Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fun with snow

The storm scoffers were proven wrong; New Britain got over 30 inches of snow in less than 24 hours! I love when nature makes these gentle little reminders of Who's Boss. The view from our windows is absolutely incredible.

View from the front windows across what was once Barbour Road; tip of fire hydrant is barely visible in the neighbor's yard.

Side window view; some genius tried to drive home around midnight and got stuck. Whoopsy.

We might convert this into a luge run. The swings are buried!
My menfolk, young and old(er), have been diligently digging out our driveway with the understanding that the plows will make it here eventually. We currently have one driving lane down Barbour, but that's only because our neighbor happens to work for the city and he needed to come home late last night for fresh clothes and presumably a toothbrush and food, so he drove a plow home. Our family is cozy, fully powered, and well stocked for food so for us it's just kind of fascinating to watch. We do have friends, though, who are much more involved in the recovery efforts. A big THANK YOU to everyone who is working around the clock to clear, rescue, and dig the state out from this storm. I hope people will remember that the plow drivers, police officers, fire fighters, etc. didn't cause this to happen; they're humans doing the best they can, and they have to sleep too. Patience, people...

Anyway, I have harnessed a few buckets of this snow for my own purposes -- snow dyeing!

Step 1: Wash some fabric to remove the sizing. I started with a funky white-on-white Hawaiian print that I have had for years, but which never seems to jump out at me. It also happens to be the only length of white fabric that I have in the house. It has some great motifs on it, so if it dyes well ... well, let's just say I know a few people who will like it. (You know who you are!)

Snow dyeing! This was the only length of white fabric I had in the house, but it should have some cool effects.
Step 2: Soak the wet fabric in a soda ash solution for a half hour. I had to dig out my old dyeing pots for this.
Soaking in soda ash
Step 3: Squeeze out the extra water and arrange the fabric in a bin for dyeing. I didn't want a tie-dyed look with rubber bands or stripes, so I just scrunched the fabric loosely.
Ready for dyeing!
Step 4: Cover it with clean snow. We have plenty of this available. It wasn't hard to track down.

I bought some "fresh Himalayan snow" from these two apple-cheeked Sherpas who were selling it door-to-door.
Snow-covered fabric!
Step 5: Sprinkle dye powder on top of the snow. I used three colors (which is all I own).
I started with a few spoonfuls of midnight blue dye.

Next I added a bunch of deep purple.
I finished with a few sprinkles of bright green.
Step 6: Cover and wait. This is the hardest step for me. You have to let it sit for at least 24 hours. Mine is sitting right in front of the furnace in the basement; it should be somewhere warm enough for the snow to melt, but not too quickly. I hope I used enough dye powder; I want nice vivid colors, not washed-out pastels.

After it's done, you have to rinse it a little, then wash it with some Sythrapol before ironing it. Tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

1 comment:

  1. I simply cannot wait to see it! You are my hero.