Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow brings out the dyeing in me

About a week ago we had two major snow storms (Q and Rocky) that set records for the month of February and for all time.  Over 22 inches fell before it was all over. 

Here is what it looked like as it was beginning to snow.  Sadly, this is the only photo I got of this blizzard.  I just happened to have my camera in my craft room when I went to get my mail (mailbox is that big black thing on the far right of the photo).  When the snow finally quit, I decided I wanted to do some snow dyeing.

Now I had wanted to try snow dyeing ever since I first saw it on someone's blog about three years ago.  An internet search of snow dyeing will take you to various sites, all of which tell you the supplies you need are Procion MX dyes, Synthrapol, soda ash, and, of course, SNOW.

Well, I had the snow. Boy did I have the snow.  But I didn't have any of those harsh chemicals or that expensive dye.  So I mentally considered my favorite saying (often thought when I was performing a math or physics problem in school): "What do I need, what do I have?"  Other than snow, I had nothing.

First, I knew I needed a COLD dye, so I knew Rit dye was out of the question.  Second, I knew I needed something I could use with water, which meant my Staz-on reinkers and 91% alcohol were out of the question.

As I sat in the cozy warmth of my office, I mentally reviewed what I had that might dye fabric and stand up to snow.  It hit me that I had

(Clockwise from back left) buckets, fabric (old torn bed sheets), dye reinkers, and food coloring.

Being the anal organized person I am, I keep all my reinkers separated.  One container has the dye reinkers, so I got them out, along with my food coloring.  I tore the old sheet into usable lengths, and got ready to get my virgin snow.  By using the old sheet, I didn't have to worry about removing the sizing from the fabric with soda ash, and I didn't need the other harsh chemicals, either.  Nor did I need a mask to pour the dye powder into the snow.

All the blogs you visit will tell you to place the fabric in the bottom of the bucket, but I only did that with the small, flat bucket in front.  I scrunched and mingled snow with fabric in the other two.  That may or may not have been a good idea.  Only time will tell.

For the first tray, I used the last of my yellow food coloring and some pink Stampin' Up dye ink.  Sorry, I'm not sure what the color was, and these dye inks are so old, they may not even make that color anymore.

For the first large bucket, I went crazy with the green food coloring and used every bit I had.  I also used all my blue food coloring, from both boxes.   I had previously placed two pieces of fabric in the snow.

For the last  bucket, I used green, blue, and the same pink Stampin' Up reinkers.  I also tried to get more yellow food coloring out of the container.

You can see I've already found a good place for the bucket with the green and blue food coloring.

Now I realize you're going to say that every site you visit will tell you to place these buckets in a warm place, but I decided this was not Procion MX dye, so I didn't need to warm the snow.  I figured it would melt eventually, and hopefully would soak in a bit when it did.

About two and a half hours later, I checked on the fabric to see if the snow had done anything.  It appeared that the dye had dissipated a bit and was starting to do its thing.  In fact, it looked like a large snow cone the syrup had been sucked out of, at least on the top layers. 

A peek at the fabric showed it might just make it!  Although I have no real expectations, since I'm not using those caustic chemicals, I am still thrilled that there is even a little color on the sheets.  Only time (and melting snow) will tell!!

I hope this has piqued your interest and you'll be back tomorrow when I remove the snow.

15 thoughtful remarks:

voodoo vixen said...

LOL.. only you would get a blizzard and think to use it for dyeing sheets!! I love the look of the yellow and pink... it does look edible!!

Ohhh Snap said...

Nowwwwwwww I know what to do the next time we have lots of snow lol. In the past I would look at it and think, "Ahhhhh. Tomato soup and grilled cheese." Next time it will be gather snow, dye and then tomato soup and grilled cheese : D. Looking for to the big reveal!

Dawn said...

Ooh err, never heard of this technique E!! I'm more than intrigued and can't wait for your post tomorrow now tee hee.
Thank-you for sharing sweetie.
HUge hugs and keep warm x x x x

see you there! said...

You come up with something new all the time. I'll be back to see the results of this experiment.


PeggyR said...

Oh my goodness this is brilliant!

Caterina Giglio said...

sorry I missed your tea post yesterday, was out and about for tea yesterday... how creative and you certainly had enough snow to use for a while, bet you get the perfect color...

Yvonne said...

Can't wait to see your results. I wish I had snow just so I could do some snow dyeing. How about Koolaid? Is it a hot water or cold water process?

Divers and Sundry said...

i can't remember the last time we had enough snow for a project like this.

i had never heard of doing this with snow. i love how you were willing to try substitutions to get what you wanted. i look forward to seeing how it turned out.

fairy thoughts said...

Hi Elizabeth this had me giggling and intruiged. I had never heard of this before... now I want snow so I can do it... but I think I am out of time for that one as it is quite rare here. I will pop back tomorrow to see what happens.
thanks for sharing and have a good week
janet #43

Krisha said...

I have never heard of this thech. either, but then I live in southern California......not much snow here...LOL Can't wait to see jus how this turns out.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

You have me not feeling so bad that a snowstorm is on the way...I have sheets and food coloring! Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Dianne said...

I enjoyed this so much...and then find it's a cliff-hanger, just like the episodes on be continued! ah well, you know I'll be back to see how the 'snow cones' fabric turns out. a new technique to me...all that color made my morning! happy creating...

Dandelion and Daisy said...

So, is this your take on "when you are handed lemons make lemonade" ? You have my curiosity up! How will you set the dye? I guess I'll find out tomorrow!

Marilyn Rock said...

A true artist you are! Taking advantage of Nature's products and making it your own! Awesome! xxoo

Halle said...

Why haven't I done this?!? We have plenty of snow!
Gotta go peek at your results now. I'm behind in checking in on my blogging friends.