If you read my newsletter you already know this but I’ve hit a big of snag. I’m running out of shoe soles, folks, and am in the process of hunting for a new shoe sole supplier that I’m happy with. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say that I want all the things…great sizing, high quality, and faith in the process in which the shoe soles are created. It’s been a stressful search and I’ve had many moments of being dismissed by big wigs and feeling “out of my depth”. I miss the days of simply ordering from a wholesaler!
I’m certain I will be able to rise to the challenge eventually but it’s a steep learning curve. The last few weeks have been filled with lots of low moments….mostly stemming from the odd feeling of waiting on other people. Uncertainty is not my favorite state of being.
After lots of journalling and a bit of meditation (and the meditation practice of thinking while sewing) I’ve decided to work on accepting patience and using my newfound time in constructive and creatively fulfilling ways. Yup. I went searching and found the silver lining!
For me, this means pulling my favorite craft books off the shelf and into action. I’m a huge fan of craft books. I love their pretty pictures and their enticing promises of hours of creative flurry. Yet, I have a habit of not cracking them open. No more! I’m going to dedicate some of this ‘waiting’ time to indulge in entirely new ways of being creative. It’s my favorite way to take a break from something stressful.
I’m starting with my friend, Anna Joyce’s book HAND DYED. Hand dying is such a physical, messy, immersive experience. It’s the perfect break. Plus, it’s about spreading color. Anna’s book is pure inspiration and could honestly be an intensive course in how to work and manipulate fabric with color.
While I’m tempted by every single damn project in the book, I decided to jump into ice-dying. The book has multiple projects with gorgeous results based on hand-dying. I’ve actually ice-dyed with the boys a while ago but this time I wanted a more sophisticated, attentive project just for me.
I started by playing with color on some test swatches to see how the dyes I had react to the ice-dying process.
I also created silk ribbon with the kit that Anna included when she sent me my book. I’m planning on using this as trim on clothing because it’s cut on the bias. Won’t that be so luxurious?! I’m really excited.
My stroke of genius, however, was to ice-dye a clothesline rope and create a rope basket with it.
The rope itself just turned out so beautiful and rich with color. I used a mix of deep purple, teal and yellow procion mx dye. Anna details the whole ice-dye process in her book as well as her recommended supplies. There is a great tutorial here for how to create a rope bowl. What I love about using ice-dying for this process is that I let go of control over how it looks and, with the exception of choosing color, it reveals itself to me. It’s so different to my usual world of careful cutting and deliberate design choices. It felt very liberating.
If you haven’t made a rope bowl before you are missing out. Not only does it create a stunning vessel, it’s a really relaxing creation process. You are just zig-zag stitching over and over while managing the length of the rope. Eventually, the bowl starts to grow over the machine. Similar to espadrilles-making it comes with the built in feeling of ‘What? What? I can make this?!”
Plus, it turns out so beautiful.
Ah! It’s eating my sewing machine!
I added tabs to the sides using leftover soft leather scraps I had in the studio.
I have more ice-dyed projects in the works as well that I can’t wait to share and other craft book explorations to come. I guess it’s pretty obvious that crafting is my therapy, huh?
I love Ice dying and have done other projects..I have a question…did you wash the rope in a machine as it seems that it would get quite tangled..or did you just rinse the rope in a bucket of water. I have been watching tutorials on rope bowls and I think this gives me the inspiration to finally make one.
Great question. I decided not to pre-wash (which they do recommend) for that very reason but instead I simply washed it in the soda ash-water mixture with some aggressive handling. It was an experiment and it seemed to work!
I love this! So inspiring!
Melissa Q. says
Thanks so much! I hope you give it a try, it’s so fun!
Vivian M. Fernandez says
your basket is gorgeous
Melissa Q. says