Sunday, October 31, 2010

What I did on my vacation!

I arrived at Hilton Head last Monday. Internet access was not available in the condo I stayed in. I could access it at the pool, or at various hot spots around the island. I had to walk about a block from the condo to use my cell phone. Years ago I never had these concerns as I didn’t have these devices on previous visits.
It was a very relaxing enjoyable time.

There have been so many changes to the island since I began visiting it over 30 years ago.

Among my favorites that are still here are The Crazy Crab for lunch at Harbourtown, the rocking chairs to relax in after lunch and a walk around the harbor, and Signe’s Bakery which was my last stop as I left the island to pick up bread to bring back to Florida.

I am still a sunset kind of girl and I enjoyed the sunset at Hudson's On The Docks after a dinner of Oyster's Rockefeller and Crab Cakes. It was every bit as good as I remember it.

The shopping scene has changed considerably – and as Martha would say “That is a good thing!” which means I spent little. Chico’s is still in the same place near Coligny Circle – one of the few long time survivors. S.M. Bradford is still at Harbor town, although their other stores are gone or changed.

The beach is one of my favorites and still the greatest place to walk. Although the Mariner’s Inn is now the Hilton, the grounds are still so beautiful with the plantings and access to the beach.

I also enjoyed the view and the yachts at Shelter Cove Harbour.

I found a neat new statue near Sea Pines Circle of Charles Fraser and an alligator. He was the man largely responsible for "discovering" Hilton Head and creating Sea Pines Plantation.

I did find time to do a little thinking, designing and start a new quilting project.
I enjoy visiting places that I have a history with and this is certainly one of my favorites.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paradise 1 to Paradise 2

Photo by Kaye Rhodes

Tomorrow I will make the drive to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
It has been about 7 years since I have been there.

Years ago I used to go there at least once a year - usually for two weeks.
The first week was the Jinny Beyer Quilting Seminar and the second week I would sew, shop, sight see and eat.

Often we drove into Savannah to sight see, shop and see the changes in the city.

I am not planning on doing much shopping on this trip. I'll just relax, enjoy the weather and I am looking forward to walking along the ocean. Hilton Head has some of the best sand to walk on. I find I walk much farther as it is such a great place to walk.

I do not expect I'll be having internet service where I am staying so you may not hear from me for a while.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Honey, I'm Home

I am still working on transitioning two days after I arrived in Florida.

I have been unpacking boxes and more boxes. I like to travel light so I took a carry on and my computer case on the plane and didn't check anything.

I shipped myself 12 boxes. These are some of the smallest ones. Why in the world did I send so much?

The Garden club in our community has a Christmas Home Tour. I was invited to decorate my home and be a part of the tour. I had a lot of brand new lights, cords, timers, etc in Wisconsin. I will never use them in the cold winters there again so I decided to ship them here to use. It will be a lot of work to get things ready, but it is the type of thing I thoroughly enjoy and the ideas are coming to me fast and furious.

All but two boxes have arrived.

I'll start decorating early and that way I can avoid the last minute panic.

My theme will be trees, lights, flamingos and other creatures.

I am looking forward to doing this.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I Did With The Remaining Dye

When I finished dyeing My Personal Color family I had some extra dye that I had mixed.

I could throw it away or I could do something with it.

I loved the colors so I could not throw the dye away. I got out 3 skeins of wool yarn.
Fortunately they were already in long skeins so I did not have to get out the winding equipment.

I put each one in a plastic shoe box container and poured straight vinegar over them.

Next I squeezed out the excess vinegar and put them back in the containers.

I poured dye on the yarn spreading the colors around in different areas until I had used up all the dye.

I covered each container with Saran Wrap and sealed it around the edge, leaving only a small area open so some of the steam could escape.

I then alternately microwaved them for about 5 minutes each and repeated that until I thought they had absorbed as much dye as they could.

It certainly was not a scientific nor exact way to dye, but it was the perfect choice for this dye and yarn.

I let them cool and then rinsed them in lukewarm water so as not to shock and shrink the wool. It took a lot of rinsing and I let them soak overnight.

I rinsed again in the morning until the water ran clear. . Then I washed them by hand with a little baby shampoo and added a little cream hair rinse to the last rinse.

I am in love with them as I was with my color family.

I will knit a hat and scarf with the yarn.

I would guess there are some of you who wonder why I didn't just dye the wool yarn with acid dyes which would have been so much quicker and easier.

My reason was I wanted those particular colors, values and blends of those colors and I was well rewarded for my efforts.

When I finished dyeing the yarn I couldn't help but notice how the colors were so similar to the colors in one of my favorite serapes.

I am certain I made a perfect choice when I chose the 3 pure colors to dye my personal favorite color family.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dyeing Color Family - Third and Last Color

I have finished doing all the dyeing for my Personal Color Family.

I am so pleased with them. They are indeed Kay colors.
My favorite season is right now - FALL. These colors are so much like what I am seeing right now as I drive around the county.

This is the third lightest value of the turquoise. You can see that some of them are not turquoise but a blend of the turquoise and the two previous colors.

This one is for Deb! She said she loves to see all the fabrics when they come out of the dryer jumbled together. I do too Deb!

Here you can see all the fabrics sorted into their respective piles.

This is the entire 343 swatches I dyed in a side view. You can see the lighter colors on the left and they deepen as they go to the right.

Since I have other priorities in my life at the moment I will put them aside and work on them in any available time to get them ready to send to my Color Family Dyeing Swap Friends.

It really has been fun and I would love to do more dyeing RIGHT NOW but that isn't going to happen. I will instead enjoy the other wonderful things that are happening in my life.

Dyeing Color Family - Second Color

This is turning out to be an encredible color journey for me.

These are the results from the first 6 batches all dyed varying degrees of Tangerine.
They are sorted, stacked and ready to go into the next color which is Scarlet.

I will dye each stack a different value of Scarlet.

This is the third lightest value of Scarlet seen in the Wonder Washer as I am pausing the dyeing cycle.

These are the swatches that have now been dyed Tangerine and Scarlet stacked and ready for the next dye bath which will be the 6 different values of Turquoise.

I love these colors and was tempted to stop right here!
But then I would not be fulfilling my obligation for the swap so I will persevere.

Stay tuned to see the results of the last color.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dyeing Color Family - First Color

I accomplished more than I thought I would today, in spite of a major problem.

I started the day by dyeing 3 values in my Wonder Washers. They are amazing. They make it simple to get evenly dyed fabrics and you don't have to stir the buckets manually.

I believe Carol Soderlund is the person who first mentioned using them. A lot of my fabric dyeing friends have used them and loved them.

I was very skeptical about them as they say "As Advertised On TV"!
I have never found anything "As Advertised On TV" to live up to it's promises.
Well, these don't advertise as a product to use to dye fabric but they should!

These are Wonder Washers 1 and 2. If you can see the numbers on the control you can see I stagger the timing. In addition to the times to cycle them on and off I use 3 kitchen timers to time the resting periods between agitating.

I know this is the third lightest value because each washer is a different color and I have them arranged in value order!

I am sure you are wondering WHAT the major problem was.
I dyed the first three batches and about 25% of the tyvek labels came off in the washers along with a ton of staples.

I was able to restaple them on. Not only did I restaple those on, but I removed and restapled all the others.

It was time consuming and not fun, but I did it and didn't give up.

Tomorrow should be the day to start dyeing Scarlet. I have a tight schedule tomorrow and I am not sure I'll get a batch dyed. There's always tomorrow!

This shows five of the six values of Tangerine I dyed today. The are still wet in the photo and waiting for the washout which I did finish beofre calling it a day!

Someone commented that they would be interested in how I set up my dye studio.
It is really just my old laundry room in the basement and is not fancy at all.

I have two shelves over the laundry tubs where I store the dyes and measuring and mixing tools. Larger things are stored in other areas.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dyeing My Personal Color Family

I am finally getting to something that I had hoped to do long before now.

I am dyeing a color family ala Carol Soderlund.

The colors I am using will be Tangerine, Scarlet and Turquoise.

I have spent the past few days reviewing the procedure until I understood it again.

I had stapled the labels to almost all the fabrics quite some time ago. I finished this and checked to be sure all the staples were secure and made sure everything was in their proper stack.

Today I worked on preparing my space. I had some cushioned floor mats put down in my dyeing area to making it easier on my feet and back. We exchanged the small table I had in that room for a longer one so I have more space to organize the process.

This afternoon and evening I went through the supplies for dyeing and straightened them and the shelves out.

I put the things I needed on the table or on top of the washer and dryer.

These are my 3 Wonder Washers. By using them to dye the swatches I will eliminate the continual stirring by hand.
I plan on dyeing 3 batches at the same time. I will need to do 18 batches to finish the color family.

I mixed the Tangerine dye I will be using tomorrow as it is best to mix it the day before.

This will not be a tutorial. I will just share my journey as I do this project.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Murphy and Marley

Last night I visited my two new grand dogs to take some photos of them.

When I got in the house one dog was SO happy to see me.
It was Riley, one of my older granddogs. He hasn't seen me for a long time.
I think not only was he happy to see me, but he was happy to see someone who would give him the attention he needs now that the puppies take their share which means less for him.

It was so much easier to get Riley to "sit" for his portrait that to take photos of the puppies that never stopped moving!

This is Murphy with Heather, Jeff and Cooper. Sally thought he would be the more active of the two but he has proven to be the calmer of the two. Murphy is Cooper's dog and they do have a great time playing together.

This is Marley with Heather, Jeff, Cooper and Kierstin. Marley is the ringleader when the two of them are together. Kierstin gives Marley a lot of attention and guidance.

They will be 8 months old in 3 days. They each have wonderful dispositions which I am sure is due to the fact that Sally trained and handled them so gently but firmly and made sure they got a lot of love and attention.

Today or tomorrow, depending on when you are reading this, Sally and my son Jeff both have a birthday - something we found out when we first met 48 years ago! We lost track of each other many years ago and have just reconnected this past year.
Another one of my small world stories with a happy ending.