Ema Hossain Design Portfolio

Take a look at my other blog EmaHossainDesign Portfolio to see more about my design work

Make a simple but delightful fresh flower display in a bowl in 5 easy steps

I'm a fan of making cheap fast floral displays. I don't gave any training or any knowledge but I like to see flowers in containers other than vases and particularly like to gift home arranged small bouquets especially inexpensive ones that look great.

For this quick arrangement you will need :

flowers ideally with strong stems like carnations & chrysanthemums
a fresh flower foam holder that fits into your container ( you can buy a circular shape in a dish like I have, or use a block and cut to a size that fits your container)
something to cut the flower stems with like scissors 
a container or dish  like a cereal or soup bowl.

1. Take a bouquet of carnations & chrysanthemums, a floral design bowl display foam unit ( I found this in a general store that sells everything called Home Bargains, which has branches throughout the UK, but you can also use a block or cylinder of fresh flower foam that has been cut to size.

2. Wet the foam and fill the well with water ( this can be topped up as needed)

3. Cut the stems into roughly the same length 

4. Start the arrangement with symmetrical placements of flowers & colours and built around this.

adding contrasting flowers as fillers in between the first flowers 

Continue to fill out the done shape, but don't worry too much about perfection, this is about putting the display together in a pleasing way. it takes time & practice to get a perfect globe like you would from the florist who has been trained in techniques.

Large flower blooms make good focal points & the smaller flowers make good filling flowers

5. Next place the flowers in a suitable bowl like  a white soup/cereal  bowl.

Here it is a quick posy of flowers ready to adorn a coffee table or shelf in 5 minutes.

The great thing about this is you can easily use the flowers that are discounted and you don't need many flowers. The cost here was minimal with the flowers costing £3 and the foam display cost less than £1and the bowl was already in the house. This type of arrangement in a pair of mugs would also make a lovely housewarming gift for a friend.

Beautiful cushions dip dyed & tie dyed with Dylon Antique grey

Tie dye & dip dyed cushions have very much been in the home and interior magazines and shops this year, so I have been planning to  create some interesting cushions. I wanted a grey blue duck egg colour and found that the Antique grey worked to create this look if the fabric is left dry and the dye time is literally a few minutes. I used cotton linen look cotton cushion covers.

I used one Dylon Antique Grey dye hand dye sachet  in a diluted form with a short time in the dye solution to create three beautiful tie dyed & dip dyed cushions. I fortunately I didn't photograph the method but it follows the same principle of tying the cushion fabric to create folds & pleats for the tie tie look.

Here are two of the cushions.
The fist was dip dyed by first dipping one edge, then the other edge, then the fabric was folded in half and the middle dyed to create the strip.

The secod cushion on the right what tie dyed to create a circular central pattern.

A close up the beautiful tie dye pattern 

The back of the cushion looks like this.

I am also happy with this design which sold and made it's way to a remote address in Scotland, it's nice to think someone is enjoying it in their home.

It's very easy to create stunning designs for cushions with tie dye. You can create subtle designs like I have here or you can create really bold patterns using bright vibrant colours.

Orange tie dye t shirts using Dylon goldfish orange

Here I am going to describe how I used a packet of Dylon Goldfish orange to create an interesting patchy tie dye effect.

The following photo  shows the equipment I used. It is important to always wear gloves which I do. I find you can use either normal household gloves or the latex multipacks that are readily available in the shops are particularly good as they stretch to fit hands.

Normally tie dye is done with elastic bands and string, but I am experimenting with nylon hair bands and metal paper clips. They  work in a similar way, creating areas where the dye won't reach by holding the fabric in pleats and folds. I scrunched up and tied the fabric randomly before beginning.
The methiod I am using is following the instructions on the packet.

Here I have the salt, 250g is needed,  tied up white t shirts, packet of of Dylon hand dye in Goldfish Orange, water for dissolving the dye and the water for the due and salt bath.

First I dissolved the dye pack in  warm water

Made sure that was properly mixed, then I poured the 250g salt into the green container of water about 6 liters is recommended, I sued around 5 liters as my container is a little too small.

The salt was mixed thoroughly into the water and then the dye solution added

Here I have added a small amount of the dye, just to show you the dye bath, the rest is added and mixed.

My t shirts were dry, as I had washed them previously, they need to be wet to help the dye process work better, so I dipped them into a small bowl of water to wet them thoroughly, before I added them to the dye bath.

Almost immediately the colours starts to be taken in. With the hand dye solution you have to mix it for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes I removed the items , and squeezed out excess dye and placed it into a bowl of clean

Here are the t shirts with the ties removed

They look very interesting and unique like this but I decided to pit them back into the dye for a few minutes to make the t shirts orange thorough out. 

I kept stirring to help the mixture reach all the surface area easily, then they were rinsed and put into the washing machine for a rinse cycle.

Here are the t shirts drying in the sun after being taken out from the machine. The yellows colour is just the sunlight and my camera messing up the photo a little.

You can see the result is a patchy effect with a pale orange background and a darker tie dye effect.
It looks great as it is or can be used as the background for adding fabric paint or block printing.

A couple of things to note if you want the exact shade is to weigh the fabric, and dissolve the dye in the right amount of water, I used double the quantity for a lighter colour as I intend on using the pattern as a background.

Tie dyed t shirts using clips and bendy rods

I'm always looking for ways to create interesting patterns on my hand dyed children's t shirt.
Normally I use string to tie the fabric up but I had the idea that metal clips and bendy foam hair curler rods might work. I wasn't sure if they would but decided to give it a go using a Dylon Tulip red.

Here is one of the white cotton t shirts, next to the hand dye and the container I use for making the dye bath, with the metal clips holding the fabric fold together.

The bendy rods don't clamp the fabric down but are good at holding it in place, so I also used the metal clips with them.

This is the dye bath, with the 250g of salt that is used to fix the dye to the fabric.

The colour looks lovely and vibrant

The fabric going in, ready to be mixed for 15 minutes

Here it is after a further 45 mins in the dye

I undid the ties and then rinsed the t shirts in cold water twice and then through the machine on a rinse wash, followed by a quick wash in non bio skin sensitive washing powder.

Here are the finished t shirts. I really like the designs on them but hoped the colour would be much redder.

Sometimes I find that the fabric picks up a dot, a dark spot and I never know where this comes from, sometimes the dye powers create speckles as well. I'm always trying to ensure that doesn't happen but sometimes it just does. You can see the small spot on this t shirt.

Here is the back view of the t shirts. So, I am happy that the tie dye effect is looking great, very striking.


I've got some other Dylon colours to work with and will be blogging about them soon.