IT WORKED! Ice Dying

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IT WORKED!!!! KINDA!

So how about them apples?

So my 24 hour experiment in ice dying with the use of soda ash… rousing success. Aside from the unpredictable nature of the dye itself that is. Let’s be clear- those colors SHOULD have been true blue, black, olive green, and yellow. And we ended up with torquoise, brown, black, pink, a few yellows, and on the 4th one (not pictured, but a gauzier fabric so was already dry and was pulled off the rack at the time of the picture) spots of neon orange.

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The products, even the cocktail salt, are all ordered on Amazon. I can do without a salted rim most of the time but I’ll have to save some for Chiltons. Normal table salt is fine and cheaper, I just ran out

But lord above, I think this whole thing might work out after all. Interestingly, even though all of these fabrics are synthetic and blends, it’s the natural fiber dye that’s working best. And, of course, most of the dye in the stash is iDye Poly instead of just the iDye powder. Sigh.

So here are the steps that led me to this last go round. Make sure your fabric is prewashed. I just tossed all the scarves and bandanas in the washer and washed with regular detergent.

Step One: Brain Folds

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Brains!!!

So I watched a video of a dyer who said the more folds in the fabric the more interesting the ice dying comes out. She said she tries to aim for a brain folds look, which seemed easy enough to emulate. The edges of that ol’ garage sale dish drainer have large holes on the corners so I prop it up with some scrap pieces of 4x4s from when we installed the fence extension. I’m a LITTLE concerned I put too many scarves in this batch and the whole thing might be too tight for the dye to work down… Only one way to find out.

Step Two: Saturate

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Action Shot

So I totally soaked it with water. Some people get the scarves wet before the folding into place stage, but this seems easier to me. Also, maybe some dry spots will be more interesting. And this keeps me from getting soaking wet myself.

Step 3: Sprinkle with soda ash and salt. More than you’d salt food for both  by about 4 times, but no clumps.

Step 4: Sprinkle on dye powder over surface. Particular colors in spots, some overlapping, but not to much- you don’t want muddy colors. So I hear.

Step 5: Sprinkle on more soda ash and salt. I also poured on the dye activator liquid, which as far as I can tell hasn’t done anything yet, but I might as well use it.

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Im using way more dye powder these days than I was before watching other people do it on tutorials.

Step 6: Top with ice, evenly cover surface with about an inch or so depth.

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Collaborate and listen

Step 7: Wait 24 hours.

Tonights batch (the pictures used in the steps above) are Black (was in the natural fiber dye sleeve, but I may have mixed up the bags to sleeves.. or the black from the experiment yesterday was poly dye… I don’t even know anymore.) Poly purple, all the rest of the poly turquoise that has come out denim blue in the past, and a few dots of the brilliant blue natural fiber dye that turned out turquoise yesterday. I went heavier with the black and purple.

Yesterday I only did four scarves, tonight I went with six and two bandanas, but three were gauzy scarves, including the first two I was experimenting on. The poor ugly ducklings are pretty stiff with salt at this point. Fingers crossed for some swans out of those two on the third try.

Now we wait and see. This part kills me…

From the Drafts folder…

So I decided to go through my Drafts folder (sure you’ve noticed but posts have been few and far between lately and I was checking how much content I had in there that might be useable) and found this… dated 4 months ago.

I plow through self doubt through sheer force of will – but it’s like running through spider webs- it won’t hold me back but it still is pretty uncomfortable and takes multiple swipes to get the vestiges off.

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Image by Zuzanna Patocka

And the thing is… it still is holding true. I’ve been a bit off my feet for a little while now (4 months, I guess), wobbling/plowing along as best I can. I thought the analogy was good and I actually have zero recollection of writing it… so that’s interesting/worrisome for my mental acuity!

So yeah. Some cobwebs lately.

What am I going to do about it? Well hell. I guess trying to write more, carb less, work out more, miss taking my vitamin D and thyroid meds less, and garden more… that should help. Because I haven’t been very proud of my response to the “reduce carbs, take care of health, lose weight” marching orders I got. And I  have GOT to see my grandmother too… she’s been ill and it’s now being almost pathological the extent I’ve been avoiding seeing her. (Awful? No need to fucking tell ME.) Magical thinking where if I don’t see her sick she’ll live forever! I mean jesus christ. I’m 38 now, not goddamn 6.

But see, these moments… these moments where the self recriminations for stuff like that are so much louder than the rest is no bueno. My own head is not always the most gentle place for me to be. But then, it never has been- I’m just often better at dealing with it.

But ever onwards, through the fog and cobwebs… until the practice of moving forward has me steady on my feet once again. Because if there is ANYTHING my past has taught me… it’s that the cobwebs? Well they never swipe themselves off, do they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Better. Kinda.

So- the flu has finally passed- I’m through sickness and into health again, and just about normal.

I guess.

Here’s the thing. Maybe I learned something about myself through this flu.

Maybe I don’t necessarily like it.

Because the thing is… I sucked, sick. I was bitchy and short and pissy and multiple more none too flattering adjectives. And that sucks. Because if you’re a kind person only in normal situations, what does that make you?

What does that make me?

It’s been a weird relationship, me and my concept of self. Vestiges of social anxiety make me feel nigh on unforgivable for even the slightest of normal human failings. A streak of perfectionism leads to concepts of failing unless I’m overachieving. I cobble together self esteem through a variety of patches and props. So no, I don’t think I have a realistic view on myself. But see, I know that, so I often try to look at it from all angles- like a strange shell picked up from a beach. What lives in here, I wonder? What are the stripes for, camouflage or decoration? Are the spikes for defense or offense? And if you aren’t familiar with that particular kind of shell- how do you know if the one you hold in your hand is a good one?

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And I’ve often wondered- is wanting to be a better person enough? Where do I cut myself some damn slack, ever, and where do I need to work harder? The answer is I never have known.

I want to be kind. But that’s different than being kind.

Lord. I don’t go gentle into… anything. I fight and claw and drag myself towards grace, and if it’s the journey that’s important then I’ll continue the journey. Just like I’ve always done. Just like I’ll always do.