Monday, July 22, 2013

I've Tried That: Indian Shisha Embroidery

This isn't a matter of working or not, but rather a matter of "can anyone do it?"

Shisha is the Hindi word for "little glass" and Shisha Embroidery is embroidering little pieces of glass (mirrors) to something. Here's what it looks like:

Photo belongs to Emily of Joyful Abode
My mom saw this picture on my Pinterest board and decided I needed to try it on a stocking swap she was doing with her quilt guild (lots of fun, that little project). My first one looked like crap, but the second and third ones looked pretty good.

The verdict:
Yep. Anyone who has at least a beginner's embroidery skill level and the ability to follow a picture tutorial can do this. Don't expect the first few to look this awesome, but don't get discouraged, either. It's fun and it looks really cool. I plan to do this around the bottom of an apron, actually... When we get the house unpacked and squared away.

Joyful Abode - Tutorial: Indian Shisha Mirror Embroidery

Monday, July 15, 2013

I've Tried That: Dandelion on Fire

By now, anyone on Pinterest has seen this image. It is a lie! My mother and I hunted down the first dandelion of the year in their yard and, with lighter in hand, gathered everyone around. *click-poof-gone*

There was nothing left.

The smoke didn't even last more than a second. If there were pretty colors, they were too fast for the eye to see. Whoever took the picture has a really good camera and really, really good timing. Or they're just really good at Photoshop.

In either case, don't waste your time and eyebrows on this one.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

You're confined to your bed for 3 months...

... due to a serious illness. What do you miss, and what's the first thing you'll do once they let you outside?

Wow. This year's flu really got out of hand. It wasn't this bad last time I had it. The doctors say I should be better next week. Better enough to get out of this damn bed and go outside for a few minutes, at least. I can hardly wait! Birds and rain don't sound the same through a window, and with the freaking equipment beeping nothing sounds natural anymore. I wonder if they'll let me go to the lake... I don't want to get it, I just want to sit next to it and listen. I've missed natural sounds and smells and the feel of sunlight on my skin. You know that feeling when you go out on the first nice day in Spring in a tank top? When the breeze sweeps across your back and the warmth of the sun feels so soft an inviting? Or the smell of the first mowing of the year, so sweet and strong? I miss the squirrels barking when I walk outside and the birds chirping as they pick their favorite seeds out of the bird feed or find a particularly juicy worm to munch on. I miss playing in the dirt and planting new seeds. I think that's the first thing I'll do when I get to go home; I'm going to find a packet of seeds and plant a flowerbed. I'm just so sleepy right now, though. Maybe a nap...

So I got this wonderful book called 642 Things to Write About. It's a book of writing prompts, and I've decided to use it to jump-start my blog again and work around this writer's block I've had for the last several years. Hope you enjoy what I come up with! If you'd like to get the book yourself, you can find it on Amazon. I bought mine at Anthropologie for the same price, though.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I've Tried That: Brine Your T-Shirts

Here starts the first post in a series: Things I've Tried from Pinterest. This week, you get one that actually works! Brine your T-shirts to make them super-soft without having to wear them for years first.

What you'll do:

Dissolve 1/2 cup salt in 4 cups of water.
Soak your shirt for 3 to 4 days, stirring occasionally.
Toss it in the washing machine with a little detergent.
Tumble dry.
 Enjoy your brand new T-shirt that feels vintage soft.

So, how did it work?

Remarkably well, actually.

I got a plain brown T-shirt from Michael's on one of their sales, soaked it in a bucket with salty water for 4 days, and then deviated from the instructions. I didn't have easy access to a washer (living in an apartment without hookups, laundry mat every week), so I washed it in the sink and let it air dry. DO NOT DO THAT! It came out scratchy and stiff. I gave it up as a lost cause and tossed it in the pile to wash. After laundry day, as I was folding all the clothes, I came across a brown T-shirt that looked brand new but felt super worn. Then it clicked: the experiment worked! Now when I get new shirts, I dig out a bucket and brine them all.

Have you tried it? Did it work for you? Let me know in the comments.