Hobbies have poor shelf lives

The shelf-life of a hobby is one year and two months, according to Brits.

Researchers who polled 5 001 UK adults found almost half have taken up a hobby only to give it up.

Twenty-eight per cent level the blame at work commitments, while 27 per cent said a busy family life prevented them from carrying on.

But this hasn’t stopped them pursuing something new – eight in ten currently have a hobby and dedicate a total of nine days over the course a year to it.

Commissioned by Barclaycard, the research also found 57 per cent believe they are happier and a quarter have acquired new friends – all thanks to their hobby.

Andrew Hogan, Head of Brand Strategy at Barclaycard, said: “Our research shows that in today’s often frantic world, having a hobby can have a huge, positive impact on both our personal and professional lives, as well as our overall health and wellbeing.

“That’s why it’s so important that we overcome obstacles to getting going, whatever that may be.

“We encourage everyone to prioritise their passions and start today.”

The biggest obstacles to spending more free-time doing pursuing hobbies and interests include work commitments, family commitments and not having enough disposable cash.

Although 13 per cent admit they are too lazy to spend additional time doing their hobbies and 22 per cent revealed they tend to procrastinate in their spare time instead.

Regardless of this, 54 per cent are more relaxed thanks to their passion, around a third believe they are healthier and 23 per have seen their confidence levels increase.

And two in five believe their outside interests have given them a more positive outlook on life.

On average, those who have made new friends as a result of their hobby have made 16 new pals.

With one fifth of those who made friends have even meeting a partner.

A third have a hobby they would like to try one day, with ten per cent hoping to give it a go some point in the next 12 months.

And a quarter would like to turn their interest into a career someday.

Over half agree everyone should have a hobby or passion.

Andrew Hogan added: “It’s fascinating to see that so many people daydream of turning their passion into a career – and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t.

“Taking that first step could be as simple as signing up to ukulele lessons or buying a bike.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk By James Cox

Paper perfect

Artist Yulia Brodskaya is a highly regarded paper artist and illustrator who uses two simple materials – paper and glue – and a technique that involves the placement of carefully cut and bent strips of paper to make lush, vibrant, three-dimensional paper artworks.

Brodskaya started working as a graphic designer and illustrator in 2006; however, she quickly abandoned the computer programs in favour of paper art.

“Paper always held a special fascination for me. I’ve tried many different methods and techniques of working with it, until I found the way that has turned out to be ‘the one’ for me: now I draw with paper instead of on it.”

Soon after discovering her passion and unique style, Brodskaya earned an international reputation for her innovative paper illustrations. Her modern take on the paper craft practice has helped her build an impressive list of clients in just a few short years. She is frequently invited to speak at design conferences and design schools around the world. Her original paper artworks are owned by Oprah Winfrey, Ferrero, Hermés, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Paramount Pictures, Country Music Association, Wimbledon, Mr Issey Miyake and numerous other private collectors.

Source: Art Yulia

The rise of kids stationery chain Smiggle

Brightly coloured children’s stationery chain Smiggle, the profit powerhouse ready to roll into Europe, has grown rapidly in just 14 years.

The first Smiggle store opened in Melbourne by founders Stephen Meurs and Peter Pausewang in 2003. Apparel retailer the Just Group, the company behind Just Jeans, bought Smiggle in 2007.

Solomon Lew’s company Premier Investments bought the Just Group in 2008 and at the time, Smiggle was making $19-million from 35 stores. In that same year, Smiggle opened its first New Zealand store.

Smiggle expanded into Singapore in 2011, then in the UK in 2014, followed by Malaysia and Hong Kong in 2016.

It now has 300 stores across Australia and overseas and in the 2017 financial year, made $238.9 million in sales.

Premier plans to expand Smiggle into the Netherlands and Belgium in 2018.

Source: SBS 

The writing tool renaissance

Here’s a fact you have to write down to believe: Over the past 10 years, during which the world has adopted smartphones and social media, sales of fountain pens have risen.

Retail sales, in particular, have grown consistently. In 2016 they were up 2.1 percent from the year before, making fountain pens a $1 billion market, according to a report by Euromonitor International. To compare, the overall market for personal luxury goods—watches, handbags, cars—was stagnant over the same period, suggesting that a good pen is a better investment than the bespoke suit in which it’s stowed.

These forces are even more pronounced in the Japanese market, where a study by Yano Research Institute Ltd. finds that fountain pen sales grew a remarkable 19.1 percent from 2014 to 2015, a leap attributed in part to an increased number of foreign buyers purchasing high-end Japanese products. In the Digital Age, it seems, the written word is the ultimate luxury.

The Nakaya Fountain Pen Co., in Tokyo, was one of the first pen makers to realize this, doubling down on individual craftsmanship even as the industry as a whole began trending toward mass production. What seemed like folly 20 years ago is starting to look more and more like smart business.

Nakaya is the brainchild of Toshiya Nakata, grandson of Platinum Pen Co. founder Shunichi Nakata. Toshiya’s father, Toshihiro, was president of Platinum in the mid-1990s when several of its most experienced craftsmen announced their retirement. For Toshiya, who’d left his banking job to learn the family business at the age of 29, the news came at a precarious time: The looming threat of email had fountain pen manufacturers worried that their product was doomed to obsolescence—or at least to a shift down-market.

Fearing that the workers’ departure represented an irreplaceable loss of skills, the youngest Nakata formed Nakaya, a line that would be a wholly owned subsidiary of Platinum but work independently. “There is a limit to the mass-produced fountain pen business,” says Nakata, a lean man in rimless glasses with a brusque, matter-of-fact manner, when we meet in Nakaya’s tiny but bustling headquarters in Taito City, Tokyo.

The retirees had occasionally been called upon to repair and adjust older pens, but that wasn’t enough for Nakata. “I thought, Why don’t we make some fountain pens?” In 1999 he signed up the pensioners to return to their familiar positions. Kohsuke Matsubara, a lathe master, went back to turning pen barrels from brownish-gray ebonite, a hard rubber material. (Matsubara still turns many of the Nakaya barrels himself.) Kazuo Maruyama, a metal-press specialist, fabricated nibs and pocket clips. Sadao Watanabe hand-adjusted all of the early Nakaya pens. In 2003 designer Shinichi Yoshida was hired away from Platinum to create models for the Nakaya line.

On the 17mm-diameter Long Cigar Chinkin Dragonflies fountain pen ($4,000), designs are carved into an urushi base using chisels, lacquer is inlaid in the grooves, then metal leaf and powder are added.
Photographer: Keirnan Monaghan for Bloomberg Businessweek; Prop stylist: Theo Vamvounakis
According to Nakata, as much as 75 percent of its sales come from outside Japan—even though the company has no presence on the trade show circuit, not even at the annual Collectible Fountain Pen Supershow in Washington, billed as the “largest pen event in the world.” Nor will it be attending the London Writing Equipment Show in October, one of the biggest gatherings of its kind in Europe.

Instead, news of Nakaya spreads mainly through word-of-mouth on message boards such as Fountain Pen Geeks and on blogs, where the pens are described as “smooth,” “glossy,” “glowing,” and “poetic.” The only U.S. distributor is the online shop Nibs.com, which always has some items in stock for immediate purchase and can make minor adjustments on the fly. A few used models can be found on EBay, as well.

The ideal way to experience a Nakaya, though, is to hold it and feel it in your hand. The best way to test the pens is at one of the many impressive fountain pen emporiums in Tokyo: the vast Maruzen bookstore, a few blocks from the Imperial Palace; the airy rooms of stationery superstore Itoya, hidden among Ginza’s luxury boutiques; or the well-stocked specialist shop Kingdom Note in bustling Shinjuku.

Cruising their display cabinets can make a visitor feel as if she’s seeing double, or perhaps even octuple. The pens from Japan’s three big manufacturers—Pilot, Platinum, and Sailor—tend to look awfully similar, and after a while, the rows of dark, somber objects with metal clips and center bands can start to run together.

But even a novice can identify products from Nakaya. The first clue is the color palette, which explodes in reds, greens, pinks, ochers, cornflower blues, even bright oranges, all so shiny the pens almost appear to be underwater.

Some feature small, gold-colored pocket clips, but most are unadorned—no branding, no hardware, just cylinders of glistening lacquer. They’re the sort of sparkly item tailor-made for the Instagram era, but good luck getting the pens’ biggest fans to define their exact appeal.

“You can feel something when you hold a Nakaya that’s different from all other pens”
“I can’t explain it,” says Brad Dowdy. The fountain pen aficionado has devoted millions of words to the merits of analog writing tools during the past decade of producing his Pen Addict blog, but when it comes to the Nakaya Portable Cigar fountain pen—his personal favorite—he’s at a loss.

Sure, the nib is butter smooth, the weight perfectly distributed, and the blue-green finish, known as ao-tamenuri, spectacular. But the Nakaya is so distinctive, it throws him for a loop. “You can feel something when you hold a Nakaya that’s different from all other pens,” he says with an air of slightly exasperated admiration.

For Brian Anderson, a longtime collector, it’s the range of customization that separates a Nakaya from the rest of the market. Anderson, who with his wife, Lisa, operates the thriving online and brick-and-mortar operation Anderson Pens out of Appleton, Wis., says the brand “is intended to be bespoke. You can have whatever model you want, whatever finish, with whatever nib.”

As long as you’re willing to wait. The company makes only about 1,500 pens per year. And because many coats of lacquer are required to create the deep, even finish Nakaya is known for, the process takes about two months to complete.

Today, almost all the newly turned barrels are shipped to Wajima, a small peninsula six hours by train to the west of Tokyo. The area’s claim to fame, and its status in Japan as an “intangible cultural asset,” is the urushi lacquerware that artisans have been creating there since the 1500s.

The smooth, lustrous finish that has become Nakaya’s calling card begins its life as the milky white sap of the urushi tree. Although the trees still grow in Wajima, the region hasn’t been able to keep up with demand, and these days the sap is usually imported from China for the undercoating; the homegrown version is used for the top layers.

Urushi sap turns a light amber when exposed to air, but once it’s been filtered to remove impurities, more colorful pigments are added, and the resulting lacquer is then painted onto the pen barrels. After each coating, the urushi must be allowed to dry—or, more properly, to absorb moisture from the air, which causes it to solidify.

Between layers, the urushi is painstakingly buffed to a high sheen, and on many Nakaya pens, multiple layers of a second color are applied and then polished so the first color is barely visible—where the cap meets the barrel, on the threads, or on the lip right above the nib. Nakaya’s popular 10-sided Decapod model highlights this particular effect: Where the edges meet, reds, oranges, and greens show through the darker top coats.

Given the handmade quality of the pens, the entry-level models are surprisingly affordable, starting at $650. Sailor, Nakaya’s closest competitor, starts its urushi line at $1,900; the mass-produced black-resin Montblanc 149, a classic status-symbol gift, costs about $950.

The Yano study also notes that the increasing availability of high-quality, low-cost models for entry-level users is creating brand-new fountain pen fans. The finding hints at a virtuous connection between Nakaya’s prestige line and Platinum’s full range, which includes the Preppy, a $2 refillable fountain pen for the Japanese market.

Although some partisans of Pelikan International Corp., Montblanc, and other European brands complain that Nakayas lack heft, that lightness is a boon for the people who use them. Dowdy, the Pen Addict, describes his Nakaya as “disappearing” into his hand.

Lightheartedness is also part of the Nakaya spirit. Starting in 2003, the company released a line of converters—devices that allow a pen to use bottled ink as well as a cartridge—that are hand-painted with images of seaweed, tadpoles, cherry blossoms, and maple leaves. The converters aren’t visible through the pens’ opaque barrels, making them the equivalent of Mickey Mouse boxers worn under a bespoke business suit, a hidden bit of whimsy that leaves the stylish facade intact.

In the fountain pen world there is something of a tension between collectors, people who like to play Noah and buy two of each item, and users, those who take pleasure in putting the pens through their paces. Nakayas appeal to both. They are indisputably works of art, masterpieces crafted by hand using skills refined over a lifetime. And yet a pen with a nib this good—sexy, responsive, fine-tuned to the owner’s hand—deserves to be used. It would be a crime against writing to keep it locked away in a display case.

By June Thomas for Bloomberg

Why paper won’t die

Boxes. Labels. Books. Your child’s first report card. A tissue for their first heartbreak. All made from paper; a renewable, recyclable material that is an inextricable, often invisible part of our lives. Think about it …from the moment we wake up to when we nod off with a book in hand, paper is there.

In a world that strives to go paperless, very often for the wrong environmental reasons, the paper industry firmly believes that paper is making a comeback in some quarters, and that it is here to stay.

The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) shares the reasons why paper is good for us, our economy and our environment.

1.         It’s versatile

Paper is categorised into three principal types  – printing and writing, packaging and tissue – and chances are that we use each kind every day.

Paper in its most common form – white copy paper – could be the start of something, a blank canvas, a new project or design, your first book. A variety of printing and writing papers help to  communicate and inform through news and advertising, the label on the coffee jar, the medicine box insert and the month-end supermarket specials. Paper also educates – from your child’s first reader to their last matric exam.

Paper packages and protects. From our eggs, teabags and cereal, milk and juice in cartons, to medicine and cosmetics. And let’s not forget that new computer equipment for the office or your online shopping order.

From the bestseller of your favourite author to a night at the movies with popcorn, a drink and a box of chocolates, paper entertains.

Facial and toilet tissue, kitchen towel and baby and feminine products help to improve our lives through convenience and hygiene.

2.         It’s renewable

In South Africa, paper is produced from farmed trees. Some 600 million trees are grown over 762,000 hectares for the very purpose of making pulp and paper.

“If it wasn’t for commercially grown trees, our indigenous forests would have been eradicated years ago to meet our fibre, fuel and furniture needs,” explains PAMSA executive director Jane Molony. “Sustainable, commercial forests have a vital role to play in curbing deforestation and mitigating climate change.”

As with most agricultural crops, trees are planted in rotation. Once mature – after seven to 11 years, they are harvested. However, only 9% of the total plantation area is felled annually. New saplings are planted in the same year, at an average rate of  260,000 new trees per day, or one-and-a-half saplings per harvested tree. This is what makes the paper we source from wood renewable.

3.         It’s recyclable

Recovered paper – the paper and cardboard from our recycling bins – is a valuable raw material and South Africa has been using it as an alternative fibre in papermaking since 1920.

Given that land suitable for the commercial growing of trees is limited, virgin fibre is supplemented with recovered paper. On the other hand, an injection of virgin fibre is also needed in the papermaking process because paper fibres shorten and weaken each time they are recycled.

In 2016, 68.4% of recoverable paper was recycled – recoverable paper excludes the likes of books and archived records, and items that are contaminated or destroyed when used, like tissue hygiene products and cigarette paper.

South Africa’s paper recovery rate has increased by 2% year on year, and is well above the global average of 58% (2015).

4.         It’s good for the environment

Working forests provide clean air, clean water and the managed conservation of wetlands, grasslands and biodiversity.

Farmed trees are efficient carbon sinks. Every year, South Africa’s commercial forests are estimated to capture 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases, in turn releasing 15 million tonnes of life-giving oxygen…. Memory jog back to that primary school science lesson on photosynthesis.

The carbon remains locked up even after the wood is chipped, pulped and made into the many items we use every day. This is a good reason to recycle as it keeps this carbon locked up for even longer. Sent to landfill, paper will naturally degrade along with wet waste and add to unnecessary emissions.

Recycling is a space saver too: one tonne of paper saves three cubic metres of landfill space – and the associated costs. The 1.4 million tonnes of recyclable paper and paper packaging diverted from landfill in 2016. This is the equivalent to the weight of 280,000 African elephants. The same volume would cover 254 soccer fields or fill 1,680 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

The South African pulp and paper industry avoids 1,3 million tonnes of carbon emissions from fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) through the use of renewable biomass-based energy. Emissions are also offset by the trees grown for papermaking.

5.         It’s good for the economy

Not only does pulp and paper production add around R3.8 billion to the South African economy annually, the growing and harvesting of trees, the making of paper products and recycling them provides sustainable jobs for thousands of people.

Let’s not forget the jobs of engineers and researchers who design advanced technologies and processes that make pulping, papermaking and paper recycling more energy and water-efficient, and the artisans and operators that keep paper production moving.

Add to this the downstream value chains which rely on paper to produce their products, including printing and publishing, media, marketing and advertising, and the myriad sectors which use paper-based packaging to protect their goods during transit.

“Any which way you look at it, paper, tissue and paper-based packaging are essential, and this is a good thing – for our economy and for our environment,” says Molony. “Invented some 2,000 years ago, paper is one of the oldest ‘technologies’ with research, development and innovation continuing the world over to make more efficient use of trees, recycled paper, water and energy. Paper is a great story.”

DIY homework caddies

Professional organiser Harmony Seiter has provided a step-by-step guide to creating an at-home homework station.

A homework caddy is great for small spaces, multi-purpose spaces, and for kids who love to do their homework on the floor or away from a desk or table.

• Find a caddy or a tray you like.
o You can find caddies of all shapes and sizes in many sections of a retailer (such as baby, bathroom, kitchen)
o You may need to add other containers to separate supplies

Watch the video here.

• Your needs will vary depending on the age of your kids.
o Primary grades may need crayons, scissors, glue sticks, pencils, pencil sharpener, erasers, colored pencils, a ruler, tape, paper, and possibly subject folders.
o Middle schoolers and high schoolers may need a calculator, pens, pencils, highlighters, pencil sharpener, erasers, stapler or paper clips, paper, glue sticks, loose leaf paper, sticky notes, tape, and subject folders.

• Place your homework caddy in an easy to reach spot for your student. It’s easily mobile, but make sure it`s brought to the same spot at the end of the day so homework time is always easy to manage.

Whether you keep it in your dedicated office or your kitchen pantry, a homework station will give your student all the tools she needs to successfully finish the day’s assignments.

Source: www.fox13now.com

 

The ultimate hobby machine

Say goodbye to unnecessary cords and create more space to work on your projects with the ultimate DIY machine from Cricut. The machine is hailed as all you need for craft hobbies like scrapbooking. The machine retails at approximately $300 (R3 800).

There are so many ways you can create with Cricut Explore Air. Design with the 50 000 images, projects, and fonts in the Cricut Image Library, or upload your own images and fonts for free.

Make party invitations, decorations and favours. Create seasonal home décor or personalise wedding gifts. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories.

Cut what you want
Upload and cut your own images and fonts free; works with .svg, .jpg, .png, .bmp, .gif, and .dxf files
Cut or write fonts already installed on your computer
Buy images starting at $0.99

Design and cut with the iPad app
Design here, there, and everywhere! Cricut Design Space app for iPad works seamlessly with the Cricut Explore Air machine. Design on your iPad and send the project to cut, wirelessly. The free, easy-to-use Cricut Design Space software system gives you access to all of your images and projects from any compatible computer or iPad. It’s cloud-based, so your projects are always synced across all your devices.

What can I make?
Make all your birthday and party invitations, banners, decorations, and favors. Create distinctive seasonal home décor or personalise DIY wedding gifts with a quick monogram for that perfect touch. Add embellishments to your favorite photo memories. And give Family Game Night the ultimate make-over with fresh and fun games month after month. Don’t forget those last-minute school science fair projects, book reports, or the ‘All About Me’ poster. Satisfy all your DIY crafting needs, whether you use the Cricut Explore Air as a vinyl cutter, die cut machine, or fabric cutting machine.

What can I cut?
The Cricut Explore Air cuts a wide variety of materials, including paper, cardstock, vinyl, iron-on, poster board and fabric for DIY projects. Upload your own images or choose from the Cricut Image Library – the only limit is your imagination.

No settings required
Forget the complicated materials settings. Now you can get the perfect cut on nearly any material, just turn the Smart Set dial. You can even create custom settings for different materials.

Clean cuts, big or small
The Cricut Explore Air features patent-pending Cut Smart technology. Cut all sorts of shapes with exceptional precision in sizes ranging from ¼ to 11½ inch wide x 23½ inches tall.

Cut and write in just one step
The Cricut Explore Air machine can cut a card and then write a personalised message exactly where you want. It can also cut a box and score the fold lines in one step.

Art by eraser

Artist Milind Nayak is presenting his graphite-on-paper for the first time at the Modernists of Bangalore exhibition, currently on at Art Houz.

He thinks the black-and-whites are hard to sell. But he makes art for himself, not for others. So it doesn’t matter to him if not many like his works.

“I always used to draw, bind the sheets and keep the books,” he says, talking of his love for art. “These works are independent of colour. They are my biggest treasure.”

Only recently did he feel it was time to show some of the display he had made in 2008.

Nayak has worked with graphite sticks and an eraser. “Graphite is the purest form of carbon. It has got a sheen that other materials don’t. I got addicted to it,” he says.
But he has created these pieces using the eraser more than graphite.

He adds, “I draw first, and then begin working with the eraser until I get what I want.”

Nayak is inspired by nature. The vivid hues in his work speak of his audacious flirtation with the colour palette and the enjoyment he derives from it.

He constantly tries to reinvent his technique, and has experimented with different media, like watercolour, oil, oil pastels, graphite, photography and digital printing.

He says he has been in and out of the art movement. He took a break between 1983 and 1999.

“I quit to support my family,” he says. “I did photography. I learnt a lot from the process. I am not into the ideological format. I stand alone, paint alone. I was going bald. So I thought it was time to come back.”

Nayak is among the few artists across the world who have seriously explored oil pastels as a medium. One of his most cherished experiences is working with a palette knife.
The artist explains that the elusiveness, force and intimacy that entail ‘painting’ with a knife are unlike those of working with a brush.

In such works, Nayak tried to move away from formal representation and step closer to abstraction. He did not, however, dispense entirely with the formal structure.

He says, “The knife technique evolved with the need to remove colour. I used it for erasing. It creates more tones and adds grace.”

Nayak likes to live and paint dangerously. “You can’t be static throughout life. You need to evolve,” he says.

Nayak was born in Udupi in 1954, and is a self-taught artist. Over the last 15 years, he has established himself firmly on the country’s visual art scene.

He says the only artist who has impressed him is his mentor G S Shenoy.

“He taught me that to become a good artist, you need to be a good human first,” he says. “I owe all my works to him. We were good friends even though I was 16 years his junior. When I took a break, he was very angry with me.”

He has had over 35 solo exhibitions, including three in USA. He has also participated in several group exhibitions in India and abroad.

By Akhila Damodaran for www.newindianexpress.com

Crafty ways to re-use wax crayons

It may not look like it, but a basket of worn-out wax crayons can be an incredible find. There are so many things you can make with these colourful little wax cylinders, apart from of course carefully colouring in those detailed drawings in a grown-up colouring book.

crayons-300x300

Repurpose crayons? Well – you could for example:

  • Drop a candle wick in an old mason jar, melt down a handful of crayons, mix in a few drops of essential oil, and create a beautiful, fragrant candle.
  • Melt the old ends of matching colours together by cooling the wax in the bottom of a muffin tin to make it round.
  • Melt the wax and layer it to make rainbow crayons, cooling the wax in anything from ice cube trays to cookie mould tins to make unique shapes. Your imagination is your palette. Colour your world.

Repurpose with a purpose: crafting a scarf

Repurpose an old scarf into a beautiful tapestry of colours using – you guessed it – crayons. It’s a fun, fashion-forward DIY idea project you can do at home.

This process is pretty much a take on batik fabric dying. By melting the wax and applying it to fabric, then removing the wax, we can create gorgeous patterns and breathe new life into old garments.

diy-crayon-scarf-final-600x600

You can break your crayons up and sort by like colours in a muffin tin. Heat some water over the stove and float the muffin tin in it until the wax melts. Then, paint the melted wax onto your garment using disposable paint brushes or Q-tips. Since the wax tends to harden when taken away from the hot water, I just did my painting in the kitchen near the stove. However, if you have a crockpot, you can fill it about halfway with water and float your crayon wax muffin tin in that, instead, to keep the wax melted while you work.

You can grate your crayons, sorting by like colours, and artfully arrange the granules on your garment. Once everything looks good, you can melt the crayon over the fabric by layering it between sheets of aluminium foil and either ironing it or using a blow dryer set on high heat.

If your pattern is rather “free”, like ours was, you can quickly do a light melt of the wax with a blow dryer or iron, then roll the scarf up tightly between sheets of aluminium foil and set the whole kit-and-caboodle in the oven on warm (about 170 degrees) for five minutes until the wax is really melted.

If you don’t have the time to grate each crayon down to a melt-able size, you can do what I did and use the “shred” disk on your food processor, being sure to remove the paper wrappings on the crayons before you drop them in. The waxy leftovers come off the equipment after a good soak in some hot water, though it does dull down the blades just a touch.

The next two steps are entirely up to you. Unless you’re incredibly careful with your scarf, the cooling wax will break here and there, leaving little spider veins of the scarf’s original colour in your final product. You can choose at this point to increase that crackle effect by scrunching up your scarf once the wax is dried, or just leaving it as is.

Dye the rest

If you want to dye the entire scarf instead of just adding colour to it with your crayon work, you can finish the rest by dying the whole piece with fabric dye. Just follow the instructions that come with the dye, particularly paying attention to the fact that you only need to use hot water, not boiling water, for the dye process. Hot water shouldn’t affect the crayon wax while boiling water, might cause the wax to melt.

Remove the wax

Once the wax has cooled, it’s time to remove the dried-on wax to reveal the colour underneath. To do this, grab a stack of newspapers or old paper bags, layering one underneath your garment to soak up any melting wax, and placing another piece on top. Slowly run an iron over the paper until the wax melts through, making sure any steam function is turned off.

Do this repeatedly until no more wax melts through the paper. For me, this took about nine sheets of paper per section, though I’ve done a couple garments that took up to 15, depending on how thick the wax is.

Once the fabric feels soft and wax-free, run it through the wash one time on its own just to make sure everything is set and you’re done! Wear your scarf proudly, knowing that you took something old (crayons) and something not-quite-your-taste and turned them into something wearable and lasting. And if you had a chance to do this fun project with a loved one, you not only have a lovely new scarf and the memories of time together, but a precious new keepsake, as well.

By http://www.earth911.com/

 

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