Weekend Roundup: 6 Awesome Shibori Tutorials

I wanted to try to start doing roundup posts (though I can’t promise one every weekend) because I fall down a LOT of craft-tutorial rabbit holes. I’m not the kinda girl who wants to look at one tutorial and do what’s in the tutorial; I want to look at as many tutorials as I can find until I really have a grasp on what I’m doing. I will watch so many YouTube videos.

This week, my research topic has been Shibori fabric dyeing techniques. Shibori-dyed fabrics are similar to tie-dyed fabrics, but with a lot more different variations of techniques. The overall concept is “resist” dyeing, or blocking off parts of the fabric so that they don’t get dye on them and other parts do, making a pattern with the dye. Psychedelic tie-dye isn’t everyone’s style choice, but Shibori patterns can be more subtle and fit many different styles.

Without further ado, here are some awesome tutorials I found that will help you learn all about Shibori, too!

image from Honestly WTF

DIY Shibori from Honestly WTF. This is a really good start-to-finish tutorial that goes over how to work with the dye (a little bit less straightforward than Rit but nothing to panic about) and some cool techniques to use. Fun fact I learned from this tutorial: Indigo-dyed cloth looks GREEN until it oxidizes!

image from Seamwork Magazine

Shibori Dyeing from Seamwork Magazine. This tutorial explores a lot of traditional Shibori techniques, including the Japanese names for the techniques. This article has fun facts about dyes and some techniques not covered in the first tutorial.

Indigo Shibori Dyeing Techniques from Closet Case Patterns. More examples of patterns you can make.

Shibori With Stitch Resist (Video Above). Another way of making patterns with thread. The pattern for the orange design isn’t shown in the video, but there’s a PDF with instructions under the video.

image from In Color Order

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial from In Color Order. LOTS of different techniques documented and some additional Shibori resources at the end.

Feeling inspired? Want to see more? I made a Shibori board on Pinterest that you can follow here.

Featured image background from Honestly WTF, Seamwork Magazine, and In Color Order.

 

Tutorial: Make Your Own Cheap Pendant Chains [Video]

I thought, hey, why not show everyone that they, too, can make inexpensive pendant chains?

Okay but, for real, I’m sorry that I did not speak more clearly in this video. I will do better. I’m new at this filming business!

I needed to sit down and make pendant chains because I was listing this pendant right here for sale on Etsy:

Which you can get here if you want it, I dunno if you like to wear things on your neck. I will have these in stock until I run out and then . . . we’ll see? (This is why I’m not really a businessperson.)

Anyway, I thought, hey, why not show everyone that they, too, can make inexpensive pendant chains? I think these will come out to between 1 and 2 dollars each. (The ones I made were actually about 70 cents each, but it depends on what you can find at your local craft supplier, so I don’t want to oversell it.) The chain I used is super sturdy, too–it’s not the really flimsy type that will break if you breathe on it wrong . . . though if you like the more delicate chain, I’m sure you can find it!

If you would like to learn other versions–like ribbon, cord, etc–drop me a comment here or on YouTube and I will film that, as well. Happy crafting!

 

Is Skillshare Premium Worth the Price?

I’ve been poking around Skillshare for two months. Would I pay full price to keep it?

I was not paid to review Skillshare or given anything in return for my review.

I tried Skillshare when I saw an offer for 3 months of premium for $0.99 on a YouTube channel I follow (the channel is Drawfee, and it is hilarious, FYI. Highly recommend if you like humorous videos). I am a video tutorial addict; I’ve been getting my fix on YouTube for years, and I’ve armchair-learned so many skills that I will probably never use. If Skillshare is 100% compatible for anybody, it’s me.

And my answer to whether it’s worth the premium price is a resounding “maybe? if you have eight-to-twelve bucks that you literally don’t care about every month?”

The Pros

Skillshare video category
The video layout for a category on Skillshare.

Definitely there are a lot of good things about Skillshare. The average video quality of all of the classes I’ve taken or previewed (probably a good 10 – 15 at this point?) has across the board been better than the average quality I find on YouTube–not to say that there aren’t great quality tutorials on YouTube because there definitely are, just that you aren’t guaranteed a great quality video. (As I look deeper through some of the categories on Skillshare, I’m actually also finding videos that aren’t that great of quality, too. So it’s more of a mixed bag than I initially thought.)

I also really enjoy the class format because I don’t have to go hunting for videos for the next step in a project, or wait for the next video to come out when the person gets time to film it.

Another pro is that Skillshare seems like it probably has been hustlin’ to get some good talent on its site that YouTube hasn’t attracted (maybe by paying more?). Famous brands like Pixar and Good Housekeeping have classes on the site. I watched videos by a great watercolor artist named Karina Eibatova, a “designy illustrator” named Mikey Burton (he was my fave teacher, hands down), and weaver and author Rachel Denbow. I loved all their classes and you could tell they were professionals in their fields.

Skillshare class example
A cool video course I took. Underneath, there is a place for feedback, discussion, and to upload your own projects based on the course material.

I also found some cool business-y courses (though more on this in a minute). I could have used more of this type of course, to be honest, but I found a couple of courses about how to launch a t-shirt business and how to integrate batch-sewing into your workflow so you could run a sewing business out of your home, which sounds jargon-y but is a very useful skill. Mo’ sewing = mo’ money, am I right?

The Cons

I actually can find tutorials that cover a lot of the same topics on YouTube for free. At $96 to $144 a year, that’s a pretty big incentive to do my own research . . and honestly, on YouTube, it’s not difficult. Skillshare is about six years behind YouTube as an entity and is lesser-known; Skillshare boasts 15,000 classes, and granted, they’re generally high-quality, but a quick YouTube search of “tutorial” brings up 181 million results. It’s almost impossible to run out of things to learn on YouTube and there are some really professional teachers making quality videos there, as well.

Skillshare also promises “professional skills” but I saw a whole lot of basic classes on there. There was a class on how to knit a scarf in garter stitch and a class on urban sketching; I didn’t see nearly as many intermediate or next-level classes or specific business skills that I couldn’t learn from literally anybody who has a “business skills you need to learn for your home business” post. I also saw a lot of “productivity hack” type courses, and I feel like probably not all of those people are actually productivity experts. If I’m paying for access, I’d prefer higher levels of vetting and curation from Skillshare. I can get “experts” who think they know everything about productivity on YouTube. *s*

Some categories are almost nearly empty. When I checked IT Security a couple of hours ago (or maybe it was last night, but I think it was today–I only just finished my first cup of coffee, forgive me), there were no videos in it. Now there are three, and I . . I’m not an IT Security expert but I don’t know that these videos really fit the topic?

Skillshare IT Security category
And what the hell is Facebook group domination and why do I want to do it??

It’s also not as easy to find things as I’d really like. One of the things that Skillshare could have up on YouTube is the ability to browse sections and find skills I didn’t even know I didn’t have, but videos are not always sorted into appropriate categories. For example, “Culinary” and “Cooking” had about five videos each when I clicked through, but I knew I had seen a lot more on the main “Lifestyle” page. Sure enough, a quick scroll through the main “Lifestyle” category immediately brought up a lot more food videos. (All of which were basic cooking stuff, just in case you’re curious.)

Then there are the scammy videos. I really wish Skillshare did a better job of curation, frankly–both at categorizing videos and keeping scammy classes like “Free Unlimited WiFi Trick at Cafes and Malls” or “How To Access To The Deepweb”[sic] at a minimum.

The Verdict

I . . . don’t really care if I continue to use Skillshare? It’s a thing that is neat but not in any way indispensable to me. It’s definitely not worth $12 a month to me, or even $8/mo if I pre-pay for the year; the classes aren’t rigorous enough to justify paying that much for it. Once my 99-cent months are up, I’ll probably cruise it every now and then for free content. It’s going to be a lot more helpful for people who are just starting out with a skill, but even then, you will probably quickly be looking for other sources of information.

That said? If you can get some free months or get the 3 months for $0.99 deal, it’s definitely worth poking around a little if you like learning skills. Skillshare lets people have a referral link and earn free months by giving out free months, as well; you can get a free month of Skillshare Premium from my referral link by clicking here. (This will give me free months, but like I said, I don’t really care if I continue to use it. So if you would rather seek out the 3 months for $0.99 deal, go with my blessing.)

TL;DR: totally okay but I’m not into it enough to pay full price for it.

Have you used Skillshare? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments!

 

Coloring Gear Review: LJY 5-Pack Assorted Floral Pen Holder/Pencil Pouch for Coloring

I bought some adorable pencil pouches on Amazon for $7.99. Were they too cheap to be good? Let’s find out.

I was not paid to review these. Any reviews may contain affiliate links in which I make money for sharing if you buy a thing but in which you do not pay any extra for goods.

I bought these pencil pouches from the AMZ for $7.99 (you can find them right here) because I am a sucker for floral patterned anything. 100% of the dresses I own–well, besides that one polka dot one I didn’t return in time and I’m stuck with–are floral print dresses. I would have a lot more floral prints in the house, but I live with two men* and there’s only so far I can push my luck.

*I’m only married to one of them. The other is my brother-in-law. Nothing** kinky happening here.

**Nothing insofar as living with two guys, anyway. I won’t confirm or deny anything else.

I also bought these because I wanted more storage for coloring media. I had been using a Verizon case that I got free at an event to hold my gel pens; this case 1) is really uggo and 2) spills pens everywhere every time I open it, so it wasn’t going to be a good long term solution. I also wanted to take my colored pencils out of the plastic clamshell accordion case they came in, because it, too, threatens to spill out pencils if I’m not very diligent in making sure I open it the right way.

I made a short video review if you want to hear my thoughts on these pouches. I will also continue my text review below.

In case you didn’t or can’t watch the video, here are the highlights:

  • About as cheaply made as you’d expect at 5 for $7.99, but sturdy enough. Zippers a little flimsy but not the flimsiest.
  • Pens fit nicely. Pencils? Not so much; the pencils have to be jammed in a bit. They’re just a little short for full-length colored pencils; I would be worried about the tips grinding or breaking. I tried both cheap and expensive brands and none fit that great.
  • How many pens fit? For the cheap gel pens I had–the kind that come in big, inexpensive sets–I could fit in exactly 19. I tried 20 but the 20th pen was pushed out when I closed the zipper. Also, shout-out to my uggo Verizon case that made an appearance at the very end.

Verdict: Cute, good for travel and pens, not so good for a colored pencil collection (unless they’re unusually short or very used).

This is also my first post! So hello! you might know me from other sites such as Book Riot or Insatiable Booksluts; you might not know me at all and that’s fine, because we’re meeting now. My plans for this space are some product reviews, some DIY tutorials, some quick tips, and whatever else I can dream up that I think people might like.  If you have any requests, holler at me.

Also, if you like coloring? I made a Books and Tea coloring page recently at Book Riot that you can totally print out for free. Click right here for a page that all my friends said didn’t suck at all.