Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm Dyeing not Dying

   When  I work on anything with pigments - paint, dyes, markers, etc.,  I generally do not worry about gloves and such.  I can wash.  Yesterday I was dyeing some sample pieces for a show I am designing.  Separation Rapid is a world premiere of a play about the final journey of Bessie and Glenn Hyde in 1928 when they ran the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in a homemade scow and never returned.  Some of the characters need to be wearing the colours of the canyon so they can fade into the background when needed.
     I wore gloves to prep the fabric with soda ash, then I mixed the fiber reactive dye colours.  I lay the primed fabric pieces out on the lawn and using various squirt bottles I placed the colours in a loose pattern on the fabric.

After the colours bled together.

After the dye application, the fabric needs to be kept damp for several hours, so I covered the fabric with a drop cloth, weighted it with logs and stones and left it on the lawn. Today I wash it and see how it looks when dry.  We are aiming for a darker  look, not all the tans and yellows - but I fear this may have gotten too hot in the reds and oranges.  If I do not like it for the show it can be a great "something else."
    Last night when I ate dinner I realized that although I had covered my hands, I was wearing flip flops to dye in.  My feel were covered in red, brown and orange spots.  I looked like I had been in the spatter field of a messy homicide.  Just another reminder to wear shoes!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

busier and busier

    We are in exam time for the older two kids.  New York state has a series of Regents exams - required for graduation.  No other state in the country cares what you got on your Regents, no college  gives two toots - except those in NY.  sigh.  It is a lot of extra pressure for the kids - they start studying and being taught for the tests about a month and a half before they  take them.  So we are all in study mode as we quiz both of our HS students on Earth Science, Global Studies, etc.
    On top of this we are having the water drainage problem around our foundation fixed.  We are having the  foundation re-surfaced since much of the old surface cement was dropping off.  The retaining wall along the driveway is also being replaced.  Lots of work, one pick up, a dump truck and a backhoe are all in the yard - as well as LOTS OF MUD. (Oh, did I forget to mention that, per Murphy's Law, as soon as the work began so has the rain? ) We have moved some shrubs, removed others, and, oh joy! oh elation, finally gotten all the nasty, deer-chewed yews out of the front beds.  They were ratty looking and planted, not as a grouping for a border or hedge, but as specimens.  Sorry folks, but no yew is that pretty.
  Here are a few before and, well, not after, but shall we say, during photos so you can follow the progress.

Trimming the  evergreens  so we could move/burlap the roots more easily

Where do you store plants that have no home?  Why the wheelbarrow, of course!
The front shrubs all in their temporary holding space
Trenching the front of the house.  Gravel and perforated pvc,  and so far, even with all the rain, the basement is dry!

What the retaining wall and the foundation looked like

Close up
What the corner looked like.  The guys assure me this is nothing and they have seen worse - I have to trust them.
The same corner by this afternoon - we are getting there!