Marriage, Threads & Ice Dyeing
I’ve mentioned this before; my husband and I start the morning off with a reading of some kind and then discuss whatever it is we’ve just read. Today we read about relationships using thread as a metaphor, which was kind of perfect for someone like me. This quote was particularly appealing for obvious reasons.
A strong rope is made of many threads. Looking at one point on the rope, we can focus on the detail of a single thread. But when we look only at a single thread we cannot see the big picture.”The More We Find in Each Other by Mavis and Merle Fossum
And, of course, I immediately thought about my stitching and how I love using lots of different threads and other elements to enhance and add interest to a piece that I’m working on. In particular I thought of Gimp, Silken Chenille, and Viscose Ribbon, three threads that are challenging to work with, but that add tremendous texture and interest to a piece.
In a relationship it’s often the challenging parts that can bring growth and welcome change to both people if they’re willing to show up for the hard work that’s required. I thought of how the foundation of my marriage is our love and the threads are all the moments we’ve spent together, some more challenging than others. But like those challenging threads, they are woven into the fabric of our love, making that fabric all the more interesting and ultimately stronger. Oh, and a sense of humor helps!
Okay, I could go on and on about all of this, but then I wouldn’t have time to tell you about my ice dyeing experiment. This was all inspired by Nancy who was in my Improvisational Stitching Workshop. She had a really beautiful piece of fabric, which I asked her about and she told me that she had ice dyed it. Now I have to say that for the most part I haven’t loved the ice dyeing that I’ve seen, so I’ve never been tempted to try it, but Nancy very generously wrote out instructions and gave them to everyone in my workshop. All my ice dyeing attempts were using her instructions. By the way, I have urged Nancy to sell some of her beautiful ice dyed fabrics. When she gives me the okay I will post where you can purchase her fabrics.
So… my little foray into ice dying is ongoing and was somewhat successful. I say somewhat because some of the pieces came out nicely, but others were not to my liking at all. Those will need to be redone or perhaps I’ll paint on them, I haven’t decided yet. Part of the problem was I ran out of ice. As in right in the middle of sprinkling the dye onto the fabric. Now one could argue that seeing that you don’t have enough ice right off the bat is probably step #1, resulting in STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND GO GET SOME ICE, however in my case it was more like – huh, I don’t have enough ice, then think about how that means I’ll have to put on shoes, remove my apron, gloves and mask (not the kind we’re now used to wearing because of the pandemic, but the kind used when working with toxic chemicals) and then go look for my son so that I can ask him to run out to get ice. Wait for said son to dutifully do my bidding and while waiting get impatient and sprinkle more dye on. Eyeroll. Impatience is NOT a virtue. I know this, and whenever I give in to it, I always, always, always regret it. So I skimped on the layer of ice and ended up with some not very attractive streaks of color before my fabulous son reappeared with 4 bags of ice, having had to go to a couple different places to procure it. What a wonderful son!
Another problem was that my disposable pans were way too small, resulting in more of a tie dyed look than I was hoping for. As in my husband’s comment when I unfurled the first piece and said the words every spouse hates to hear, “So what do you think?” And his response, “Oh yeah, you’ve got some seriously hippy dippy stuff going on there.” Needless to say this was NOT the reply I’d hoped for, but the bold, unvarnished truth is always difficult to hear.
I’ll post a video about all of this later, but for now here are a couple of photographs of the pieces that were sort of successful and a few that I really, really liked.
What will I do with all of this fabric?
I have no idea.
PS: For those of you who didn’t see my most recent Youtube video of Richard and my Mother’s Day walk and our surprise encounter, go watch this short video! All the reasons why I love living in this vibrant, wonderful city we call New York!