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Poor little Bugsy

Bugsy loves to get snacks from what ever we’re eating. We’re careful about what we let him have. Donnie eats an apple at least once a day and Bugsy loves to get a bit of apple too.

Donnie didn’t want to share this apple so they played a game of keep-away.

Poor little Bugsy.

Never enough time

Part 2

So, I rinsed and washed/dried everything this morning. I’m pleased with most of it but one piece is going to get another dye treatment. What I’m going to try to do is pair stage 1 with stage 2 pics. It’s amazing how hard it is to tell which is which so I guess that means I need to add more labeling to the works in progress.

I just learned that the best labels for dyeing fabric is to cut up used Tyvek envelopes and write on them with a permanent marker. I staple the label to the edge of the piece a couple times and the writing does not come off in the wash. It makes me wish I had saved all those envelopes I got in years prior!

This is a different brand of linen called Legacy. I love the way it dyed.

This is Zweigart Murano which is a cotton/modal blend even weave. I wasn’t sure it would dye well but it did. The actual color is a little more green and does have pale violet areas which I love. This is going to live with Judy.

I don’t totally love the one shown above (It’s 18 count Zweigart aida) so tomorrow I’ll add another layer of color. I used Mist Gray for the second round and it added some textural contrast but I think it needs more so I’ll probably over-dye with Silver Lining and we’ll see what happens with it. I may do a pre-wet with the soda ash/salt solution and spray the dye onto the fabric, scrunching it all together before placing it in the baggie to. process.

You can add more layers of color until the molecules in the fabric are saturated with color. Then it’s pointless to try more.

I really like this one shown above. This is 18 count Zweigart aida. It’s a little more green with wonderful yellow strikings along with dark gray.

This is Zweigart Lugano which is a cotton/viscose even weave fabric. It dyes nicely with Procion MX dyes (fiber reactive). However, I won’t buy it again because harvesting viscose for clothing, fabrics, etc. is a danger to native forests and the wildlife & people that depend on that environment. This is also going to live with Judy.

The picture on the right is actually a little greener with some violet tones than shown.

The second dyeing round really makes a difference. It can soften colors from the first round. You can get some unexpected colorations. Is that a word?

There’s actually an additional piece but I’m too pooped to photograph it. It’s a lot of work but I love playing with dyes on fabric.

Never enough time

to get everything done. I’ve been working on dyeing cross stitching fabric for a while and may finally have gotten to the end of the unprocessed fabrics for now.

What I’ve been working on are pieces using a 2 step process. Yesterday, I soaked aida and linen pieces with soda ash/salt solution and scrunched, swirled, or twirled each one. I mixed some dyes and sprayed the tops of the folds, covered them with plastic wrap to keep everything moist.

Today I washed the pieces and dried them. Then I hung them up to take pictures. If I was paying more attention, I would have used a uniform size for cropping the pics.

My plan is to show the same pieces after the second step was done today. That step involved using either Mist Gray or Shiitake Mushroom from Dharma as an overall dye. I’m excited for the washout tomorrow to see what has happened in the process.

This piece was not part of this latest experiment. It’s a piece of Zweigart linen that I used a multi step process on. It’s going to a good home with Judy who can actually see to stitch on it. I want to be able to use linen so badly but just have to accept that my eyes aren’t good enough for that to happen.

This is a big piece. It’s at least 1/2 yard. I didn’t like it at all to begin with but it grows on me as time goes by.

The next piece is a printed aida that was much darker than expected.

Please click the link to see it at the Etsy shop.

I bought it when I first started cross-stitching again and I just don’t care for the printed fabrics so I won’t buy more but I’ll use this for sure now. I decided to see how it would over-dye and wondered if the back would yield a good result.

This is the back side and I love it. The printed side is just darker altogether and not something I’ll use. I should have pressed it before taking the pic because you can see the fold down the center.

So, if you have printed aida that you wish you didn’t have, you can do the same thing with yours or you can send it to me to play with but I can’t promise you’ll get it back! I can promise that I’ll “try” to post what happens with it.

Hopefully tomorrow after the wash-out, I’ll get the second part of this post done so you can see what I get. It’s like opening Christmas gifts.

All’s well that ends well

We’re sad at our house. We found out where Ruby came from after Vanessa saw a flyer in a bakery about 20 miles away.

There was no doubt it was Ruby so I called the number and spoke to the lady. After talking to her I gave her our address and she came over that afternoon. Ruby immediately went to her and snuggled up. There are children who have missed her. I would never feel good about keeping her when she has another family so she has been reunited with her original family.

I have missed that precious, little dog. I’ve been all over the internet looking at adoption possibles. We have so many shelters down here with dogs looking for good homes. Most are bulldogs, pit bulls, or pit mixes and I’m just afraid of them.

I met Vanessa and Chris at our parish shelter this afternoon and we started looking. I mentioned that I had recently fostered a Doxie we no longer have and she said they had a black one that was available today. He’s a little skittish but he let all of us hold him. No snarling or snapping. I think he will be fine.

His name is Bugsy. Bugsy is 3 years old. Bugsy will get fixed tomorrow and get his Rabies shot also. I have an earlier commitment for tomorrow afternoon so Vanessa and Chris will pick Bugsy up for me. I am so excited. I want a little dog that will sit with me and snuggle. I’ve paid adoption fees for him so no one can take him away from me. I think I love him already!

Meet Bugsy.

It’s in the bag

fabric, that is. I’ve not been up to my usual self with cold symptoms for about a week. I did a home Covid test since Chris tested positive but my test was negative. My doc had me go to an urgent care to get confirmation and it also was negative.

I did another test a couple days ago and negative again but my symptoms changed so I did another one today. Positive. I’ve had no change in taste or smell.

I’m so thankful that we’ve kept up with getting all our boosters. I’m sure that’s why I’m having such a mild case.

Back to the fabric dyeing. I finally got the dye stocks mixed up last night. All the pieces are labeled with numbers.

My last note, I talked about scouring fabric. I want to show you the difference between un-scoured and scoured.

You can see how much whiter the scoured pieces are than the un-scoured pieces are. It is supposed to make the fibers more receptive to dye which yields better colors. I’ll be washing out the dye later and we’ll see what we think about the end results.

Working up to the dye process

I scoured the aida last night. For that, I washed the aida in hot water with Synthrapol first and then washed it again in hot water with Soda Ash just for good measure. Even though the fabric was clean, there are residual oils, chemicals that can affect the colors of the dye making the colors dull. It brings the fabric closer to a pure white which makes a better base for starting the process.

There are many thoughts on the scouring. As long as you get your information from an experienced dyer, you’re pretty safe. I am not really what I call experienced. I dabble in it.

I’ve been looking through my book to find colors I might want to do and for any different colors I may need to order.

I’ll make dye stock later today. Since I have 6 yards fabric, I ‘ll do 6 different colors. I could do 1/2 yard pieces but hopefully these colors I will want to use again and for sharing .

Finding the right fabric

I did a little shopping last month at the online event, Jingle Ball. I didn’t take any classes that were offered or do any of the online chat, etc. The ticket was only $10 and I got that much enjoyment from it.

One of the things I bought was a SAL mystery called ChristmasTime. It’s only 3 parts and I’ve been looking for the perfect shade green for the fabric. It’s an exclusive for Jingle Ball attendees.

Here’s the cover for the first part (photo taken with my iPhone)

I looked for a light sage color but now I think I might like a mint color better. Here’s what I found when looking for sage.

Obviously not sage but I couldn’t tell from the online pic. This is very close to the actual color.

Very close colors. Two different purchases of Cypress from Fiber on a Whim. I wanted to show how different dye lots can be. I like both of them but I’m not sure either is right for this chart.

Very close to true color. This is Gray Matters by Hand Dyed By Rolanda (Etsy). It looked more green to me on the site but I still like it.

Hand Dyed By Rolanda Rubbed Sage. Very close to color. I really like this one.

Very close to color. To Dye For Fabrics Dried Sage.

I like all of them but I’m still looking. I think it’s time to get the dyes out. I have a great book that has formulas for different colors.:

I may have said a different book is my favorite but this one is hands-down the best for formulas. There’s a page called Muted Light Rainbow that has a nice minty green I’m going to try.

I’ve got I think 6 yards of 18 count Zweigart Aida that I’ve been waiting to use. I’m getting old folks so some days I feel better than others. I think tomorrow is the day. Maybe.

What’s new at our house.

Here’s a story for you.

A man had seen a little dog running up and down the side of the highway to and from work for over a week. He finally decided he had to rescue this little dog or it would surely get run over. His wife didn’t want it as they have 2 dogs already so their daughter started looking for a home for it.

I’ve been saying for a while that I want a little dog but Donnie didn’t want one. His daughter is a friend of Faiths. Faith sent me a text with a picture and asked me if I wanted her. I know that some Dachshunds have a nasty attitude so I was a little hesitant. Ms. Alma had a dachshund named Rusty who was mean. Donnie at first said no but changed his mind and said we would look at her.

Oh my! At first sight we were both hooked. She’s a mini dachshund and she’s gorgeous! She weighs 13.3 pounds. She has the most precious temperament. She is a love. Her toenails are so long! We have to get them trimmed.

Before you ask. The man wasn’t able to find where she came from. No collar/tags on her. Donnie checked the local post office to see if there was a lost dog flyer and there were 2 but not of this baby. We took her to our vets office to get her scanned for a chip and there is none. We would have returned her to an owner if we had to. I’d probably cry for days. We think we have made reasonable attempts to find an owner. So she now has a home with us.

Her name is Ruby now and she loves us as much as we love her. It’s been less than a week and we are amazed at our good fortune. She goes outside to go to the bathroom. One of us walks her several times a day.

TabbyKat loves her. They have started playing with each other even when we’re on a walk. They don’t eat each others food. Did I say how sweet she is?

So….meet Ruby. She’s with her friend TabbyKat.

You probably remember that TabbyKat just showed up here when he was about 6 months old. We love that cat too!

Yes….TabbyKat is really that much bigger than Ruby.

Shopping nightmare….This is my personal review and my thoughts about this experience and product. I do not get compensated by anyone for my reviews.

I love Etsy. I love the shops on Etsy. I love practically everything I buy on Etsy.

I have come across one shop I definitely do NOT love. Even though I can hand-dye my own cross stitching fabric, I like to buy it on Etsy. One shop has a multitude of different “hand dyed” (their words not mine) colors of aida available.

You know I rarely mention names of shops unless I have a great experience with them. I feel I need to make an exception for this.

I was looking for a specific color aida for a new chart I purchased. MyVintageNeedleArts seemed to have good choices but I was wrong. The fabric is nicely packaged.

If you click on the shop link above, it will take you to their review page. Scroll down to read about their process. It’s my fault that I didn’t do that prior to ordering.

This is NOT hand-dyed fabric. Representing it as a hand-dyed product is in my personal opinion not being truthful. It is sprayed with some sort of plasticky pigmented mixture. The mix barely penetrates the aida (I ordered Zweigart). It lies on top and pools on the edges. I have taken photos that show each side. I folded the edges over on each photo to make comparison easier.

There is no hand-dyed look. The “right side” is speckled from the coating which makes the aida pretty stiff. I don’t mind a fairly stiff hand but I don’t see a positive stitching experience with these.

Notice the pooling of the coating on the selvedge.

Supposedly the upper edge (side that is sprayed) is the wrong side and lower part is the right side. No hand-dyed pattern….just speckles.

This piece appears to be rolled with a layer of the coating which does yield a pattern but it’s stiff and obviously not what I call hand-dyed….and it seems to “repeat”. The lower part does look better and I might actually use this one but at this point, I just don’t think I want anything to do with this stuff.

Another example of the drippy coating.

And yet again another drippy coating.

From what I can gather, the drippy side is the wrong side . You might wonder why I didn’t just ask for a refund. I thought about it. But. There’s a re-stocking fee and I’m not in the mood for that.


Gumbo weather

It’s cold (for us) here in southeast Louisiana. Chris and Vanessa made Seafood Gumbo last week and I bought the crab claw meat to make my own. I use the same recipe I’ve used for most of our married life. It’s from a little cookbook called “Gulf Coast Gourmet”.

You can see my copy is well used. It’s copyright was 1962. I would have bought it pretty early in the 1970’s on a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The page with the gumbo recipe is pretty much worn out. The Shrimp Creole recipe in this little book is very good.

Sometimes, I think about seeing if I can find a less-used copy but then I think why bother. There are several for sale on Ebay right now.

The best gumbo’s start with homemade roux. I did that today but if I’m in a hurry, I’ll use Cachere’s gumbo powder in chicken broth instead.

You can choose how dark your roux is by cooking it longer. I don’t like real dark gumbo so mine usually looks pretty close to this color. The key to making a good roux is to cook it slowly so it doesn’t burn.

The veggies have been cooking in bacon grease. Oh my….It smells so good. I wish I could send you a sniff!

It’s now got the roux and broth added and is cooking slowly for about 2 hours. Then it’s time to add the shrimp and crab meat to cook about 10 minutes more and it will be ready to taste…err….eat. Serve it over a bed of rice.

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