I have a confession, I'm excited for summer to be over. Fall is my favorite season here in Seattle. The weather is bright and crisp, the colors are warm and the air smells fresh and spicy.

This felt embroidered wall hanging was inspired by all of the things I love about Autumn. It started when I stumbled upon the work of folk art quilter, Sue Spargo. I instantly fell in love with her designs but since my quilting skills could be classified as novice, at best, I decided to work in a medium I'm more comfortable with, felt!

To celebrate the change of seasons and my new obsession with felt leaves, I'm giving away this wall hanging! Want to win? Just leave a comment telling me what you love about fall. If you are a follower you can leave two comments and double your chances. I'll be picking a winner on Saturday, September 15th.

I stuck with a (mostly) fall color palette for the felt, the embroidery floss and the beads and buttons I used throughout. Each leaf is unique and measures approximately 3 inches tall x 2 inches wide. They are stitched onto a large piece of felt, which is stitched onto another large piece of felt! I created tabs at the top and used a wood dowel for hanging. 

If you love fall as much as I do and want to win this hanging to adorn your wall during the season, leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about autumn. If you're a follower, leave two comments! I'll be picking a winner on Saturday, September 15th.

Like this but would rather make your own? You're in luck! Leslie, from Leslie's Art and Sew, and I are doing a blog swap later this week and I'll be sharing a tutorial for how to make your own felt leaf wall hanging. Stay tuned for that!