Saturday, May 30, 2009

We 3 Art Play Day 1

Friday I was up at 3:00 am loading the photos from Thursday onto my computer, then onto my blog. I couldn't sleep, although I felt wonderful. No residual nausea or dizziness from the day before, just too excited to sleep!

By 7:00 I had two pots of Jasmine flower tea made, and the remaining items to the basement. Around 7:30, Kathy called and said her back hurt too much for her to drive to Wichita, then trek down my stairs to the basement. I felt both sadness and disappointment, but want her to get better more than anything else.

I called Dana at 9:00 and it wasn't long till she said she would be over shortly. With her materials in hand, we headed for the basement, then got distracted by showing each other what we had to play with and several books Dana brought. We separated our supplies, placing surface design tools and materials in one area and all our dyes in another. I don't even remember why we headed back upstairs, but we did and spent time planning what we would do and going over the directions for our first dyeing. Back in the basement, I forgot my camera. As we were preparing to enjoy a quick breakfast of gooey cinnamon rolls and tea, I remembered my camera and ran upstairs to get it.

I quickly took a photo of Dana's things, then noticed

she was making art out of her breakfast.

While chowing down on the cinnamon rolls, I wet some fabric and fitted it in a plastic container. Looks like a good fit to me.

While Dana cut various fabric,

taking time with the old tablecloth,

I heated water for two minutes in the microwave.

I placed two teaspoons of golden yellow dye powder in the container, then added one cup of hot water from the microwave. Then I placed the fabric in the mixture. At this point, I remembered bamboo skewers and ran back to my upstairs craft room for them. No matter how well I prepare, I always forget something.

Next I added one teaspoon of liquid Scarlet Rit dye to one cup of very hot water and began pouring it over the mixture.

Dana wanted to do it an alternative way, so she got out what I kept calling a "pippet" and squirted color into the folds of the material.

We got to laughing about the "pippet" and couldn't stop. It was one of those things where you would have to be there, but it made a great photo of Dana laughing!

As I was starting the second batch using Scarlet and Purple Liquid Dye (Dana's technique was very slow), Bleubeard decided to join us. He seems more enthused about grooming himself than dyeing fabric, though.

Dana finally has the Scarlet in the fabric and it's now time to place it in the microwave. Dana is preparing to cover the container with a lid in this photo. You don't tighten it down, just lay it loosely over the top. If you enlarge the photo (by clicking on it), you will see the microwave timer is set to 1 minute. That is because the water was already hot. If the water is not hot, you leave the fabric in the microwave oven for two minutes. As an aside, the tea bags on top of the microwave were for Kathy in case she didn't like Jasmine tea. They'll be here again when she feels like coming down.

After one minute, Dana removed the container from the microwave and removed the lid. I thought for sure you'd be able to see the steam rising from the container, but the camera didn't pick it up.

The last step was to rinse our first batch of dyed fabric and hang it on the line. However, I forgot to take photos. DUH!!

This batch took the longest because it was the first batch. Now we knew what we were doing, so it seemed like a good time to take a break and eat lunch. I had prepared stuffed peppers, but instead of stuffing them, I took the easy way out and added the peppers, tomatoes, and onions to the rice as it cooked. I also made a garden salad using my spring leaf lettuce mix, carrots, tomatoes, and celery. I'm sure glad Dana likes veggies!!

Back in the basement, we opened the orange powder, which Dana was stirring in hot water. We placed the opened packages on top of their containers so we would know which one was which. You can see them at the end of the table. We didn't have to worry about the liquid, but there are so many fewer colors in liquid than powder, and WalMart didn't have a very good selection of either.

Dana is now creating a concoction of her choosing, while I snap photos of the mess we've made on the table (did I mention I'm anal?).

I had some fabric that Dana fell in love with, so we cut it into six strips, so Kathy, Dana, and I could each have two pieces. Dana further cut one of hers in half, and to mark hers, she stamped along the edges of them. After her first stamping, I reminded her of the mouse pad which would help produce a better image.

As you can see, this is the one she stamped without the mouse pad underneath,

and this is the one with the mouse pad. It really did make a difference. She used Staz-on ink on both images.

Here I am hiding behind the yellow, scarlet, and purple piece I dyed. The colors are superb and much more vibrant that we would have imagined. The sack hanging on the chair holds wet pieces going to the clothes line.

By this time, Dana had started ironing some of the first pieces we had dyed, while Bleubeard shared the chair with me. It was a crowded corner until Dana started taking photos.

Here I am pulling another piece similarly colored out of the pot after it had been "nuked." It's always very hot and I burned my hand more than once in my haste to see the finished product.

Dana took these photos of her ironing some paper she dyed. She placed the pages (as she had the fabric) between sheets of butcher paper

and ironed until the paper was dry. Isn't it lovely?

Here's a closer view of the subtle colors she achieved by using the exact same process as we used for the fabric.

This time we remembered to bring the camera, and after hanging the pieces on the line,

Dana hand pressed the lovely silk pieces.

Some of these pieces were extremely lovely, and we had fun oohing and aahing over the vibrant colors.

They truly look beautiful from this vantage point. The first batch was equally lovely, but it consisted primarily of yellows and reds.

Back in the basement, we concentrated on blues and greens for our final dye combination. After hanging them on the line, Dana thoughtfully helped me clean up the mess.

And here it is, back nearly like it was before today. The blue container on the workbench (to the left of my chair) holds Dana's PaintStiks, texture plates, and other surface design materials. We simply ran out of time and were unable to decorate any of the beauties. However, she left her supplies so I could play with them.

Also, I found the perfect place to "hide" the containers, fabric we didn't have a chance to dye, and the sheets which we didn't even start to cut up.

The sun was going down as we checked the last batch of fabric hanging on the line.

Thankfully, the fabric was dry and ready to come inside.

One last technique before Dana went home, was to show her how to use the blender pen. I forgot to take photos of the finished product, but it is awesome because the toner took on the texture of the fabric.

I'm really sad that Kathy couldn't join us today, but really happy we accomplished this first play day. I just hope Kathy can come and do this with us soon, because we have more than enough dye for the material we have. My concern had been that we wouldn't have enough dye, but I think we'll run out of sheets and other material before we run out of dye. You would be surprised how far the stuff goes.

To top off a wonderful day, I watched my beloved Lakers tromp all over Denver to win the Western finals 4-2. Now it's on to take the championship from either Cleveland or Orlando, so Kobe Bryant can have a fourth ring. Since I don't normally watch the Eastern finals, I was surprised at how much I'm rooting for Orlando to win over Cleveland. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll root for them when my Lakers are on the floor.

I hope each of you had as wonderful a day as I had. It was filled with a roller coaster of emotion, first over Kathy, then over the beautiful dyed fabrics we created, then seeing the Lakers game 6. Who could ask for a better day, and it wasn't even my birthday!!

6 thoughtful remarks:

Halle said...

Fun day! Love the fabric.

Judy Streger said...

I enjoyed reading about your dying adventures. What are you planning to do with your fabric now that it's dyed?

Cindy said...

Oh Elizabeth - how I would love to come and play at your house! Your day reminds me of many days that my dear friend Andrea (who passed away last year) and I used to spend just playing with a new technique and having such fun. Love the fabric and can't wait to see what you and Dana make with it.

Cindy :)

Dianne said...

What a wonderful day and great photos you shared...the dyed fabric on the clothesline looks like fantastic flags fluttering in the wind! looks like so much fun!

Dana said...

Elizabeth, thank you thank you for your patient documenting of our day. I had a blast and have had just as much fun reading about it!
Love, Dana

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

There you go again making me want to do "laundry" :) What a fun playdate, you also have me thinking maybe I DO need a microwave afterall LOL!
Thank you for your sweet visit to my Magpie's Nest. I had been thinking the day before about you and how I want to come for a visit....really!
Bluebeard doesn't want to miss anything :)