Thursday, October 23, 2014

DIY Skeleton Sweater

It still doesn't quite feel like fall around here in San Diego (does it ever?) and October is quickly passing (as it always does). I've been planning on trying my hand at freezer paper stenciling and making this skeleton sweater for a long time, but I'm still wearing crop tops and shorts over here…

Anyways. We had a nice gloomy morning the other day, so I finally set out to make this ribcage/skeleton sweater. This was my first time attempting freezer paper stenciling and I'm officially hooked! It was so easy to do and turned out better than I could have imagined. I wore my sweater all day immediately after finishing it (despite the 75 degree and sunny forecast) and got numerous compliments on it. Expect lots more DIY projects and freebies like this from me in the future.

Comfy sweater
Fabric paint
• Paint sponge
Freezer paper
• Scissors or xacto knife & cutting mat
• Cardboard
• Printer (optional - you can draw yours by hand if you like)
• Ribcage design (Click to download!)

I made arm bones as well, but decided not to use them. You can download those here!

01 // Print (or draw) your design & cut out

Download my ribcage design here and print on the paper side of the freezer paper. I have a 12in borderless printer, so I was able to print a nice large design on one sheet. Depending on your resources, you may need to tile together a few sheets or hand draw your stencil to achieve the size you want. Then cut out all the shapes, and take special care not to lose any of the internal pieces (I kept the right and left rib spaces in separate piles).

02 // Assemble the design on your sweater

On a smooth surface, lay the stencil on the sweater with the plastic side facing down and replace all the internal shapes to reform the ribcage design. If any of your internal shapes were cut a bit jagged, feel free to smooth them out with your scissors now.

03 // Iron down the freezer paper

Carefully iron over the freezer paper on medium heat. I didn't want to risk my inside pieces shifting around, so I gently placed the iron on top of each section versus dragging it across the design. Make sure all the edges are ironed down so no paint bleeds underneath the stencil. (Also don't burn yourself like I did…)

04 // Protect with cardboard & start painting

Slide a piece of cardboard into the sweater in case the paint seeps through the fabric. Use your sponge brush to dab the fabric paint onto the sweater. Be extra careful around those thin right and left sides. Ideally, you should probably have a lot more paper protecting the sides of your design so you don't accidentally get any paint outside the lines (like I did).

05 // Let dry & apply more layers

The first layer of paint will look fairly light as it soaks into the fabric. I got impatient and applied three more layers before allowing it to dry. (I don't got all day to paint a sweater.) But this didn't really work and only made it take much longer to dry. I waited overnight before applying the next layer. If you're patient, you should wait at least 30 minutes before applying another coat of paint. I applied my next and final layer the next day. Let dry and reapply until you've achieved your desired whiteness (3-5 layers).

06 // Carefully peel off the stencil

When the paint has completely dried, carefully peel away the stencil. The paint will be gummy and may cling to the paper, so be gentle so you don't tear any of the design off with it. For the center pieces, rather than picking at the corners to remove, I pinched the paper in the middle and peeled.

Protip! If any paint did happen to bleed outside of the stencil, no worries! Just use some black acrylic paint and lightly go over any mistakes. No one will notice. ;)

07 // Heat set

I don't really know how necessary this step is, but another blog said to do it, so I did. The directions on the paint don't require any heat setting, but the DIY instructions I read claimed it keeps the design from fading after washing. It also made the design feel less sticky. So place another piece of fabric (I used one of Dave's old t-shirts) on top of the design and iron over it.

And there you have it! Your very own pseudo-"screenprinted" freezer paper stenciled sweater! And you didn't have to pay $200 for it like a crazy person.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Halloween Mix - The Witching Hour

Back with another bewitching mix for the Halloween season. Lots of gritty lo-fi shoegaze with ghostly breathy vocals, experimental beats, and haunting electronics. Check out last year's mix for even more spooky tunes.

01. "Carousel" — Melanie Martinez
02. "Walk At Night" — Cults
03. "Blood On Your Hands" — Swans
04. "Caladan" — Grimes
05. "In Hiding From The Crow" — Zola Jesus
06. "Ghost Tonight" — Chairlift
07. "Dying Well" — Joywave
08. "Impending Doom" — Sweet Valley
09. "I Died With You" — Chelsea Wolfe
10. "The Ghost Who Walks" — Karen Elson
11. "Knife" — Keep Shelly in Athens
12. "Graveyard Dream Blues" — Josie Miles


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Bridesmaid Gifts That Don't Suck

The final weeks before our wedding, I was having the hardest time coming up with gift ideas for my bridesmaids that would make them feel special, fully express my gratitude for how much work they put into the parties leading up to the big day, and not be totally lame. Suggestions online really weren't much help. Monogramed tote bags? Bedazzled flip flops? Ick. No thank you. Here are 4 fun gifts I gave my girls that are guaranted not to end up in the trash after the wedding.

1 // Floral Robes - I knew I wanted robes my girls could wear during our weekend up at Bailey's, but those cotton floral ones from India every. single. bride. seems to use now were a bit outside my budget at $35 a pop. I searched and searched for something cheaper and better suited for my awesome ladies, and just as I was about to give up the hunt, I stumbled upon these adorable floral chiffon robes at Forever 21. Score!

2 // Flower Crowns - Next up, I made flower crowns for each of my girls to wear on rehearsal day. I love any excuse to dress up and put on fun over-the-top pieces you wouldn't normally pair with an everyday outfit. Plus they looked darling in photos. ;) Making 6 of these was a labor of love and my maids really appreciated them. And really - who doesn't love flower crowns?

3 // Personalized Hangers - These were mostly for photo op purposes, but I hand wrote each girl's name on a wood hanger from Target. At our venue, each couple had their own adorably vintage bedroom in the Bailey House, and the ladies hung their dresses on a hook on the backs of the doors with their name hanger.

4 // Memento Necklaces - I wanted to give each girl a little something to remember the day by, that didn't involve engraving our wedding date on the surface (seriously, people need to stop making these kinds of bridesmaids gifs; I'll never again use a flask that has your wedding date on it - stoppit). Antlers were a big theme at our wedding, so I bought these beautiful gold antler charms and put them on dainty gold chains. I still catch my girls wearing them even a month after the wedding!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Halloween Pinspiration - The Mad Naturalist

As much as I absolutely love Halloween, I loathe most of the tacky decor that starts popping up on my Pinterest feed when October rolls around. In past years, I was inspired by the sophisticated appeal of a shabby-chic-all-white Halloween. This year, I'm feeling something a bit darker. Admittedly, my house already looks like this year round. But I wanted to lend some inspiration your way for those looking for a change of scenery from all the orange and black.

Dusty Books - Try decorating with tattered books. Not all of us live in a library of antique vellum bound books, so instead take some old reads, scuff up the covers, and stain the pages with tea. Line your shelves with them or stack other spooky items on top with the stained pages turned out.

Mysterious Bottles - Tell me I'm not the only one obsessed with old bottles? Authentic antique medical bottles can cost a pretty penny. Save glass around the house (wine, liquor, jars, etc) and make your own props by painting them matte black, rolling 'em in dust, and maybe even printing and distressing your own labels.

Scientific Illustrations - I love love love the Victorian charm of vintage biological illustrations. The Biodiversity Heritage Library has a plethora of high resolution zoological, botanical, and entomological scans available on their Flickr. Print out some creepy crawlies and frame them on your mantel, or even decoupage them on a pumpkin.

Cobweb-covered Curiosities - If you're a collector like me, then you know how easy it is decorating for Halloween. Stretch some cobwebs thinly over your curios and call it a day.

Happy decorating everyone! I'd love to see any of your Halloween crafts and displays, so leave a link in the comments. :)

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Corinne & Dave's Wedding Pt. 2

I can't get enough of looking at these photos and reliving this day. Once again, our wedding was captured by the remarkably talented Tyler Branch. If you missed it, be sure to check out part one of our wedding photos.

Every last detail of our wedding was DIY'd by myself and my family. Our incredible ceremony backdrop (as seen in the first post) was made by my parents with wood all hand cut by my dad, while the gates on the sides were scrap they had lying around at the house. My mom made all of the bouquets, boutonnieres, and table flowers with a mixture of wildflowers she gathered on trail rides and materials forged from around the venue. My aunts and cousins spent most of the weekend slaving away on our cake and cupcakes which were then displayed on wood stands made by my mom. I designed, printed, cut, assembled, and hand painted every sign and graphic detail throughout the wedding. And of course I brought in lots and lots of skulls, antlers, and deer figures from my personal collection. After months of planning and stressing, everything came together better than I could have dreamed.

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