Tag Archives: Mother’s Day

Painting in May

Last week, I wrote about Mother’s Day and how I hadn’t been able to take that day off from making tie-dye since we started getting ready for our first Florida Folk Festival in 2008. This week, I can tell you that I spent my 2014 Mother’s Day resting and having fun with my family. All of my children and grandchildren came over for a backyard cookout and my husband did the cooking. It was a lovely day, in spite of the fact that my husband had to pull the grill under our dyeing canopy and run through a storm to bring in the hot dogs and corn.

Since I had met my dyeing goals on Saturday, I was able to take some time Monday morning to paint. I had picked up some sunflowers at the grocery store on Sunday, with the hope of finding some painting time before they wilted, but I went outside early Monday morning to put Onesies into pre-soak and the backyard garden caught my eye again. I was feeling brave, so I decided to try painting outdoors. Once the Onesies were up, I brought out my easel and paints to try and capture the garden before the squash blossom closed up and the Onesies got dry.

Let’s call this a learning experience.

Garden with Squash Blossom

Garden with Squash Blossom


The difficulty level was way beyond my skills and my inner critic had a field day telling me that I was hopeless at painting and I would never get any better and I might as well give up. I heard the voice but I didn’t pay it much attention because the act of painting had put me in a good mood for the whole day. I did want to try something easier the next time, though, so on Tuesday, I painted the sunflowers. My daughter called just as I was finishing up because it was time to get started on the rinsing. I brought her to my house and she admired the sunflower painting. Then she pointed out something I hadn’t noticed – the difference between this painting of sunflowers and the first sunflower painting I had done in early March.

My inner critic can no longer make me believe that I will never get any better at painting. Here’s the March painting:

Early Sunflowers

Early Sunflowers


Here’s the one I did yesterday.
More Recent Sunflowers

More Recent Sunflowers


My skills are definitely improving. In your face, inner critic!

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Festival Prep and Mother’s Day

The first time we agreed to be vendors at the Florida Folk Festival, we drove ourselves nuts trying to make enough tie-dye. We had not planned to sell tie-dye at the Florida Folk Festival in 2008. We had only taken our first tie-dye workshop in 2006 and we intended to grow our business slowly, trying out small events close to home as we learned the ropes. The Florida Folk Festival was way out of our league and besides, our mentor was the tie-dye guy at the Florida Folk Festival. He freely shared his knowledge with us and there was no way we would compete with him at his biggest event of the year.

Our plan for 2008 was to take things even slower than we had in 2007 because my daughter (who is my business partner and does all the tying) had decided that late 2007 or early 2008 would be a good time to have a second child. She was in her third trimester when we heard the news that our generous tie-dye mentor, Mark Wright, had been found, slumped over his half-finished tie-dye, dead of a heart attack in early middle age. Our whole folk community was shocked and saddened by this news.

That was in late October of 2007. In November, the organizers of the Florida Folk Festival asked us if we would be the new tie-dye vendors in 2008. We’ve been part of that folk family for decades and we felt that Mark would want us to do our best with the knowledge he had given us, but we were far from ready for such a huge event. Even without the complication of a new baby in January, it would have been difficult. As it was, it was nearly impossible, but we did it anyway. I held the baby while my daughter was tying. She held him while I was dyeing.

Mother’s Day came in the middle of the rush and I spent it outside all day, making tie-dye in the heat. I thought it would be nice to take a break on that special day, but there just wasn’t time. The sun was shining; I had to be making tie-dye. I worked a lot of twelve-hour days that Spring, and Mother’s Day was one of them. I had no choice. Time was short and we needed all the tie-dye we could finish by festival time. We were still rinsing things out the day we left for the festival.

Ever since that first year of Florida Folk Festival preparation, I have had the dream of actually resting on Mother’s Day. They haven’t all been twelve-hour days in the years since 2008, but they have all been work days. I have not been able to get enough done in advance to take a day off in early May. I have high hopes that this year might be the year. I have three-and-a-half color palettes to finish and I have three days left before Mother’s Day. One of the color palettes does have a lot of items in it, but the others are not as full. Mother Nature may also help me out this year. My daughter tells me there’s an eighty per cent chance of rain that day. I hope there aren’t too many people praying for sunny weather on Sunday. I think rain would be perfect.

I’ll let you know how that turns out when I write next week’s blog post. This week, I can report that the new deck box we bought last week is working out well.

New Deck Box

New Deck Box


It sure holds a lot of tie-dye!
Tie-Dye Inside

Tie-Dye Inside