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Category: Life

saying c-ya with cyanotype: DIY cyanotype key sunprints

So, good news first: we found a place to lease next year! A bona fide house with a yard and storage and everything! We are thrilled: me, to be done with house-hunting and to start planning a new space, and Matt: to have me done with the house-hunting part. Let’s just say I take to house-hunts like a fish to water. An incredibly stressed, frazzled fish who systematically checks five different housing websites every six hours.

But, sad news: did you guys know that moving to a new place typically means leaving the one you’re living in currently? The first lease you signed together, the first time you made a home together, the place where Matt finally watched The Office all the way through? I’m super sentimental and even though I could not be more excited about our next place (it is SO cute and having a house will be so fun and now we can actually have more than two people over for dinner and not make them eat on our couch AND A YARD FOR FINN) but I can’t stop the feels about leaving our cozy little apartment. Home means a lot to me.

DIY cyanotype key sunprint

Commemorating our first place together seemed important. When I saw Little Green Notebook’s cyanotype prints for her playroom, I knew that would be perfect. Cyanotype prints work really well with flat objects – leaves, dried flowers, etc., so I thought I’d make a print of the key to our apartment. The cobalt color of the paper is so pretty, it looked pretty easy, and I could order the kit on Amazon which is just so dang appealing. Here’s the quick how-to:

how to make a cyanotype key sunprint

How To Create a Cyanotype Key Sunprint

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Sunprint paper kit (this is the one I used)
  • House key
  • 9″ x 12″ tray or dish
  • Water
  • Paper towels or paper bags
  • Heavy books

making a cyanotype key sunprint

  1. Keep the paper in the kit while you’re setting up – any exposure to sun will start the reaction, so keep it protected until you need it.
  2. Fill a tray or long pan with water. You’ll submerge the paper when it’s done sitting in the sun, so you want this ready to go. 
  3. Lay some paper towels or paper bags on the counter so that you have a place to set the wet paper to dry.
  4. You’re ready! Take a sheet of paper, lay it outside in direct sunlight, and place the object you want to make a print of in your desired position on the paper. Let the paper sit in the sun for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes or so. The longer the paper is in the sun, the deeper the blue hue will be when it has processed. I experimented with different times and liked the ones in the 3-4 minute range. Probably a good idea to buy some extra paper if you want to experiment a lot or are looking to make several prints. 
  5. When the paper has been in the sun for the desired amount of time, pick it up and lay it in the water, completely submerging it to stop the chemical reaction. 
  6. Gently remove the paper from the water and lay it down on the paper towels or paper bags to dry.
  7. When it’s dried completely, use some heavy books to sit on top of it to remove any wrinkling or curling on the edges.

DIY cobalt cyanotype key print

Voila! A pretty sweet way to commemorate your first home together. Or your first place of your own. Or the key to your shop. You get the gist. And since I technically spent a grand total of about $1 on the print, I wanted to dress it up in a really special frame that I might not normally splurge on. Enter Framebridge!

framing a DIY cyanotype key sunprint with Framebridge

Framebridge was the perfect answer to a frame for this pretty but unusually sized print. Here’s how it works: you go to their site, choose a digital image or upload a picture of your physical art, enter the dimensions of the art, and then click through their frames where they mock up how the art will look in the frame. It’s incredibly satisfying if you’re super visually-motivated like I am. As soon as my eyeballs saw the blue key print mocked up in the burl-wood Cairo frame, they fell out of their sockets like a cartoon boy dog looking at a cartoon pretty girl dog. 

Framebridge review - pretty details!

Once I got the eyeball situation figured out, I sent off my print to Framebridge in a package they provided with a shipping label also provided. A few weeks later, I got my got-dang gorgeous frame back and had to deal with my eyeballs all over again. They even dress up the backing with this pretty Matisse-style print. LOVE. And bonus for yall: use the code bigadventure15 to get 15% off your first Framebridge order!

framing a DIY key sunprint with Framebridge

cairo burl wood frame from Framebridge with a cyanotype print

Still a little sad about moving, but I’m really glad to have a little physical memento of a home and a time that was pretty great to us. And yes, I realize that I also have two years of blog posts, but who knows how long this “internet” thing will stick around. 

 

I was provided with product by Framebridge, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support ABA!

How to make a DIY cyanotype key print
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you can go shave your couch now: how to remove pilling from upholstery

And now, for something completely different: taking a departure from room tours, currently posts, and crafty things to sit yall down and tell you about the night that I shaved my couch. Yah. Let that settle.

You may remember that I mentioned in this post about how things are holding up that the couch is still as comfy as ever, but was showing a bunch of pilling on the upholstery. I totally admit fault to buying a sofa with an open-weave knit fabric and letting my 65 pound dog on it every single day, but I was stressing about what to do. Buy a new slipcover? Those are expensive, so should we just get a new couch altogether? 

How to remove pilling from upholstery

Blech. Thankfully (!!) an old friend and reader reached out to say that she had a coworker who had a similar sofa issue, and that person had purchased a fabric shaver normally used on sweaters and used it on her couch. At this point I need to address a couple things. 1) I’ve noticed recently that I do *not* use the interwebz as much as I should. Why wouldn’t I just Google “how to remove pilling from upholstery”?? Why did I jump right to buying a whole new GD couch? I literally have a blog that other people find by using the interwebz in a similar fashion. I do not understand why I don’t do the same thing. 2) Thank you, stranger, for your inventive use of a sweater shaver. 3) Thank you, person who invented sweater shavers. I did not know your product existed but it just saved me beaucoups of money. 4) Who knew that’s how you spell beaucoup? Not me.

How to defuzz your sofa

It was definitely starting to make my eye twitch. It didn’t look too bad from afar, but I sit on this bad boy daily. I mean it wasn’t like…ruining my day. But it was one of those things that I’d make a subtle mental note of all the time. I wanted this monkey OFF MY BACK. 

Removing pills from a sofa or couch

Here’s my claw and my claw’s new best friend, the Conair Fabric Defuzzer – Shaver. (I got the battery-operated one.) What a name. What a guy. First, I tested it on an inconspicuous part of the couch to make sure it wasn’t gonna shred the fabric to death. (It didn’t.) Then, I put it on the lowest setting so I could give my couch a close shave. Molly Richardson, Couch Barber, at your service. I tried it right there on the middle cushion of the couch to take some photos for this post, using slow circular motions over the entire cover. The after, right below, gives me SO MUCH SATISFACTION.

How to get pills of your upholstered furniture

PEACE OUT FUZZIES! Good riddance! I was not anticipating how much enjoyment I would get out of this activity. If I were a smarter blog-writer, I’d probably keep that to myself, but we all know that’s not how I roll. I’m not ashamed to admit that after taking these photos, I took every cushion out and shaved every upholstered surface of the whole couch. I was worried that the little motor of the defuzzer-shaver wouldn’t be able to keep up, but darnit if that thing didn’t happily endure the work. 

Using a fabric shaver to remove pilling from upholstery

And that, my friends, is the story of how I became a couch barber. So glad to have this little tool in my arsenal now, and to use it on my sweaters next winter! Any tools you’re loving that saved you heartache or dollars or both? 

 

This post is not sponsored, but affiliate links are used for your convenience.

Using a fabric shaver to remove pilling from upholstery
How to easily remove pilling from upholstery
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currently: march 2017

Very little to complain about this month. High points: our Marfa trip, getting to visit with an old friend of mine in town for SXSW, heading to a free Garth Brooks concert put on by the city for locals only, seeing one of Matt’s old friends get married, and in general enjoying some crazy good weather before the heat and mosquitoes arrive. Also, I bought a disco ball. Probably should have put that one first. 

Austin Texas Town Lake View

Making: Gonna cheat and say I’m making a blog post. 
Cooking: Warm weather means shrimp tacos and turkey burgers with sweet potato fries. No complaining here!
Reading: My hold on In Cold Blood from the library just got released to me, so I’m starting it tonight! I’m excited. And scared. Also, I got the GASP-you-haven’t-read-it?? thing from three people when I mentioned how excited I am for Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, so that’s next on my reading list. 
Wanting
: To mention that the patio plants I told you I didn’t want to kill last month…I haven’t killed them. Not only are they not dead — they are flowering! I’M SO PROUD.
Enjoying: What it feels like to be Molly, Queen of Flowering Patio Plants.  
Listening: Finished the Missing Richard Simmons podcast and it made me sad. Poor guy must be exhausted. Also, do yourself a favor and listen to the Big Little Lies soundtrack. So great!
Needing: A place to live in seven weeks. 😀
Smelling: This Rosemary and sea salt candle in this pretty cobalt container. I think I can officially say without reservation after almost thirty years of life that cobalt is my very favorite color.
Wearing: Pretty much daily: these blush sandals, this grey cardigan, this easy black top
Loving: Date nights at our favorite neighborhood spot made even better by patio weather + Beans. (pictured below)
Watching: We worked our way through the entirety of The Office, and now we’re doing the same with Arrested Development. And we watched The Shining — my first time, but not Matt’s. It was wayyy scarier than I thought it’d be. I couldn’t sleep that night!
Bookmarking: Orlando Soria is back to blogging (so witty, so stylish, so honest!), this site offers custom mats for Ikea’s RIBBA frame (!!), and for the This Is Us obsessed, Mandy Moore’s IRL mid-century home is getting a facelift.
Feeling: Excited about diving into my book tonight. It’s been kind of a day. 

epicerie austin dog friendly patio

As I mentioned last month, I’m ready for some equal-opportunity opinion-flinging as these posts are normally just me throwing a bunch of stuff at you. So, I’m ending each currently post with a question. This month: what is the best series finale you’ve ever seen? Off the top of my head, some of my favorites have been Six Feet Under’s, Scrubs’ (the original finale, before it got picked back up), and Monk’s (yes, you heard that right.) Dying to know yours!

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