Sunday 22 May 2011

Feeling Creative

Been meaning to try this for ages. Here's what happens if you hang a damp top over the bath and squirt bleach at it with a syringe:

Hoping I'll wear these a bit more now they're more interesting, and I've strategically aimed the bleach at a couple of stains that wouldn't come out any other way, so they don't look so grubby now either.

I think that if the fabric is dripping wet and the bleach solution weak then it runs more and you get a more blended, patchy effect, which is more subtle. Dryer fabric and neat bleach gives bolder shapes with sharper outlines. With this in mind I think next time I'll use a weak solution to make the colour patchy as a background, and then rinse, let it all dry completely, and use neat bleach to make more precise patterns over that.

One word of warning - gloves. I almost never wear protective gloves because I hate how they feel, but after rinsing these tops out my hands are distinctly sore and I wish I had.

What I forgot to take a photo of was the bathroom wall - luckily tiled - splattered dramatically with the red fabric dye that I also used on the orange one when the bleach didn't show up as much as I wanted. And the syringe full of red liquid on the side of the bath. Thank god no one called round just then.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Elderflower Champagne

The very first elderflowers are just coming out in Leeds. They make the most delicious fizzy, alcoholic summer drink, and it's unbelievably easy. I'm making 20 litres in a huge plastic crate.

This makes 5 litres:

8.8 pints (5 litres) cold water

10 Elderflower heads (you can leave a bit of the stalk on)

1 and one fifth lbs sugar (2.4 Kilos)

2 and a half lemons (chop them up small, with rind and skins still on)

2 and a half tablespoons white wine vinegar

Mix all that together, and either put a loose lid on the container or make a lid by tying some cloth over the top.

Stand for 72 hours, stirring whenever you remember.

Then strain it into plastic bottles. Use screwcap plastic bottles designed to have pressurised fizzy drinks in them - other kinds can explode as the champagne becomes fizzy. Don't use glass bottles.

Leave for 2 weeks, releasing the fizz every 2 days (more at first).

Then drink it somewhere sunny.

Wednesday 4 May 2011