Saturday, October 16, 2010

Paints and dyes

In many ways, this week has been very frustrating for me. I have been preparing to paint our kitchen, which means that I have spent a fair amount of time scrubbing the walls and cabinets. This is a task that leaves very few visible results, which can be discouraging at the end of the day. Sometimes I feel like I have done little other than looking at other people's logs about what wonderful things they have done at their houses. That might be inspiring if I actually needed ideas rather than having more ideas than I can implement.

The main reasons that I haven't posted this week is that I hadn't finished anything, and for a while there, I didn't have anything to show for what I was working on.

Scott has been planning to rework his kitchen, but it still has the decor that it had when he moved in, because his plans are the ambitious kind that he is not ready to start yet.

Kitchen before

Those of you who are familiar with my taste will guess that I am not a fan of the light peachy pink walls, and I am more likely to be found freeing a tree from being strangled by ivy than using ivy in any decorative or horticultural capacity.

Bathroom before

Repainting the kitchen and adjacent half bathroom is one of my first household design priorities.

Living and dining during

At this point, I have patched most of the holes and cracks in the plaster in the kitchen and the living and dining rooms.

Kitchen window hardware to be removed

Removing the accumulated window treatment hardware was a bit of a bear, and I still need to patch those holes and the spots for the drywall anchors for the shelves in the dining room. At least with polka-dot walls, you can tell that I have done something.

The other thing I am not really finished doing is dying some yarn that I spun. I went down to Blick Art Materials and purchased some liquid dyes, which I had not used before, because I didn't want to wait for delivery from my normal dye supplier, Dharma Trading. The store and employees were very nice, but I wasn't so pleased with the dye I bought.


I am excited to have a utility sink for dying, so that I can rince things out without worrying about staining it. This time, I had to use it as the dye vessel, since I don't yet have a dedicated dye pot, and I wasn't using food safe dyes. You can see in the picture above the original color of this handspun yarn, which was made using Brown Sheep mill ends roving.


I was mixing up a deep purple, and got the dye bath right where I wanted it.

Dye fail

Unfortunately, the dye did not exhaust and the yarn did not take up all of the dye. In fact, it took up the colors inconsistently, and I ended up with a bit of light blue instead of deep purple. As much as I like blue, it really isn't what I have in mind for this project, so I am going to have to do some overdying.

There it is, my week of unfinished projects.


  1. Stenciled ivy: