The creative and spiritual journey of a (textile) recycler. . .

I have thought about starting a blog for a long time now. I just couldn’t seem to get started. I thought. . what would I say, what would I do and really . . . . . who would care.

Last year I had the great fortune to witness a ‘happening’. As a spouse at a reunion (I know, groan) I was both an observer and participant. This reunion was attended by some of the most creative and talented people on the face of the planet. Really, no exaggeration! But many were holding onto life long insecurities. They didn’t think they were talented enough and embarrassed to perform in front of each other for fear of . . who knows . . . finger pointing, whispers, laughter, ridicule of some sort for sure. Once it was revealed that many shared the same feelings, the healing began. And I was the lucky one. I got to witness it all and benefit as well.

So, the message is that we all think we are not good enough compared to someone else, but we are. Don’t let your fears and insecurities stop you. We can’t measure our own success by someone else’s talents.

This revelation and the kindness / support of strangers has propelled my creative journey to a place I had given up ever getting to. Tho I thought my creative juices were dried up forever, they have merely been reawakened. Many thanks to all involved in my process, including in-part . . Victoria B, Mrs. W., Charles Mc., Claudia H, Mary B, Cindy G, Sandy B, Traci B., Kat C, and my IAA family. So, thank you. I dedicate this blog to all of you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dye, dye, fabric dye

I realized last week that I have not dyed fabric once all year. It's October already! Holy Cow! This is very unusual for me. I can not lie. It's been a crazy, crazy year and I have not had the time nor the interest.

This past spring with the volume of rain that hit most of eastern and middle USA, my basement flooded. Whatever was dry and on top of the pile, landed in the garage just so we could get the awful sopping wet stuff out of the house before the mold set in. So yesterday while I was going through the contents of house. . . which are still in the garage by-the-way, guess what I found? Yep, a bag, then box of white-ish fabrics plus some random bits and pieces. I brought them in to add to my pile of fabrics to dye. This was meant to be done sometime in the future. Then the next thing I knew, I threw a plastic table cloth over the washing machine and started filling my soda ash bucket. Hmmmm. . . somehow that got depleted. I always keep a bucket full of soaked fabric at the ready. One never knows when the mood will hit.

So, there I was filling the bucket and throwing all the random pieces of fabric into it. Then I mixed up some pinkish, blue, olive green, and orange dye (the exact colors escape me at the moment) and a smidge of black. I rarely use black. I really like the pure, rich colors I get without it, but I also like the muddy colors that add earthiness and richness to a piece. Somehow I always forget about them so happily today my synapses were firing. And I like playing the mad chemist. I guess since I am neither mad nor a chemist!

One of the things I like about dyeing fabric is that I don't feel like I have to keep recipes and exact measurements. Most of my friends do that and get fabulous results. I just have to do something fun without feeling like I have to control it. That is my journey after all. Sometimes it works. . . sometimes not. That is quite alright with me. I truly enjoy the surprise element. And let's face it, if it's really horrid, it can go in the pile of to-dye fabric for another round. Some of the fabric pieces felt like there was poly in them, I know I did not use enough dye, and I really experimented doing everything you're not supposed to do . . . so I wonder how they will turn out. No biggy. . . . I'll check out the results tomorrow.

So as I leave my bits of fabric to batch (let the dye set into the fabric), I am suddenly aware of the jungle sounds the birds in my yard are making.

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