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I cook poorly, I craft obsessively and I love the look of a retro cocktail. When I am feeling guilty about taking time away from my family with my obsessions, I make videos about my guilt as "The Guilty Crafter" or I blog here. Thanks for stopping by!

Entries in Rit Dye (10)


Ice Dyeing on AM Northwest Portland

As usual, I have neglected my blog in favor of the work I do with Rit Dye. I do have some back episodes of AM Northwest Portland to share, though. I LOVE this particular technique. It's so easy and fun and can look very sophisticated compared to tie dye.


Boho Fringe Macrame Purse

Now that our cute chicken coop is done (see post below), I'm buckling down to have a summer of dyeing. I love, love working for Rit dye- what a fun product. It's super open-ended. I kind of make or buy anything I love and then dye it a color or colors that I love. I post my tutorials at but I thought I'd also add some of what I'm doing here. 

Here's a little purse I bought at Target. Why on earth was it all white orginally?! 2 1/2 bottles of dye later, it matches all my favorite outfits. Too cute! It took about 1/2 hour (not including dry time). You can check out my step-by-step tutorial here:



How to Dye Shoes in a Mason Jar

I'm still happily dyeing away for Rit dye over at I realized I should probably be adding my projects to my own blog as well as their site. For now, I think I'll add my photos. Just click on the photo to be taking to the site for my step-by-step tutorials.




No More Wire Hangers!

That crazed scene in Mommy Dearest had a few things going for it- camp, great quote and, who would have guessed?!- craft inspiration. Ditch those wire hangers, kids. Wood is wear it's at. I bought mine at Ikea and with a bit of sanding and a quick dunk in a dye bath, they are just what I needed to add a little DIY fun to our guest powder room. You can see the painstaking step-by-step photo tutorial here but I bet you can figure out the finer points just by looking at the picture, right? Right. Now quit crying and go make me a cocktail! 


Glue Resist Tea Towels (As seen on Portland's KATU AM Northwest)

Halloween Glue Resist Tea TowelsHere's what you should know about my 3rd appearance on Portland's KATU news morning show AM Northwest:

1. Last time it was way worse (click on that to see what I mean- update: I'm still happily married).

2. This time I was prepared: I chose a project I knew inside and out. Unlike last time.

3. I fixed my crazy on-camera hair issues by figuring out how to get away with wearing a hat for my segment (see witch hat).

4. I still freaked out and stumbled a bit because:

a. The guests in the green room were more intimidating than the usual personable and cool local authors and cooks. First up: TOM GREEN for the love of Pete! I had to internalize a little fan girl moment. Then there was Derik Nelson aka The Unnamed Guitarist from Glee with his musician brother Dalten and sister Riana (the trio performed) plus a really sweet local dietician (hi Jessie!) and Ariel from Disney on Ice. Ariel. On ice.

b. And most notably, there was a full, live studio audience that I did not know about until I literally walked on to the sound stage to begin my segment. What- the- ?!?! I didn't expect that. So I was freaking out for a minute or two into my segment. Sigh. Anyway, here's the segment:


(I should note here, for the record,  I was clearly too old for the green room today- I'm the only one who recognized Tom Green and Tom Green and I were obviously the only one who didn't know who the Glee guy was. When Tom Green walked out to his interview, the young publicist said, "Hey- he was married to Drew Barrymore!" (she had Googled him, I think) and THEN the rest of the green room started wishing we had taken a photo with him. (We consoled ourselves by taking photos with each other instead but hey- Glee guy!)

I should also note I like to take advantage of the fact that my feet are never on camera so I wore my favorite rain boots. I looked a little crazy. Half witch/ half puddle jumper. Even Tom Green just kind of side-eyed me the whole time he was eating his donut. When Tom Green is looking at you like he's not sure what's going on with you, you know you're looking a little crazy).

But whatever. It was a cool experience as always and I got back on that horse after last time when I was pretty sure I'd never even talk to Mr. Guilty Crafter again OR go back on live TV. I have lived to tell the tale. I just have to figure out how to make it seem normal that I'm wearing a wig next time... 

As for my craft project, here's are the tips I didn't have time to truly emphasize on camera:

The main tips are these:

Yes, you can dye in a mason jar. It's just like dyeing an Easter egg. AND you keep the dye in the jar practically indefinitely. I have a few of these dyes under my sink for dye emergencies (that's a thing).

When you use glue as a resist, the best is Elmer's Blue Gel glue. It just is. 

Draw that glue on. There are no rules. Think of it as an unwieldy pen. The thicker the glue, the more effect you'll get.

Let that glue FULLY DRY, sister. No shortcuts. Use a blowdryer if you're impatient (been there, done that).

Go ahead and break the rules and use room temperature water with the liquid Rit Dye. If the water is super hot (as usually recommended), it starts to dissolve the glue and all your hard work washes away.

Shake that jar. Agitation and proper water volume is the key to getting an even dye job. Think of all that dye trying to flow into the fibers of your fabric. It's not going to happen if you project is wadded up in the jar and then quickly pulled out. You also need enough water to get in and around your fabric.

Little known fact- once you have pulled your project out of the jar, spray it with Rit Dye Fixative. For reals. Otherwise, a ton of color will rinse away in the next step. I'm not just saying this because I do consultant work for Rit Dye (but,disclaimer: I do). Spray, spray that fixative. 

Once you have all the fixative misted on to your fabric surface, pop it the project into a baggie, seal it and put the whole thing in the microwave for about 20 seconds. The steam will help the dye work it's way into the fabric fibers even better. DO NOT do this if your project has any metal on it (duh but you never know).

Now rinse that sucker WELL. Then wash it if you feel like you must. Let it dry. Iron if you must (but only if you're going to be on a live TV show and don't want to look messy- otherwise, don't bother, it's just a dish towel). 

I wish I had enough time to have shown this project
Use your tea towel for gifting a bottle of wine

And done. Cute, right?


Glue Resist Tea Towels for Halloween

It is 7 am, I'm all packed up and headed out the door to tape a craft segment for AM northwest in Portland. This time, no major catastrophes or marriage threatening events have occurred so I am optimistic (scroll down a few posts to see what happened last time I did a live craft segment on AM Northwest). Later today, I'll post a detailed tutorial on how to recreate my craft project and I'll post a link to the video from the show. Stay tuned and happy Halloween!


1 dress, 3 Looks

Working for Rit Dye has been going great. I love a totally open-ended product. I've been dyeing like a crazy woman. My latest fun has been this dress project ($14 from Ebay- Call me, Ebay Stories!) where I am planning on using color remover and dye to dye the same dress for different occasions all year long.

You can read my inaugural Rit Studio blog post about the project HERE. And yes, I really AM wearing this dress around town. I wore the fushcia version to my kiddo's school Valentine's Day party and yesterday, I insisted our whole family headed over to the local Irish pub and pretend we like Irish food and dark beer.* 

*I actually like shepherd's pie but only because I hope the meat is beef rather than the lamb I suspect it is. And only those few moments before my kids start insisting what I'm eating is actually german shepherd pie and is made of dog. They enjoy eating with an adult who is a pickier eater than they are. Kids are evil.



How to Decorate Free Slippers

If you're having a really good (fancy) vacation, someone, at some point, is going to give you free, white slippers. You might get a pair while you're luxuriating at a spa, you might find some waiting in your swanky hotel or you might be given a less fluffy pair after you've gotten a fancy pedicure. Or maybe you just buy yourself a clearance rack pair of white slippers at Macys and pretend that you've been on a fancy vacation (guilty). The common theme is, they're always white. *Yawn.*

Check out how I jazzed up the pair of plain white slippers I received while I was out of town earlier this week. I do work for Rit Dye so you know I can't be content with just plain, old white, right? It's as easy as using a cosmetic sponge to color the slippers in any hue that you like. The only crafty curve-ball I added to this project was using Elmer's blue gel glue to act as a resist to the dye. Put the glue wherever you don't want dye and they sky is the limit on design options. I went for my go-to fave: polka dots.

P.S. You can always peek at more of my Rit Dye work via my Rit Studio at:

P.P.S. You can buy Rit Dye in a variety of colors and the Elmer's gel glue at your local Walmart, Michaels or Joann Stores.



Custom Dyed Buttons/ I'm a Ritster

It's a few days before Christmas which means it's the most natural time in the world for me to start crafting. Anything to avoid holiday cooking, cleaning and gift wrapping. It happens every year. This week I was particularly inspired to craft because I just got back from learning some techniques to working with Rit Dye as part of my new relationship with Rit as their "DYE-signer Network Curator" (and yes, they let me invent my own title, wasn't that nice?). More on that later, back to procrastination...

Here's how this project happened- I was on my way back from an appointment and was racing against the clock to get home and participate in a conference call. Holiday traffic, being what it is, conspired to get me stuck in the car for my conference call- RIGHT next to my favorite local thrift store. So, yes, I have more important things to do but it did really seems as though it was fate to run into the thrift store when my call was over. And that's where I found this super lovely Elevenses jacket. I know the brand from my many dream shopping trips through Anthropologie so I scooped it up and raced to the checkstand. It was missing a few buttons but other than that, it's in excellent shape so I figured I'd buy new buttons on the way home (procrastinating even more, see how I am?).

At the fabric store, I'm sure they thought I was shoplifting. I stayed in the button aisle for at least 1/2 hour. I put buttons all over my jacket, took photos, uploaded the best photo to Facebook to ask my online friends their opinion. I eventually decided that some big wood buttons were sort of okay but they only had 2 and I needed 5. Ugh. But then it dawned on me- DYE my own with all the dye I got this week at training! DUH! (and shout out to my fave buttons- Blumenhthal Lansing- I bought a few cards of their natual wood buttons but they've send me buttons in the past and they are the nicest people).

So that's what you see here. Quickly dyed buttons (directions in my Rit Studio if you want the specs- it's crazy how little there is to do to dye wood well), new-to-me jacket and a WHOLE lot of holiday chores left undone while I look around the house for other things to dye. Tis the season!


Playing with Dye- Valentine's Day Jacket Video