s July 2014 - The Kim Six Fix
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Throw A Tie-Dye Party with Tulip!

Tie Dye Party
I want to thank Tulip and Blueprint social for sponsoring this post. 

Every summer we take a trip back to the East Coast to spend some time with my family.  We are always looking for fun party ideas for when the whole group of us get together.  My parents live at the lake, so activities that you can do outdoors are always a priority.

Therefore when Tulip asked if I would be interested in hosing a Tie-Dye party so we could , I jumped at the chance.  (Who wouldn’t want to Tie Dye Your Summer?)

Tulip sent me their Super Big One-Step Tie-Dye kit and some white cotton t-shirts.  Along with some water, those are ALL the supplies you need for this activity.  The kits are all inclusive. 
Tulip one step tie dye kit
Tulips kits even include the table cover, gloves, rubber bands, dye and application containers.  (We also used a cookie drying rack to help prevent the dye from puddling up under the shirts, but that is optional.)
Instructions in the packaging explain how to achieve the different patterns you often see on tie dyed shirts.  Our favorite was the spiral, which is created by twisting the shirt like this:
Tie dye shirt twist
You secure the twist with rubber bands and then apply different colors of dye to each section (unlike dip dyeing, the tulip applicators are way less messy and easier to apply to specific sections of the cloth):
Tie dying shirt
Tie dyeing was great for everyone in the family.. Grandma, grandpa, mom, dad and all the kids could get in on the creations.
Tie dye party
Once the dye was applied we stuck the shirts in zip-top bags and allowed them to soak overnight. The longer they sit, the richer the color.

The next day we rinsed them and ran them through the washing machine.
Rinsing tie dye

Finally we line dried them (you could also use the dryer, but we loved seeing them on display, blowing in the breeze.)
Hanging tie dye to dry
When you hang them all, side-by-sdie you can really see the diversity of your designs: Tie dye shirts
I was impressed with the richness and color-fastness of the dyes.  Other times I have tie dyed with food coloring and other dye types, the shirts faded after the first wash, but that wasn’t the case with Tulip.

Coming up this weekend I am going to share the second part of this post where I repurpose some of these t-shirts!   But if you can't wait that long, you should visit some of these other bloggers on this campaign for their creative ides:

You also can find additional inspiration on the Tulip Tie Dye Website, their Facebook Page, Pinterest Page and Blog. And you can also find them on Twitter.

So what types of family activities have you been up to this summer?  Have you ever considered tie dye?

Decorate While Doing Good On A Grand Scale: Hands of Haven 2014

Today (July 26th) is the first ever one-day international event: Hands Of Haven

For the past 2 years the Haven Conference (and the bloggers who attended) have partnered with Habitat for Humanity and participated in a Habitat house build.  For 2014 a group of Atlanta-based bloggers will be working on a Habitat for Humanity house once again. But this year, Haven has gone even further and pledged to raise $5500 for this wonderful organization.

But participating in Hands of Haven day isn't limited to those Atlanta-based bloggers or even the bloggers who attended Haven. Everyone is welcome to participate.

If you want to be involved with this special event there are a few ways you can help. 

Setting up my Cutting Machine Work Station

Hidden silhouette work station

This post is brought to you by Sauder. All ideas and opinions are my own.

I recently posted about how I cleaned up the kids' play room using this flexible craft cabinet. And it was WONDERFUL having it down there in the playroom. The more I used it, the more I envied the flexible work space and the way it could so easily be disguised.

From the outside it looked like a plain buffet cabinet, but once you opened it up, the storage was fantastic:

But because I already had a fair amount of storage in the toy closet, and the fact that this was currently how my dining room table looked, I decided I could put it to EVEN BETTER use:
IMG 1958
Do you see that large black box and all the rolls of vinyl on the table? Why, those are all my Silhouette supplies. They were everywhere. I had the machine set up in the dining room table for all my quick projects, but it was a MESS.

So I decided I would re-purpose the craft cabinet for myself and get all this clutter out of the dining room (call me selfish, but I couldn't waste such a great find on my the playroom! :) )

Come Tour Our Playroom!

I realized that I only gave you a partial tour of the play/family room when I posted about organizing it.   So I thought I would give you a quick tour of the whole room and show you how far it has come since we first moved in.

Here is what the MLS listing photo looked like when we bought the house.  Ahh yes, my beloved honey oak and brass!
Family room
And here it is on move-in day:
IMG 1862
I loved the built in cabinets around the fireplace, but that floating mantle and high-contrast natural wood wasn’t doing it any favors.

To update it, I painted the brass fireplace surround:

Updating A Vanity with A Custom Tile Backsplash

Custom Vanity Backsplash
During my recent trip to the Haven Conference, I stopped by my parents’ house and helped them with a couple of DIY projects they have been waiting to tackle.  One of them was upgrading the builder grade backsplash they had in their master bathroom.

The bathroom is beautiful, but my mom wanted to unite the tile work in the shower with the other side of the room.  Since she had pencil tile leftover from the shower construction, we decided we would use it for a new backsplash.

Ten Brussels Sprout Recipes for People Who Don't Like Brussels Sprouts

10 Recipes for Brussels Sprouts for People Who Don't Like Sprouts (But after this.. they will LOVE THEM!)
Any long term follower of my blog will know I have become a HUGE fan of brussels sprouts, and anyone who knows me in real life knows that is a SHOCKING fact because I am not usually a fan of anything green.

But since I learned a few tricks in preparing them, they are now one of my 'go to' veggies of all time! Yes.. OF ALL TIME!!  Therefore, for today's flashback friday I thought I would share a few awesome Sprout recipes.  Since if you haven't tried them prepared with brown sugar and bacon, well.. you are doing it wrong.

The key to a good sprout is to not have them be mushy.. since mushy is bleck.  Crispy is great (Hey I can even choke down Kale if it is crispy.)

Here is my trick for getting them crispy in the oven:

How A Stranger On My Plane Today Changed My Life

I met the most amazing man on the plane today. I am convinced it was fate. On any other day I would never strike up a conversation with the person next to me on an airplane.  I would typically have my kids with me, and would be too preoccupied to find the time to really talk to someone, to listen to their story.

Maybe I would make small talk, ("Hot enough for you?" or "I hope we take off on time")  but that would quickly end, and my nose would soon be buried in my phone or magazine, avoiding the awkwardness of a conversation with a perfect stranger at all costs.  

But today was different.  Today I was alone, returning from a conference filled with meeting new people, so why not meet one more?  Maybe he wouldn't be a talker and I would exchange pleasantries and then enjoy my in-flight beverage without ever giving it a second thought.

But that isn't how it worked out. 

It all started with a simple question: "Where are you headed?" and ended in a two-hour conversation that will change the way I look at obstacles in my own life, both now and in my past.

Sweet Treats Decoden Candy Jar

Decoden Candy JarToday's post is brought to you by Mod Podge (since I really love Mod Podge!) 

Originally popular in Japan, a fun new trend that is becoming catching on in North America right now is Decoden, or the art of decorating with trinkets.  Definitely over the top and full of glitter and sparkles, it is way to ‘bling out’ even the most benign household products.  And now, thanks to Mod Podge Collage Clay you are now able to make your own decoden projects at home.

Here are some examples of typical Decoden projects:
Modpodge collage zps41b65ac4
Because deocoden frequently reflects super-realistic candy, confections and frosting, I decided I would add a decoden touch to a candy jar.

Happy (Blog) Independance Day!

I'm taking the long weekend off from the blog and spent it with my family in order to refresh and recharge.  (A little of my own "independence" from the regular blog posting schedule.)  We did a little hiking and spent some time on the lake, grilled out and just relaxed.  

I also am getting ready for Haven. (Can you believe that is next weekend!)  I am not sure how many new posts will up in the next week or two, since I will be out of town.. but I will try to at least have a few.

Updating and Organizing the Playroom with Flexible Furniture

Playroom with gallery wallThank you to Sauder for sponsoring today's post.  

The most popular room in our house (or the room where we spend the most time) is hands down the family/playroom. It is open onto the kitchen and has the TV and a bunch of the kids toys, so it is where they tend to hang out.

It is also one of the rooms I have never really decorated.

Yes, I did install a gallery wall which features the kids artwork and we bought some generic furniture to fill the space, but I never really did much with the room. I figured it didn't need to be anything more than functional since it was almost always a wreck and nobody ever hung out in there besides the kids.

But then recently I purchased a new rug and my entire perspective changed. After I threw it into the playroom, it suddenly dawned on me that it wouldn't take much to make the room ‘pretty' and there was no need to store all the toys in plain sight. Everything could be disguised. I just needed the right furniture choices to do that.

So it was fate when Sauder offered to send me something from their website to help update any room in my house.. It was the answer to my problems!

Here is a photo of the room after I added the new rug:
Kids room before
You can see all the toys stacked in the corner, and the seats clustered around the TV. Toys were stored in the open, and there was a little craft table in the corner that was nothing more than a clutter catcher. Not exactly glamorous. So my furniture choice had to provide me a way of hiding stuff while still keeping it accessible.

Patriotic Front Door

Hard to believe this weekend is the Fourth of July!  I wanted to quickly show you how my front door looks this year, in honor of the red, white and blue.

My burlap stars have been a huge hit on Pinterest, and so I decided I would feature them along the front sidelight window.  I actually decided to make a couple more, since I wanted an odd number.
Here is the full tutorial on how I made them.

I also threw together a quick wreath for the door, which I made from dollar store carnations and the leftover burlap from the stars project:

Lastly, I filled an Ikea lantern with some old wired star garland I had in my craft supplies and added some red and white flowers.

It is definitely a festive entrance to the house and the neighbors know we celebrate Independance Day!

So, are you ready for the big holiday weekend?  Any big plans? 
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