In earlier American rural life, communities raised barns because many hands were required. These events occured in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, worshipped with each other and celebrated with each other. Barn raisings were an integral part of life and socializing.

In our modern American life, communities don't mean nearly as much as they did back then. It is our family's goal to bring a sense of community back to our lives and those lives that touch ours.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bleach and Doilies

        The project I am posting about tonight is an old project. I believe it was completed last August. I just never wrote about. Tonight is as a good a time as any.
         It's a very simple project that anyone can do. Really. Anyone. All you need is a solid colored t-shirt, a doily, a spray bottle and bleach. I first tried it out on an old blue work t-shirt. After I saw how great it looked, I tried it on a green tank top that already had a bleach spot on it. That didn't work as well since the double dose of bleach ate a hole through the tank top. I figure it wasn't much of a loss since the tank top was used for house cleaning anyway. Third time was a charm though as I tried it on a black, long-sleeved t-shirt for Iris. Totally cute.
       Okay, here's how you do it.
      1. Pick your shirt.
      2. Pick your doily. Any shape or size will do. I recommend finding one at a thrift shop, garage sale or hobby store. This will get bleached so don't use an heirloom passed down from your great grandma.
      3. Spray bottle. Designate one just for bleach. The ratio is 2/3 water to 1/3 bleach. *Tip: Don't store your bleach in the spray bottle. Only fill it about halfway. I stored mine and the bleach ate away the squirty mechanism thingy.
      4. Put a piece of cardboard inside your shirt. Make sure it fits so that the bleach doesn't go through to the other side of the shirt.
      5. Lay out your doily on your shirt. Play with the design until it pleases your eye. The sleeve is a cute place to put it. Or wrapping it around a shoulder or around the back looks cute.
      6. Once everything is layed out, start squirting the doily. Hold the bottle about eight inches away from your shirt. You want it to mist out around the doily, as well as going through the holes of the doily. Squirt a few times and wait. It will take a moment for the color to change . You don't want to over do it. Do not move the doily until you are completely done. It's hard to line back up again. When you have reached the level of color removal that you desire, remove doily. Now you can either place it somewhere else on the shirt or you can stop.
     7. When you are done, place the shirt in the wash and wash and dry as normal.
     8. Voila! A new shirt!
    Different color shirts have different base colors. Blue and black bleach out to a pinky color. Green turned white. Keep this in mind when choosing your shirt. If you don't want to use a doily, you can use any stencil or anything with holes.
      I originally got this idea from Lil Blue Boo. She has amazing ideas. And she seems pretty cool to boot.

Iris's shirt before. Covered in lint and cat hair. Awesome.

Back of her shirt during the process.

Front of her shirt during the process.

End result.

Tank top with bleach spot.

Doily on back during the process.

End result of back.

End result, front of shirt

The shirt that started it all. I forgot to take before pics of this one.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Stars Align...

...or they don't. Either way, life is life and things move along with or without your consent.
       I know it's been a long time since my last posting. Three months and two days to be exact. A lot has happened in that time. The kids got bigger. My parents came for a visit. We've explored and seen new places (our favorites being Garden of the Gods and Bristol Brewing Co.). I got the first job that I have had in six years. Which I then quit less than three weeks later. I learned I have a very low tolerance for jerkholes. Actually, I relearned this, because really, I have always had a low tolerance. It's just been a while since I've had to deal with one of this magnitude.
      We are trying our best to settle into this new place that we have found ourselves in. Our home is absolutely lovely. Having one of my nearest and dearest friends and her family nearby has been a huge help. Having my cousin and her family nearby has helped. Having one of the longest and most annoying winters I have ever experienced has not helped. Seriously, it's seventeen degrees, blowing and blustering, with very little snow falling as I type this. Seventeen! Cripes. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad except for one small fact. On the Western Slope of Colorado where we lived before, winter comes early. On the Front Range of Colorado it comes late. My family has been experiencing winter since November. Five months, people. Five months of cold. Five months of Colorado being moody. Five months of sixty degrees one day and seventeen the next. Yesterday we were enjoying the zoo. Which, I might add, is also a huge help. We love the zoo!
       At any rate, life is being weird. Things are not really falling into place for us the way they normally do. I am trying to take this as a challenge, but I am beginning to believe that it is because we are not where we are supposed to be. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we are locked into our lease until the end of next January. Nine and a half months to get our heads and hearts straightened out. Maybe then the stars will align and we can follow our true path.