Rainbow Rant

I am buried under a mountain of tie-dye. Rainbows, Midnights, Purples, Blues, Oceans…those are the color palettes that are dyed. I have started the Greens. My daughter (my partner in the tie-dye business) reads my blog and I want her to know that I have started the Greens. I dyed that one Extra-large T-shirt with the light beer on it, so the Greens are definitely started.

The Forests, Goldens, and Fruities are still to come. My daughter has tied the Forests. She still needs to tie the Goldens and the Fruities. She would have finished the tying by now, but she has been helping me with the dyeing. Our normal division of labor is that she ties and I dye. The dyeing takes longer than the tying, though, and this year we got a late start on the big tie-dye push for the Florida Folk Festival. It’s amazing how much more we can get done when my daughter helps with the dyeing.

When she’s here helping, I can get up and mix more dye without thinking that nothing is getting done. I know the mixing is part of the job, but it feels like just an annoying thing I have to do before I can get back to doing the job. It isn’t quite so annoying when someone is still dyeing while I’m mixing. In a more perfect world, we might have a minimum-wage minion doing the mixing, but in our world, that minion would be making more money than we are.

We are our own minions. We do the planning. We do the designing. We order the blanks and the dyes and the chemicals. We pre-wash, dry and fold every cotton blank that comes in and we store them all until we need them. Before a big event, we make lists of all the things we need to dye. We pre-soak them and tie them and dye them. We wrap them up and leave them alone for at least twenty-four hours and then we rinse them and wash them and dry them.

Sometimes people say to me, “Oh, you make tie-dye for a living. That must be so much fun!”

I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but making tie-dye is a lot of work. I like it a lot better than office work, but it’s still work. It’s not just making rainbows. An awful lot of it is just laundry. Load after load after load of very colorful laundry.

Sigh…my weekly blog post seems to have turned into a rant. It’s late. I’m tired. I am buried under a mountain of tie-dye.

4 thoughts on “Rainbow Rant

  1. sarahcotchaleovitch

    New shirt– a minion from Despicable Me surrounded by tie-dye. I’m sure you guys can pull that off. 😉 I know it’s a lot of work, but I also know people love it, and I hope you have fun at the festival.

    1. releaf1954 Post author

      Oh, no — we’re not getting involved with licensed characters! 😀 The festival is always fun once we get there and get everything set up, but it sure was easier when all we had to do was sing..

  2. fairywebmother

    When I was in New Orleans, selling art on Jackson Square, quite a few people would make comments about what a nice job I had. Yes … sitting under the spreading oak trees and selling my art, watching the people and all the other fun stuff that shows up in the Vieux Carre was amazing and wonderful, but getting up at 2:30 am, thumping my heavy cart down the stairs, then lugging my bag of large paintings down, adding it to the cart, then pushing that over-loaded cart from my place to Jackson Square through Bourbon Street revelers to be at the Square by 3:00, then waiting for the street cleaners to show up (that part was ok), then setting everything up on the fence, then packing it all up and taking it back up the stairs …almost every day … made it the most physically challenging job I ever had! Not to mention weather changes that had you flying to cover things, or having to pack wet things, pull them out at home and repack everything. Oh, yeah … then there was making all the art. I totally get your rant. 🙂


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