Tag: Dye

The Faux Opal Pendant

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

This is definitely one of my favourite projects from the new edition of the book. I actually got the idea from my work in polymer clay, and I wondered if similar techniques could be used to create a fake stone appearance in resin.

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

I show how to mix the resin of course, to get the stone effect in pretty much any colour you want (I’m obviously biased towards blue!) but that’s not all.

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

This project covers, for those who are inclined to get a little more experimental, how to make your own bezels from scratch, using items found in any hardware store. It also covers how to antique the bezel once you’re done to get a beautiful patina, again just using common household items.

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

The techniques show how to cut, file, and antique your bezel, how to mix, degas, and tint your resin and finally how to pour, seal and complete your piece so that it’s perfectly smooth on both sides. Every step is lovingly laid out over a few pages with tons of step-by-step photography. I love this technique… so much potential!

Resin Jewelry ©Shireen Nadir 2014

~ Obligatory Book stuff below ~

Resin Jewelry, 2nd Edition will be released September 15 and is now available for pre-order. Pre-ordering entitles you to the current version now and the fully updated version on September 15 at no further cost. You can pre-order until September 15 for only $20.00 USD, after which the price will go up to $28.00 USD.  

Upgrade option for folks who already own a copy:

  • Email me at hello@thebluebrick.ca
  • If you bought the book on my Etsy site, give me the paypal address you used to buy the first bookIf you bought it on blurb, give me the date of your original purchase
  • I will verify the original purchase with my records
  • Once verified, for a paypal payment of $5 I will add you to the list of folks who will automatically receive the e-book Resin Jewelry, 2nd Edition on September 15th, via email.

This offer will expire on September 14th, on September 15th the full e-book and printed version will be released.

You can pre-order the e-book at Etsy or Craftsy:



The Perils of Online Yarn

I saw this yarn on Etsy a few weeks ago that I absolutely had to have. Sure, it looked just like all my other s@!t, but it was coming from Europe and it was pure silk (and therefore it shouldn’t count against my moratorium on turquoise yarn) and I was dreaming of a beaded wedding shawl, so I bought it.

I won’t name off the designer here, because that’s not cool (and they might have a fit with what I did to their dye job) but when the yarn arrived, it looked nothing like the photo. I was so disappointed. I had expected a deep, ocean blue…

My Little Pony, anyone?

My Little Pony, anyone?

And gotten this instead. I decided to overdye the skein using Jaquard acid dye for wool and silk. I prepared a dye bath (and managed to omit the vinegar despite having done this a million times before, thank Rayna for catching that) and after a deep breath wherein I thought ‘what if I ruin it?’ in she went.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

She cooked until the dye bath was totally exhausted. What was my formula? Sorry, a dollop of sapphire blue and a dollop of turquoise… that’s all I got.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

Huzzah! This was the result after drying. Much more my speed.

©Shireen Nadir 2014

Now it basically looks like the photo on Etsy. Maybe a titch greener. I think it’s significantly different from all my other s@!t in that it’s much more blue, but all I got for this statement was a look that suggested I needed to get my eyes checked (incidentally, I’ve got absolutely perfect colour vision, according to this test so there).

©Shireen Nadir 2014

In love at last, time to go find some beads!


I’d like to take this post to showcase a project I was very honoured to participate in – the shoot for Luminousity, designed and conceived of by my dear friend, the incredibly talented stylist, Dylan Dias.

Dylan is amazing; he designs collections based around a concept – then produces his own book. He assembles his own team of models, books a photographer, make up artist and studio, designs the book and produces it himself.

His concept this time was to shoot entirely in black light. He used UV Reactive hair dye, and make up. I designed a piece of UV reactive jewellery and shot the collection. It was my first model shoot, and I had a blast! I was nervous at first but got into the zone easily, in fact I loved it so much I’m looking to do more fashion editorial. What I lack in fashion shooting experience I make up for in adverse light condition experience, the shots took a lot of work (don’t even ask about white balance, ugh) but I’m very happy with the results.

I want to congratulate Dylan; to design and conceive of, and plan and style something in light other than the light that it was going to be shot in takes real vision. We could have turned out the lights and turned on the strobes and this whole thing could have gone to hell. But it didn’t – we turned on those lights and were blown away and that’s all thanks to the skill and vision of a talented and dedicated artist.

Anyone looking to learn more about Dylan can click here to see his personal site, and previous collections.

Shanali is wearing a piece of jewellery that I designed for the shoot – I’ll blog about it soon! Thank you Dylan, for a great shoot :)

Adventures in dying wool (or how to not remind people of Jim Jones)

I needed lots of single serve packets of Kool-Aid – so I could have the most colour variety possible. I went to the Sobeys near my place and loaded up on about 30 single serve packets, in as many different colours as I could get. I took my findings to the cashier, where the person ahead of me in line kept glancing back at my absurd collection. I decided to clarify for him.

Me: I’m dying

Person: You’re What ?!

Me: Yeah, tonight – you can do it with Kool-Aid – did you know that?

If you want to try it yourself here are some basic guidelines (use superwash, natural fibers):

  1. Wash the yarn, and let it soak for about half an hour. Add a cup of vinegar (this helps the Kool-Aid be colourfast)
  2. Put the yarn on the stove and bring it to a very slow simmer. Doing this slowly is key, otherwise you might felt your yarn.
  3. Add the Kool-Aid – either pour the crystals directly into the pot, or mix with a little water to form a concentrated solution and add that to the pot. Needless to say, don’t add sugar ;o)
  4. You can add different colours to different parts of the yarn to produce a varigated yarn, or do the whole thing in one colour.
  5. Let yarn simmer for another half hour or so and then take it off the heat.
  6. When it’s cool, give it a gentle rinse and hang up up overnight to dry.

Here are some pics of my favourite self-dyed pieces =o)

Dying Yarn – Part II

Kool Aid and Food Colouring

Dying Yarn part II involved venturing into food colouring and vinegar instead of just Kool Aid. It’s messier, but the colours are a little more predictable. My goal was to try and match the glaze colours on two mugs that I was hoping to make coseys for and I’m not sure that I succeeded – though I did learn a lot in the process.

We mixed the food colouring in shot glasses ;o)

This was the orange/greenish part

And this was the purple mix. Confident of my success I poured them both into different parts of the pot. Some spots were bare, so I added a little here and there… and then the colours weren’t quite right so I added some more colours and mixes… and the results?

Fugly. Or you could make a pride scarf I suppose. Fugly Pride? Fried? Fried is a good name for this mess.

Take II – this time Tito is involved in an effort to get me to use a more measured approach. Or at least, to not stain the countertops. Here he is mixing up the blue and matching it to the pot.

Here’s the green…

And here’s the blue…

And here’s the mug. It looks promising but I suspect it’s way too saturated.

Tito’s final mix

And the final ‘Fried’ mix.

Here it is opened up – the way I applied the dye ended up leaving huge areas of it that got no coverage. By contrast the Kool Aid had evenly penetrated the other pot.

Here’s Tito’s. You can see the colours are nicer, but the coverage is still quite patchy.

The left, middle, and right skeins were dyed using Kool Aid – the coverage on them is much better. I’m not sure how to fix this, definitely some research needed.

Kool Aid #1 – Cherry, Strawberry and Orange

Kool Aid #2 – Lime, Strawberry, Grape and Orange

Kool Aid #3 – Grape, Strawberry and Orange.

So far in my experiments I’ve got to say I’m happier with Kool Aid! My third attempt will use both, I think Kool Aid for the powerful reds and a touch of blue food colouring for colours I can’t achieve using Kool Aid. I’ll also need to find out why the penetration was so different with one versus the other. Fugly or no, I’m hoping to swatch these up this weekend and see how the colours come out!

Dying Yarn with Kool-Aid

So I finally tried dying yarn on my own for the first time, and I decided to ignore the expensive dying kit I bought at the KW Fair and go for Kool-Aid technique first. I was really surprised, I’ve never done this before and the results turned out beautifully, definitely a fun home project for anyone looking to make their own custom yarns! I don’t have a lot of wisdom on the subject, but for the record here is what I did in case anyone else wants to try it.

Here is the yarn I used – 200 grams of pure Alpaca. I’ve read that Kool-Aid doesn’t work with synthetic fibers, so I used an all natural skein of pure wool that I bought from an Alpaca farm a few weeks ago. I tied the hank up in a few places to make sure it wouldn’t get all tangled on me, and soaked it in hot water for at least half an hour before starting.

For step 2 we poured out almost all the water, we wanted just enough so that the water only barely covered the yarn in the pot. Then Tito (for I am hopeless at these things) put the yarn on the stove and brought it to a slow simmer. The trick is to not bring the heat up too fast, or to stir it, because these things can cause the yarn to felt.

These were the Kool-Aid flavours we chose. We had no idea what the colours would turn out as but were hoping for red, orange and pink.

While waiting for the yarn to simmer we mixed the Kool-Aid. We used very little water, just enough to dissolve the crystals. Don’t add sugar!

When the yarn was simmering we started to add the Kool-Aid – I poured one colour at one end of the pot, another colour at the other end, and the third colour down the middle.

Orange, cherry and strawberry turned out to be….red, reddish and orangy-red ;o) I’ll need to find more flavour options next time!

After adding my colours I let the yarn simmer for another half hour, just to soak it all in. You want to see mostly clear water – so you know the dye is all in the yarn now. We then took it off the heat and allowed it to cool on it’s own.

When it was cool, we drained it into a colander and used an old towel to gently press out the rest of the water. The results are already looking very cool. Judging by the state of the towel after it seems that it’s quite colourfast.

Afterwards we draped it over an old easel to dry, and left it there overnight.

This is from this morning; the colour is great! It’s not quite dry, but when it is I’m really looking forward to working with it. I’ll be picking up another few skeins of alpaca this weekend, and some different flavours to try it again. More pics to come when I see how this knits up ;o)


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