Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tie-dyed eggs

Easter eggs and ways to color them are all over the DIY blogs right now and I got caught up in it too.  I read about using neckties to dye eggs and decided that might be pretty cool.

First you have to find 100% silk ties.  I tried the resale shops, Goodwill, garage sales and a church rummage sale.  I paid from $2 each to 3 for $1.  The church rummage sale was the last place and the best price.  It also happened to have the best variety.

There will usually be a tag on the small end of the tie giving the fabric content.  There are other things to keep in mind when selecting the ties.  Remember that most pastels will not be a good choice.  Sometimes one color will transfer and another color from the same tie will not.  I'm just letting you know there are a few variables and you won't always be able to tell which ties work until you actually try them.

For example:

This one worked out pretty well.

This one...not so well.  The little diamonds faintly transferred to the egg shell but they were difficult to pick up with my camera.  Definately not a winner.

You can see them a little better here but not a showy egg.  The pink did not transfer at all.

This one was a little more successful.  Pretty but subtle.

On this one the red came through with more intensity than the green. 

It is more vibrant than the others but not quite what I was expecting when I unwrapped it.

I thought this one might be a lovely pattern on the egg but again the dye was too pale.

These were in my first batch and turned out nicely.  I was encouraged by that and kept trying.  In all I dyed a dozen eggs and I think I used 9 different ties.  It is great fun when it works and is a fairly easy process.

You wrap the eggs with the right side of the material against the egg shell.  I used twist ties to hold the fabric in place.  You need to get the fabric flat against the egg shell as best you can.  Folding it is fine even though the pattern might smudge some. 

Then you wrap the eggs again in a plain fabric like an old pillow case.  Put the eggs in a non aluminum pan and cover with water.  Add 1/4 cup of vinegar and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Use tongs to move eggs to a colander to cool.  Unwrap and prepare to be surprised and sometimes a little disappointed.
This was the tie that produced the best result.

So you can see why I thought this might be a good one too.  It was a total bust.  I thought maybe it really was not 100% silk but who knows for sure.  It just didn't work out.

I saw this technique on the Today Show with Hoda this morning.  They did not show how it was done...just the finished product.  So now you know the real story.  I would like to try it again after I have collected a supply of ties that I think have the best chance of producing good results.  Maybe next Easter.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Growing Up

About two years ago a friend added on to a building he owns and opened Cafe Mochi.  I was intensly involved in this project from beginning to end.  We used every inch of space his property line allowed but he needs more seating, so the decision was made to expand into the original building that sits at a higher elevation.

  Naturally this involves breaking through the wall and adding a set of stairs.

This is the wall that will be opened for the staircase.  This wall bench and sconce will be moved to the top of the stairs in the new space.

This is the view from the opposite side.  The blue tarp covers the area that will connect the lower level to the new upper level.  The door opens to a bathroom which will remain. (More on that in a later post.)

The wall bench from the lower level will be placed on the insulated wall and will benefit from the natural light of the large window.

So that the bench will cover the entire width of this wall, we are adding a two foot section in the center of the split bench.

Luckily we saved a remnant of this incredible Designer Guild fabric that we can now use on the filler piece.

This wall had a window in an awkward location.  A few solutions were discussed but eliminating it by covering it from the inside was deemed the best choice.  As you can see, we had already eliminated a doorway when this shot was taken.

Now that this window has been hidden, another wall bench will be made to fit this wall.

This embossed leather look from Maxwell will be used to upholster the back of the 48" high bench.  A solid matte black vinyl will be used for the seat and sides of the bench.

A longer bench in the same upholstery will span this wall.

The floor tiles are 12x12 porcelain in the colors of the two samples on the right.  It will be laid out in a grid with approximately 1/4 of the tiles in plum and rest in the speckled gray.  The fabrics on the left will be used on the chairs with the seats in the black vinyl checkerboard pattern from Fabricut and the backs in the Designer Guild fabric called Brescia.

Somewhere I hope to use this canvas I picked up at Home Goods.

The colors in the painting incorporate every color being used in the space.  I walked past it a few times before I actually "saw" it.  My mind was on mirrors which is the other element that will have a strong presence in this space.

There are still plenty of decisions to be made.  The lighting in the original restaurant is a collection of colorful chandeliers.  But because of much lower ceilings this space, we will use recessed and snake tracks.

A waiter's station will cover this wall.  The final design for that will be discussed in the next post.

Right now the biggest debate is over having/not having a TV in the restaurant.  I am very clear on my opinion and I will do my best to keep it out.  But, ultimately it is not my decision only my decorating dilemma.  I would love to hear your thoughts about televisions in restaurants.