I am checking to see if I can write a blog post in word and then post it to my blog

Today I got the scarves I snow-dyed last Thursday and the scarves and fabrics I  LWI dyed last Saturday.  Here is a pic of most of the 50 scarves hanging to dry in my studio.

most of the 50 scarves I dyed last week - hanging to dry

This is just the pic for now – posted for an online friend to see while we are chatting!  Rest of post will come soon – I promise.

Although there was snow on the ground yesterday am, I had to go to Regina for my weekly Creative Entrepreneurship class at the SK Arts Board.  I checked the weather forecast and it seemed like Mother Nature would cooperate and keep it cool enough to keep the snow we had plus add a bit more.  The drive home last night ok except for about the last hour when the road had some accumulation and required slower speeds for safety.

The view from my front door this am

I could hardly wait to get to the studio to get started prepping for snow dyeing. EXCEPT today was the day I had arranged for Elaine Robitaille of  http://www.tooaquarius.com/ to come to the studio.  She’s helping me get my website up and running FINALLY.  We had our chat and some lunch, then Elaine came outside to help me gather snow for my snow dyeing.  There was enough on the picnic table to fill my bin. 

Gathering the snow

After Elaine went home, I came back, put the scarves in the soda ash to soak while I set up the bins and mixed the dye concentrates.  I found some more new dyes I hadn’t tried yet, so it will be interesting to see how they turn out.  I put at least 2 different type of scarves per bin, some had 3 so I have between 2-3 dozen scarves in the snow dyeing process.  I also dyed a rayon top and a cotton T-shirt to see how the process works with clothing.

Bins of snow dyed items

Hopefully I can rinse these tomorrow and dye some fabric with the rest of the dye concentrates.  I don’t expect there to be enough snow to do any more snow dyeing.  As usual, I took the gloves off several times and have multi-colored hands.  I may as well get all the dyeing done so the dye can wear off over the weekend.


Scarves chosen by Jacinda for sale at Empire Clothing

These are the scarves that have headed over to Empire Clothing in Swift Current after Jacinda picked them out on Monday evening. She has a selection of my scarves including the jewel toned silk velvet, hand woven rayon ones with fringe, and the  silk habotai brights and painted scarves – all but 2 of the painted scarves that were there have sold, including the one I borrowed for my jurying interviews in March.  Looks like I will need to get to work painting some more scarves in May!  Jacinda has a shop full of interesting accessories and is the only retail location carrying my scarves in Swift Current.

Otherwise it’s been a fairly busy day preparing to leave for Quilt Canada in Calgary next week.  I finally found my Delegate package so I can gather and pack my supplies for the 2 2 day workshops I will be taking with Sandra Meech.  I am looking forward to 4 days just working on my own work!!

Today I took my snow-dyed scarves to Traditions Handcraft Gallery  in Regina  http://www.traditionshandcraftgallery.ca/  Since these are a limited edition due to the weather (snow gone!) she took most of them (13).  The remaining few will be put up on my ArtFire shop in May.  I have not had time to photograph the snow dyed scarves individually, but I did take  photos of them by size.

8"x54" snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

8″x54″ snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

14"x72" snow-dyed silk charmeuse scarves

11"x60" handwoven cotton snow-dyed scarves

11"x60" snowed dyed handwoven cotton scarves

14"x72" snow dyed handwoven cotton scarves

I I also managed to get to Milky Way Ice cream shop in Regina http://bit.ly/8Xa4D6.  I heard about it the other day on CBC.  It seems to be one of the signs of spring in Regina when it opens.  Their claim to fame is that they telephone folks and tell them what the flavour of the day for the soft ice cream is – oh yes – they have the regular flavours of soft ice cream – choc, vanilla , choc/vanilla twist, strawberry/vanilla twist – but also have a flavour of the day – today’s was creme de menthe so I passed on it.  It really is the best soft icecream I’ve had – and I’ve had some good stuff.  I think it may become a regular part of my Regina visits on Wednesdays – it’s only a few blocks from Broad Street.  It’s a family owned business and only takes cash.

Today I had another group of 7 ladies come to do a silk scarf dyeing activity in the studio. I planned these workshops at the request of a local recreation activity co-ordinator. They are more of an activity for the folks that come than a how-to- workshop.  It sure is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

Studio tables set up for silk scarf dyeing activity

I bought a kit of Color Hue Dyes last fall and had a great time using it to  dye silk scarves.  I tracked down a wholesaler, picked up my first order a week or so ago in Sweetgrass, MT,  and brought it back through Canada Customs commerically.  That was a learning experience in itself.  I now have all the colours available from this wholesaler so I can offer workshops like this in my studio or on site somewhere else.

We spend some time picking out colours from the scarves I’ve already made plus the colour samples and practicing how to apply the dye on paper towels.  This lets them get used to how the dye works and how they might want to apply it for the desired effect.  

 Since the first batch of scarves was made by me just having fun with the dyes, I didn’t write down amounts when mixing colors.  I remind them that they want something unique for themselves.  For these groups, I mix the colours for each person but other groups may want to do it themselves.

For privacy reasons, I am not showing students faces on the blog. All photos are clickable to see larger versions.

participants dyeing their scarves

some of the students' scarves drying before leaving

Our activity concluded with coffee and snacks brought by the rec coordinator.   Everyone seems quite pleased with the scarf they’ve created.  Some have taken the option of making a scarf for an additional fee to cover the scarf and dye costs.  Several of the participants have expressed interest in coming back to make another one.

Feedback from the recreation coordinator about last week’s participants is that they have been wearing the scarves they made to other activities.

I popped into the studio for a second on Sunday to pick up my iPod for a drive to Lethbridge to see J.P. Cormier in concert at the Lethbridge Folk Club on Sunday night.  The snow was melted in all the bins and  I’d forgotten my camera in the car so I didn’t take any pics then. 
Monday was a busy day with no studio time due to lack of sleep  from driving home from Lethbridge after the concert  plus winning tickets to the Women’s World Curling Championship afternoon draw. Watching curling at this level is very interesting since several of the games were quite close and went down to the final end or rock to determine the winner.  One draw went into overtime and the final end was played right down in front of me so you could see the rocks (curling stones) move.  I was glad I got the chance to see it.  I also won tickets to Tues afternoon draw as well so that also cut into studio time.

4 draws (games) being played at once

 I spent this morning working on the exercises to develop my mission statements and vision statement for my business class homework.  The exercises have required a lot of introspection and thinking.  I’m finding I can only do one exercise at a time (they can take awhile).  Then I have to go do something else and come back to do another one later on.  I think I am going to have to plan to do some every day in order to keep on top of them.  Just like being back in school!   

 After Tuesday afternoon’s draws (courtesy of another complimentary ticket I won) were finished,  I stopped into the “Briar Patch” to check things out.  It is  party central at these events.  This one was sponsored by Alexander Keith’s brewery based in Nova Scotia  so I definitely wanted to go and have a cold “keets” to celebrate.  They were interviewing the Scottish skip today which you you see and hear on two very large screens.  I won a $5 gift certificate to Pharmasave (who’s complimentary ticket I was using that day) for having an interesting job – mixed media fibre artist.  The fellow who interviewed me wondered if it meant I used bran in my art (DUH) so I explained that it meant I did all kinds of things to fabric  and got a plug in for the store in town that carries my scarves.  (ta da!)
 I left the Briar Patch after 1 beer and a very yummy meal of perogies and sausage made by a local caterer.  It smelled so good 2 other folks at my table went and got some as well.  My cross canada cultural meal – a western meal of perogies and Nova Scotia beer .
 I stopped by the studio on the way home from the Worlds.  It was quite exciting to see the bright colours in the bins even though I know they won’t be the final results.  I mixed the dyes for the dark colours of MX dyes using dye concentrate amounts recommended by Ann Johnson in “Color by Accident”.

snow dyed fabric bins on Tuesday afternoon

snow dye fabric bin with snow melted

 The black specks on the fabric came from the melted snow and came off easily. 

The fabrics will be remaining in the bins until at least Thursday due to my business course commitments for homework and travelling to Regina on Wednesday.  I also have a scarf dyeing activity for a number of folks on Thursday, so they will have to be stacked out of the way for that.