Monthly Archives: May 2016

Festival Time

I am up past my bedtime on the night before we have to get up early and drive to the Florida Folk Festival and I have plastic wrap on my head. I believe I am going to drive my daughter home with plastic wrap on my head. She’s putting her things in the car now.

We procrastinate every year but this might be a new record. My daughter was going to dye my hair for me last night but then she looked into her box of hair-dyeing supplies and saw that she was out of developer. If I want bright pink hair, she has to bleach out the natural color before she applies the pink dye and bleach requires developer. We couldn’t go on a developer run at that point because we had too many other things to do, so we put it off until today.

Today was full of even more things to do, so we put it off until this evening. That’s why I’m up past my bedtime with plastic wrap on my head. On the upside, we did finish all the tie-dye.

Tie-dyed Dress

Tie-dyed Dress

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Surviving May

I think we’re going to make it. When I put up last week’s post, I had just finished dyeing one category of Rainbow cottons. Since then, I have finished all the Rainbows, Midnights, Purples, Blues, Oceans, Greens and Forests. I just need to dye Goldens and Fruities and I’ll be done. My daughter has started the rinsing, washing, drying and folding. I will be helping with that once the dyeing is done.

Actually, I’m already helping. There was still one load in the dryer when I took my daughter home this evening. That load is mine to fold. The dyeing is done outside, so I have to stop when I lose the light, but folding can be done way past bedtime, if necessary. It’s not way past bedtime yet, but if I don’t hurry up and get this blog post done, it will be.

I suspect this may end up being a short blog post. I do want to give a shout-out to Hall’s Nursery, though. They sure saved our dyeing day today. When I inventoried all my dyes and chemicals at the beginning of the season, I thought I had enough urea to make it through the festival dyeing rush, so I didn’t add any to my order. By last weekend, I was starting to worry about that decision.

I went to our dye supplier’s website to look into the possibility of getting more urea, but even at the slowest and least expensive method of shipping, it would have cost more to ship it than to buy it. To get it here in time to make a difference, it would have cost two or three times as much to ship it as to buy it.

I had read that it should be available at farm supply stores, so I asked my daughter to look into the possibility of buying it locally. Farm supply stores apparently do not have sophisticated websites. Some of them don’t even have phone numbers listed online. My supply of urea was getting lower and lower and I was getting more and more worried about running out. This morning, my daughter came to me with a big smile on her face and told me she had talked to someone at Hall’s and they had urea in stock. We didn’t even have to drive to the outskirts of town to get it. There’s a Hall’s Nursery within a few miles of my house.

Fifty Pounds of Urea

Fifty Pounds of Urea


The urea they carry at Hall’s only comes in one size. I am no longer worried about running out.

Still May

The long days of dyeing have begun. The pre-soaking went smoothly because we were blessed with four or five days in a row of perfect pre-soaking weather. Even though we live in Florida, which is called the Sunshine State, anyone who lives here knows that a lot of that sunshine comes in liquid form, particularly in the warmer months. To have several days of bright, breezy weather with low humidity is rare and we are grateful that they came exactly when we needed them.

The humidity continues to be low, something I know without looking at a weather report because I’ve been mixing dyes and my measuring spoon has not become encrusted with sodium hexametaphosphate. That’s water softener. I could say water softener, but I get a kick out of saying sodium hexametaphosphate. On humid days, there’s so much of it stuck to my measuring spoon that I’m pretty sure I’m no longer getting an accurate measurement. Today that spoon stayed dry all day.

It was hot, though. We didn’t get started with the dyeing until late morning because we needed to go to the grocery store. You can only put that off so long before you start running out of food and you can’t face long dyeing days without food. We know what the long dyeing days are like, so we bought plenty of Breakfast Essentials. Okay, it’s not a real meal, which is probably why they stopped calling it Instant Breakfast, but it will sure get either one of us from early morning to noon with no trouble.

By the time we put away our groceries and started working this morning, the day was already beginning to heat up. A lunch break cooled us off, but going back outside in the afternoon was a challenge. After we had been working a while, my daughter disappeared into the house and then my husband came to tell me he was taking her home.

“She’s coming back, right?” I said.
“Yes, she just needs to get something from her house,” he replied.

I kept working, enjoying the solitude. I don’t get much of that now that my husband is retired, so I appreciate it when it shows up. After a while, my husband and daughter returned with a surprise. My sneaky daughter had discovered cash left on her Starbucks card and bought us all Frappuccinos. A venti Frappuccino is a lovely treat when you’re working outdoors on a hot afternoon. It got me all the way through an entire category of Rainbow cottons. I finished the Starbursts and Accessories.

Rainbow Starburst

Rainbow Starburst


I thought about moving on to Rainbow Hearts or Rainbow Guitars, but then I caught myself putting purple next to green on a bandana and knew it was time to stop. When I can’t remember ROYGBV, I am too tired to make tie-dye.

May? How Did It Get To Be May?

I was just sitting here, innocently checking my iPad games and wondering how early I can retire for the night, when I suddenly realized it’s Wednesday. Wednesday! Wait … that means I have to come up with a blog post before I can retire for the night. I’m sleepy, people. I have a long day of pre-soaking ahead of me tomorrow and I need to get some rest. Yes, I am still working on pre-soaking, not dyeing. Yes, I know it’s May the fourth. I’ve been on Facebook; I know it’s May the fourth.

Thanks to my friend George, I got my first “Happy Star Wars Day” wish at 6:35 this morning. He knows I’m an early riser. I returned the good wishes and got back to my morning pages. Once I made it to the internet, I saw a lot more such wishes. I shared one on Facebook myself. May the fourth comes but once a year, after all.

The problem with it being May the fourth, of course, is that means we’re already in the month that also holds Memorial Day and that is the holiday weekend when we attend the Florida Folk Festival, our biggest tie-dye event of the year. We’re in the month of May and we haven’t dyed anything yet. It’s going to be a busy month.

We have made progress. Since last week, we have washed and dried all the new cotton blanks and we have finished pre-soaking all the Rainbows. Pre-soaking the Rainbows took a whole day, because, between the cottons and the Rayons, they took up all four of my clotheslines. My daughter has started tying those Rainbows. I have finished listing all the cottons we need to dye and all of those blanks have been sorted into bags by color palette. I have cleared out all the old dyes and located all the dye bottles. We use eight-ounce squirt bottles for our dyes and we have dozens of them, so keeping track of them in the slow months is not easy. I have found them. I know where they are.

See? We have made progress. Tomorrow the forecast calls for sunshine all day, so we should be able to get four more clotheslines full of pre-soaking done. More progress! With that goal in mind, I’m going to wrap up this post and get it published, so I can get my rest. There you go. I blogged. Now I’m going to bed.