Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Dip Dip

I am an "idea person". There are usually several things running around on my little hamster wheel at any given time. Quite some time ago I had the idea that I would like very much to make the Alexander McQueen jacket offered on the showstudio site in a crisp but heavy silk done in arashi shibori with indigo and black walnut or some type of tannin-producing dye in order to create a subtle vertical striation on the jacket. The other day I remembered that I had planned to do this, and at that point it was getting warm enough to bother running some trials.

Yay project planning! The joy of my OCD-riddled existence!!

First I had to throw La Retardado off of my dyeing coat (I made that when I were in hippyland so you can guess which one it is).

I have a little vat I created in 04 or 05-I can't remember which, but I know it definitely sat all of last year. I figured I would probably have to dump it due to it's age and multiple freezings and begin again. But hey, I'll see what it's doing first. I was more than a little surprised to see the vat begin to turn after a shot of thiourea dioxide-when I dunked a little corner of fabric in I did get colour. It still looked peaked so I decided to keep the vat and add some more indigo to it.

This is the test cloth after dipping.

I am going to get an aquarium heater for the vat, as I think it will be much more successful if I can control the temperature. That water is freezing frickin cold right now.

I use the recipe from prochem for the lye-thiourea dioxide vat. And I have my lye locked away in the Ugly Metal Thing-so don't even think about it meth-heads of the world. BTW you all suck for making lye so difficult to get.

I find this type of vat easiest, and there are measurements there for a small vat. Mama would probably never allow a fermentation vat, as we have a large enough ecosystem to deal with under the house already.

And before you ask, No I do not use urine.

Here is the stock I made. Look at the the lovely blossoms on the spoon-Mem, this is what you would paint yourself with-if you are tough enough to do so that is...See how it is becoming an ugly green underneath the surface-which is what you want, as it means the oxygen has been stripped. I have never gotten the perfectly clear yellow that indigo white is meant to be, but it works well enough.

I didn't think it would reduce properly at all, as I dunked the jar in some hot water, thinking it would hold up like the canning jars (I'm not too sure where the actual gem jar that I usually have used is). When I heard *crack* I did about the stupidest thing anyone with SFB would have known not to-I picked it up. Half-reduced indigo went all over the deepfreeze (or all-purpose workstation for all the Moores and Moore-like peeps out there). Okay, I thought as I surveyed the damage, not too bad at least it didn't really go everywhere...went in to get some paper towel, came back and looked at the floor:


Look at all the precious indigo-wasted! And it was getting to be quite a light green as it flew everywhere too-I think that is why it didn't seem so bad at first. Reduced for naught!! Wahahahaaaa....
My docs no longer have their famous yellow stitching at the toe either, they now have an odd sort of grey-green stitching. And I tracked it through the house. Thanks be to God that it had oxidized already at that point. Heh.

Mom saw it and said "ah well at least you didn't have it in the house (this of course was after I hurriedly wiped up all the blue doc ska sole marks on the floor). Double Heh.

It's not the worst I've ever done. I used to spill india ink fairly regularly until my parents banned me from using it until I should reach the age of majority.

Well the rest of it did reduce alright and went into the vat, which is now a nice green. Here is how the vat looked after adding the new indigo. Still as cold as Cocytus though.

I think the indigo on the top of a vat is just about the most beautiful colour. It is rather metallic, kind of coppery but purple...or blue or...something...I wish there was a way that it could be used, and keep the sheen of it. Ephemeral beauty is the most irritating!

I lost the first piece of fabric somewhere so I got a new one to test how well that took. I will never cease to be fascinated by the process of oxidation on a piece of fabric that has just been pulled out of the vat. It's just beyond cool to watch it change colour slowly from ugly snot to beautiful blue! Such a metaphor for life...okay I am not the kind of person who can resist rolling their eyes when such metaphors are made. Here is my fabric oxidizing.

Right about this time mama came around the corner and said "why the hell are you taking pictures of it?" To which I replied " I will post this to my blog-it's for the new PROJECT!" Then she left, muttering something to the effect of "yeah the project, whatever. You're going to wreak that camera." She is always that supportive of the projects.

While I was out there I took a picture of the lilac bushes, they look pretty nice right now-obviously the town has not sprayed their yearly hit of roundup so that the entire east end of town can look like a nice little nuclear waste zone. Usually the lilacs protect the rest of our yard, but they sacrifice themselves along the way. anyway I can't believe that this quarter of our yard only looks kind of crappy as opposed to utter crapaciousness. I planted grass, I hope it can defeat the weeds out there and manage to live. That is mama's superpowerbarbeque under the tarp in the corner there, and of course the picnic table/other all purpose work station.

Here is my fabric after the second dip, I added the elastics before doing that. Again you can see the process of oxidation when I fanned the fabric apart to let the air hit the folds. This is why indigo has proven to be such a fast (and therefore desirable) dye. Once it oxidizes, it is insoluble in water. Hence the need for reduction, stripping away of the oxygen from the dye molecule, or fermentation. Such is the nature of vat dyes.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Al 2.3 & 2.7 and Bonus Eye

When I made the leetle goatlet for my own fibre fairy, as I have mentioned, I was told that his name was Al. I am going to guess that was an alliteration thing. Anyway Al's owner liked leetle Al very much and back in December she asked if I might make a couple more for her family members who had also admired him.

Oh sure, I said.

I probably should have added something to the effect of it's only going to take me SIX MONTHS to get around to finishing them.

So here six months later are leetle Al 2.3 and 2.7 (O.G Al and my first rendition being Al 1.0 and 2.0 respectively) sitting on one of my grandma's old aprons:

Happy that they are fully covered as they have sat on the computer desk naked since February. Can't you see the joy on their wonky leetle faces?

ETA, speaking of wonky, I just have to post this picture-because for some reason I have always been very proud of the genetic anomaly that caused my wonky eye and love to tell people about it.

I wanted to take a different picture for my avatar-one that would disguise the genetic anomaly that did NOT give me the skinny nose I deserve.
Anyway when I took this picture, the flash made my hair look orange like that flash always does, so I colour corrected it in photoshop-and lo and behold, there is my wonky eye, plain as day. It usually never shows up in pictures.

If you can't tell, my left iris is split in half colourwise. The top of it is green as the other eye but the bottom is brown. Basically I got mama's eye colour gene with a random bit of dad gene attaching itself in there. Now I've met and heard of many people who have two completely different coloured irises, but I've never met anyone (and only ever heard of one other) that had one iris that is split into two definite colours like that.

Oddity being the epitome of coolness, I have always loved my weird eye. I can remember when I was a child my mom was always hoping it would change colour to all green as I got older, while I dreaded that it would.
For some reason though people often think my eyes are brown. Ah no only half of one is...

I secondly think it's hilarious that my infamous grey hair is peeking out. People always seem drawn to pull out that particular grey hair. Often with only the warning "you have a grey hair, let me get it" *Yank*. It survived the last attempt on it's life by a co-worker the other day.
One time I had a resident point it out, and when one of the other girls teased him for being impolite, he protested "But mine are all grey". Ha.

I also have to say that judging by the look on my face in that picture, I think I may have been planning the Knife-stick match of DOOM or wondering how much more I would like the hellions if they were slathered in barbeque sauce. Heheh.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007



And indeed, with 4-and-a-half inch heels they may just be heralds of doom. At least people will notice my shoes if they cause me to go arse over teakettle.

After so many long sad days of searching and being met with nothing but a slough of crocspond, or being thwarted by the sartorial deities (er, patron saints I mean, patron saints.) in any attempt at procuring my much-needed blue shoes, lo I finally have them in my hot little hands-eh feet. Well you know. This totally makes up for the recent prickishness of certain family members (also the photos are at my house where they will remain, suckas!).

Never thought I'd own a pair of "designer shoes" as even I won't justify such outrageous prices for a couple of pieces fabric, leather and foam- but such was the depth of my need of the blue shoes-and it didn't hurt that they were actually fairly cheap as they are at end of-the-line sale.

Like Odysseus and his Ithaca, determination has brought me and the shoes together at last. Yeay!

I actually made a "Dr Tongue's 3D House of Blue Shoes" video of the shoes. I am such a freakin nerd.

Because I am a useless sack of...of...of the opposite of willpower when it comes to shoes I still ended up getting the Carlos, just in red as that was all there was on ebay.
Now I suppose I should probably give lots of money to charity to make up for my excessive nature. That's not exactly like an indulgence is it? No it's that I have more shoes to love, and my heart is so full of joy. I want to share the blue shoe joy.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007


Damn youtube! It won't let me watch Thriller!!!

I did however LMAO at Fight for Your Right. I had totally forgotten about the pies. Hahahaha!

Also these guys are so so SO beyond funny. Them doing Jump On It also fills me with mirth. I must take a minute for gratitude that youtube did not exist when I was a kid, as my best friend and I would have so been arsing around in exactly the same way and posting it.

Thank you God!!

ETA: I fixed the link to the dudes.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Sam a Trois

Sam has not always been a curmudgeonly old nasty dog. He used to be quite easy going, and as far as dogs go was about the best you were going to get. We are not dog people at the best of times, but we have sort of gotten on with the dog-dad looked after him most.

My own theory is that dad in his estimation was the omega (bottom dogson) of the family and now that dad is gone, Sam knows he is the omega. As nobody wants to be the bottom of the pile, he is behaving aggressively and being wilfully disobedient in the hopes of challenging us for our spots in the family and having at least one dogson to look down on. When he does it of course I have a tendency to see red and start beating him with whatever is convenient, especially when he starts snarling and/or snapping at me. Mama is just as bad, and so he is always making trouble for himself.

He used to be pretty good natured. He let me dress him up as Osama Bin Laden:

And he let me put him in a cart and make him pretend to be a postal employee (though you can't see it he is wearing a postal tie) :

And I used to play fight with him.

Now I am usually just fighting with him. My SIL said that on the farm they often had dogs that got mean and ugly in their old age. I don't know if that is Sam's problem or if he will get over being his Majesty the Prick of Tails. As we will never get rid of him until he dies of extreme old age, I rather hope he does.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Part Deux

Have I ever mentioned my undying hatred for DOGS? Because I really do HATE DOGS.

I seem to be getting a little deja vu here...

My brother insists that we keep his stupid dog-he just loves the dog so much, never mind that he has not bothered to take responsibility for the stupid thing in 10 years. So we spend thousands upon thousands of dollars and all MY time keeping his dog.
It really wasn't that bad because Sam used to be a reasonably good dog (as far as dogs go) but over the last few years he has been getting incredibly obstinate and cantankerous. I threw him out of my room yesterday and he returned the favour by trying to chomp my leg off (at which point I started whacking him with my moleskine-and we tore the picture of bannock damnit).

I just noticed that one of the bites looks startlingly similar to a mocking smiley face:

Can't you just see it saying "Haha you will have to look after the dog forever."

Looking after other people's dogs will obviously be a punishment in one level of hell or another.

Friday, 11 May 2007

Guess who pooped everywhere

ihatedogsihatedogsihatedogsihatedogsihatedogsihatedogsI hate dogs I hate dogs I hate dogs I hate dogs I hate dogs I hate dogs I HATE DOGS


That is all.

Monday, 7 May 2007

In Which I Make A Dress

Digging through the piles of fabric reminded me of all the projects I had planned-a lot of it had been bought for specific pieces. One was a cheapo flowery clearance fabric I had bought to make this dress. Since it's finally getting warm enough to wear something like that, and the fabric once again has come to see the light of day, I figured I might as well make it.

When I sewed it together, I discovered the bodice was too big. Lessons learned-if you are going to make a muslin, don't wait until a year afterwards to make the actual dress as you will likely forget what alterations you had to do. I still have the muslin version I made last summer...heh.
Here is what it looked like after the first fitting-the muslin is behind me (black flowered fabric) :

I think this is an excellent picture of my tongue. The prints are due to the fact that I am always walking into this mirror (as you can see they are about nose height).

ETA-with access to photoshop (which is on my computer and not on mama's) I fixed the pictures-a little anyway.

So had to hack a bit of the bodice off, widen the seams and move the straps. Ultimately it worked out not bad. Then I had to find the zipper, which diabolical forces hid for a few hours before placing it in plain view on my desk. This happens to me often, and I know it's either boggarts or employees of Monsanto doing it. As Dad would say, "CATTLE PROD."

Certainly if we do have brownies, they have long since turned to boggarts, because they sure DON'T CLEAN ANYTHING.

Now where was I...Try as I might I couldn't get a picture that was actually in focus, maybe that's because the glasses I have on are from two prescriptions ago as I broke my regular ones at work last week-I hate those old glasses! they just accentuate the sausageyness of my already sausagy nose. Anyway-this is the best one (ignore the glasses please).

I notice that the state of my room is quite distracting-you can see the frickin floor!! But the bed and the desk are covered with crap so that's alright.

Here is a better picture of it, though wrinkly and unhemmed as of yet.

Now all I need is the fates to quit conspiring against me and my need for blue shoes to go with it.

Hemming it would probably be a good idea too.

I hate that I can't sew at four in the morning anymore. Richard says he is going to come down and we can convert the one room back into two, so Grandma can sleep and I can sew and dicker around on the computer. Of course Grandma is usually awake at that time anyway.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

My Train of Thought Rides A Twisty Rail

I have finally regained access to my keyboard!!!

I have had to completely rearrange this back room-and I had just gotten through my yearly bout of "cleaning" (which admittedly left it looking far worse than it had beforehand).

We got a call from my uncle a week ago all worried as only he can be-my grandma was insisting she wanted to move. We've since found out she is also is not taking her meds or eating or leaving her house. Then says "I don't know why I am getting such terrific headaches". Frick. Her doctor has told mama that she's giving herself CVA related dementia from not takeing the blood pressure meds. Double frick.
It is obvious her independent days are over and we have decided to bring her down here where of course she will move into the back room for now. While I thought I might put her in my room and move back here, I think that may have required even more work. Though my dresser was built for the closet back here...feh.

While mama went to get her I got to stay home with Estupido dog, and change the room around. I guess I could say I've made several discoveries as I moved all the stuff:

Damn I have a lot of fabric. I mean day-mn! It didn't seem that bad when I was organizing it a month or so ago, only six drawers full...Well one was full of UFO's. But now that I am trying to find some other place for six drawers worth of fabric-well, damn.

I have like ten years worth of VK's. Huh. And probably ten years worth of yarn to go with them. I forgot how beautiful some of the yarn is, or what I bought it for, for that matter. I petted the yarn for awhile, that was nice. I think I might hoard silk like Fafnir hordes gold. Death before relinquishment of the silk-not necessarily mine either.

I found the dirt I stole from PEI!

I hope whoever put the house breaker box in the wall of this huge closet so we could never make it smaller or change it has long since been choked with electrical wire.

Also that whoever painted my little sideboard bright blue died as a result of the paint being lead based. Why did I tell old Fridolf that I had one of the doors for that? He refused to make two new ones because "that one is perfectly good". And I knew darn well he'd do that. Now I have one nice one and one covered with the wicked vestiges of the electric blue paint of death.

Of course maybe it would matter if I could find the hinges I bought and actually put them on.

My dad had quite the doorknob/hinge collection. None of which fit the new door I had to put on the room...I ended getting annoyed and attacking it with my angle grinder when it wouldn't fit. It does now!

He also had a nice door collection in the shed, but I knew that. He used to rebuild the doors for sound, and the one I took off was substantially heavier than the one I replaced it with.

Also many were reconstructed after another round of hurricane Richard. One was "fixed" (I use the term loosely) by Phil trying to disguise the fact that he had smashed the front door in with a golf club. If he was your brother you'd lock him out of the house too.

The pantry door is still in one piece out there! No reconstructions.

I had to use my lino cutter on the door because if I can't see something I can't find it, and the chisel got pushed under a bag of garbage and ceased to exist for awhile.

Dad also had a ski wax set in the Ugly Metal Thing (a cabinet of sorts in our porch). It, along with the sideboard came from our camper and when we got rid of it, we brought them home. they were both covered in green, orange and yellow flowered mac-tac. Think of the fugliest patterns the 70's could conceive, that is this mac-tac. "Assault on the eyes" is simply not enough to convey it's hideousness. The Ugly Metal Thing still has it.

Also in the Ugly Metal Thing was the adaptor Mr Korfman gave us when he converted Richard's fisher price tape player to AC. Mr. Korfman could fix anything, especially electronics or bikes that you had wrecked while trying to pop-a-wheelie or something. I had a Micheal Jackson radio that never worked until he fixed it. It's probably a given, but that was back when a Michael Jackson radio was cool enough to be worth fixing. It was red and black of course. I saw Mr Korfman when I was on my practicum as he had returned to town for a visit. I wonder if he still fixes kids' bikes and radios.

I found an adaptor in with all the wires from the computer, with no corresponding thing to be adapted. No idea where it came from.

My idiot brother has kept issues of Run from 1986 because he thinks they will be worth money someday. They are full of things to do with your commodore 64. I wonder whatever happened to the commodore 64. I remember one time my auntie was coding a game on it and she was almost done when one of Phil's friends accidentally turned the power off. Hours of work -for naught! Haha.

I wonder if I'll ever be able to remember how to put that quilt hoop together again.

Happy now I did not buy a spinning wheel!!

I've had too many years of owning that back room, I had crap EVERYWHERE. And now I am not particularly sure what I am going to do with all of it, especially the books that had been in the side of the closet I converted into bookshelves and now is a closet again. I have to do something with this computer too.

Wow that is very rambley-well now you have a little look into the little hamster wheels of my mind's workings.

ETA-with all of that, I forgot to mention it is Athanasius Day. Have a happy belated fight to the death for the truth!