Sunday, June 24, 2007

It was a great day to dye!

My friends, Susan and Linda, came over on Friday to dye fabric. This is something we do at least once a year and we all look forward to it for weeks. This year, we launched out and tried some different colors, but we had to keep some of the favorites in there. One of the things I just love is the mottled effect that you get when you use low immersion dyeing. A friend saw my dyed fabric one year and said she was so sorry that it had come out so badly because of the mottled look. I had to laugh because that's really my favorite thing--it adds interest to the colors and you get a lot of different looks. It's all play, really--put the fabric and dye in and see what comes out. It's like Christmas in June.

This one is coral pink--a new color for us this year, chosen by Susan. On parts of the fabric (not shown here) it's even more of a peach color. Gorgeous.

This one is Chinese Red. I think both Susan and I got this color. (We buy all our dyes from Dharma Trading.) It's very rich, very exciting, and outside my normal comfort zone. We realized during the day that we had all chosen some dyes that were a real shift for us.

Ooooo, and my favorite--lapis. I buy this dye every year. I've actually started using some of it in pieces, but it's hard for me to cut into something so beautiful. I figure that when I have 50 yards of it in my stash, I'll feel secure enough to actually start using it comfortably.

This last picture sort of shows you the variation in the shades you can get with just the difference of one tablespoon of dye solution.

We had so much fun, and it was so satisfying that we've resolved that we're going to have another dyeing day in September if we can. (Because too much fabric is never enough.)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Bead journal project (E is for Emotional)

Last month I signed up for the Bead Journal Project--a group where each member will make a beaded journal page every month for a year. Luckily, the rules are flexible enough to allow people involved in textiles to make a fabric page and add beaded embellishment.

For the month of June, my page is going to be an embellished E--for Emotional. My current boss doesn't care for the fact that I express my emotions and nearly came undone when I cried in his presence one day, and once when I became upset at the prospect of asking people in our unit to do something that clearly violated state ethics laws. Now, the guys at work get angry and frustrated and argue and express it all, but it's evidently not ok for a woman to do the same thing. When I found out that he classified me as "emotional", I decided to take a lesson from Hester Prynne and look at it as something to highlight rather than hide. The letter is taken from a collection of Victorian alphabets and will be embellished with beads until it's obvious that it's meant to stand out and be noticed. Enough of apologizing for having emotions and trying to hide them in order to look like "one of the guys". There! Ha! So in the following weeks I'll be working on the embellishment.