Friday, October 24, 2014

Dyed Bottle Brush Trees {DIYish}

I stumbled upon this little video last's lovely. 

And I've been waiting for the holidays to roll around ever since so I could make these myself.  For the most part I've followed her tutorial exactly.  I use the same little natural colored trees that she recommends.  I found some at Joannes, some on a scrap book website and bonus--I just discovered that at Jo-Ann's online they are on sale for 1/2 half; five trees for $4.79. 

I use a different brand of dye than she does. And really, the only reason for this was that when I was at Jo-Ann's I discovered fiber dye already in little spray bottles (she used dye in dropper bottles and then had to mix the colors herself in her own spray bottles). I understand that buying the dropper bottles of dye and mixing the colors yourself might save you money in the long run because you could make various shades of one color by adding more or less drops of dye to your mix but I figured out the cost of the dropper bottles of dye I'd need to buy plus all the different little spray bottles and in the end it really wasn't much more to just buy ready-to-spray dye. 

I used this brand (also on sale right now--and you can probably spray two trees per bottle with this brand), and this brand (on sale as well right now and hands down my favorite!). The second brand of dye has more color intensity, better quality pumps on the spray bottle so you don't get dye all over your hands, and you get more dye for the dollar.

Some tips for you if you're going to do this, and you totally should:

1.  Wear rubber gloves. I don't know how she doesn't in the video and not have dye all over.
2.  Bend your little trees around before you spray them and make sure they'll stand up.  You'll want them to stand up to dry once you dye them and messing around with getting them to stand up once you've sprayed them gets messy.
3. Even though you'll tape the bases of the trees (use washi tape) to keep them clean you'll still get dye on them--it will just seep through.  It's really no big deal and not that noticeable once you have them up and all together.
4.  Mix various shades of dye to get more colors.

Hope you have fun with this!  I'm thinking these little trees will have a place in my home for years to come!

My collection so far….I'm going to make about twenty more. 
Because I can't stop. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dressember Team {Join me won't you?!}.

I'm not a huge 'tout your cause on Facebook, twitter, and IG person'; save for adoption.  People who know me and interact with me on a daily basis in the 'real world' are aware of what I hold close to my heart and what makes me tick…..some of those people even being friends I've met on social media.  I believe that most causes are best discussed with those you actually have a relationship with to some degree; that you can have a rational and respectful conversation with.  I rarely see that happen on social media.  So I choose to refrain from a lot of involvement in those avenues online.

However, this one…..Dressember….is worth breaking my "rule" for.  Dressember issues a challenge to women to wear a dress every day in December as a way to advocate for women all over the world whose basic freedoms are taken away because of their gender and may be victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression.
From their site…..


Dressember is a collaborative movement leveraging fashion and creativity to restore dignity to all women. 

Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who've been exploited for their femininity. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women. 

Dressember exists to inspire and empower a global community of like-minded women who are locking arms to face one of the greatest injustices of our time.

The heart of Dressember is freedom-- that every woman has the right to live a vibrant and autonomous life.

What began in 2009 as a quirky style challenge with a clever name spread like wildfire. Dressember is a month of wearing dresses, but it is so much more. At its core, Dressember is an embracing of the inherent freedom and femininity of all women.

In 2013, Dressember took on new meaning: opposing the worldwide trafficking and exploitation of women. In its first year as a fundraising campaign, Dressember aligned with International Justice Missiona human rights organization that works to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. Those who participate in Dressember are supporting the abolition of modern day slavery. In its first year of fundraising, Dressember had 1,233 registered participants in 32 countries across 6 continents who collectively raised over $165,000. 100% of the funds raised in 2013 went directly to International Justice Mission.

In 2014, the thousands of woman that participate in Dressember will again be advocates for the work of International Justice Mission.

So here's the deal…….

Just simply wearing a dress everyday in December, while a nice gesture, doesn't get the job done.  Raising money as a result that will be used to fund rescue missions, facilitate education and job skill training for survivors, training for local police forces all over the world, and everything else that the International Justice Mission does to provide justice for the poor around the world is what makes Dressember successful.  

Do most of us (any of us?) have 31, 21, 15, 10? dresses that we can wear?  I'm guessing the answer is no.  The point is not to showcase all of our dresses.  The point is that when you leave the house to go to work, volunteer at school, have dessert with a friend, go Christmas shopping, or buy groceries and you run into people you know or are just meeting and they make a comment about your dress (because you know people do--especially if you don't normally wear them, it seems odd that you're wearing so many--or the same five or six over and over, or there's a blizzard outside) it's that you can mention WHY you're wearing a dress, providing them with the opportunity to donate money to a cause or to just be aware of a cause that they might not have known about.  

Here are the rules: 

 --Commit to wearing a dress every day for the entire month of December  
- Tell your friends what you're doing and why, and invite them to sponsor you

Helpful loopholes:
- You can repeat dresses---clearly. (Get creative!) 
- You can wear pants when you're working out, cleaning and staying in the house, sleeping, or if you have a job that requires you to wear pants.
- You can wear skirts, but only over dresses.
- You can wear pants, but only under dresses.

Dressember's fund-raising goal is $500,000.  

Mine is $500.  And I think that doing it as a team would be a lot easier and bring together way more people.  To join my team you can click here, then click on the teal button that says "Become an Advocate." Follow the steps to create an individual campaign page (it's super easy). Right below the field that allows a customizable URL there is a drop down menu to join an existing team……find my team and select it!  My team is called 'We Dress Up. For all the girls.' And then you're in!  Share it with friends on Facebook, IG, Twitter--if you want to--and let's see how much money we can raise together; pooling all of our resources!  

Or, if joining a team and committing to dresses for December is not something you can do at this time but you'd still like to contribute to the cause you can head to my team page and make a one time tax deductible donation. And a thousand thanks to you if you do! 

So what do you think?  Are you in?  My first thought……it's a little intimidating to put this post out there--to commit to something like wearing a dress every day for December--because now you all know.  But you know what?  I have the freedom to wear a dress, that I choose, from my own closet, in my safe house, in a free place, where I am shown more respect and dignity on a daily basis than many other women around the world will ever experience in their lifetime.  Dressemeber is not for everyone--and that is okay.  

But if it's for you---I'd love to do it with you.  Let me know!  You've got a good month to decide! You can leave a comment below that you've joined my team or shoot me an e-mail (link in the sidebar).  

December always was my favorite month.  At least this year it will be!  

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