Monday was an ambitious day in the basement, where I keep my studio.  I had gotten some special orders, and they required two tub baths, so at 7:3o, as soon as Will and Man Cub were off for the day, I headed down and dug in. I think I finished around 4 in the afternoon?

I’m definitely getting better with the colors, and that’s super exciting. I even stopped the second dye bath early because the first had turned out so rich, and I wanted that one to come out less saturated. In the end, I got a dusty-grapey purple with some blue mottling, and a yummy clay red/wine stain. Also, the under-painting on the sugar skulls (pix under the cut) came out bright and vibrant the way I had hoped. \o/

And then there are the lunchbags! I’m really excited about these – They’re just like a brown paper bag (side gussets and everything!) , only reusable, washable, and they close*. Oh, so ecofriendly and fancy! I’ll have them up in the shop, probably tomorrow.

The rabbit design is proving to be quite popular – totally makes me happy, because it’s one of my very own designs from start to finish, not based on anything, not derived from anything. That? Is incredibly satisfying.

Ok, so pix! Here’s some of what came out of the dryer in the end –

These two are spoken for, but there’s a clay red one (with a star) up on the Etsy.

And the sugar skull. I finally got the brilliants I wanted in the underpainting. I went back to the soda ash water  method: before hand painting the dye in, soda ash water is applied in those places. Also, I’ve been letting the shirts dry over night before waxing over and tub dyeing. Between the two changes, I’m getting the effect I wanted.

The tub bath, I’ve also changed up a little. After the incident with the too-warm water the other night, I’ve kept to cool water. I’ve stuck with dissolving the soda ash in water before adding it, tho’. My gut was saying that it just wasn’t reacting right when I added it in crystals, and I think I know what the issue was. When I mixed up the soda ash on Monday, I didn’t do it with a spoon – I stuck my gloved hand right in there and swished. To my surprise, the water, which I poured in nice and cool, got HOT.  I actually had to cool it down before I added it to the tub bath. So I think that when I was adding it to the bath before, I was sabotaging my own work – as soon as the crystals hit the water, they were having a happy chemical reaction party – and melting wax away wherever they made contact with the shirts. Ah-HA!

This whole process is super empowering, I have to tell you. I love learning as I go, coming to understand what does what under which circumstances. Very truly stoked =)

*Well, they will close – I just need to pick up the velcro dots tonight.