More Experimental Dyes

 

These were experiments on several different levels:

  1.  Primary colors from Custom Colors; Yellow #104, Turquoise # 417, and Scarlet #218.  I like to mix my own colors, often on the garment itself, and I wanted to see how these three would act together.  I think in the future I may swap fuchsia for scarlet if I am using turquoise in the mix because I think it would make a better purple and the colors would work better together.  I like the scarlet but I think I will pair it with a darker blue next time.
  2. FWIW, I am not fond of spirals centered in the middle of the chest.  It reminds me too much of target practice, so I like to offset mine.  Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much.  The spoked looking fanfold is a new one I learned.  I want to do more of them
  3. I have most often used liquid dyes on a presoaked shirt.  This time the shirts were just dampened for easier folding.  I mixed soda ash to dry powder in a 2:1 ratio and applied it dry on top of the shirt.  I used a plastic spoon to apply the dye and did not have as much control as I liked.  Other dyers us syringes and paint brushes with dry dyes.  I might try that in the future.
  4. I dumped ice on top of everything after putting them on racks and into plastic containers.  Then they cooked in my solar oven for a couple of days.  It was cool and rainy and took longer to heat up than usual.  Then the ice melted, overflowed the containers, and the solar oven peed all over the driveway and garage.  It is time for new containers anyway.  Mine are old and cracking and my racks are rusting.

I am not so sure it I am going to continue with this technique or not.  I like mixing SA with dry dye and not needing urea.  Mixing my own colors works better with liquid dye than with dry, but who knows where I will go with that.  The CC dyes are bright and vivid and  work well.  They are a company near where I live.  Dave, the guy who runs it, is great to work with, and shipping is free for orders over $35 if I don’t have the time to drive for 2 hours to get there.  My orders usually arrive the next day, two days at the very latest.

Just last night I learned of a new techniques involving dry dye, hot water, and aquarium pumps.  The results I have seen on-line are gorgeous and they say you can finish a shirt in 2 hours instead of 2 days.  I am itching to try it.  It’s too bad I have to do things like clean up after myself and eat or I would have already been out in the studio playing with it.

These shirts are adult sized mediums by Fruit of the Loom.  If anyone would like one send me a message.

 

 

10 Things I Learned From Vending at My First Festival.

purple festival tent

I can say now that I am no longer a festival virgin.  I was initiated in a big way this past weekend and am still recovering from it.  Here is a list of things I wish I had known beforehand.

  1.  Make sure you have a reliable, dependable back up team.  I didn’t and was miserable.  Be very clear in communicating expectations and needs.
  2. Getting to your site can be an irritating problem.  I had to deal with equipment and trucks blocking the way and roads closed that were said to be open.
  3. Rethink your footwear.  I thought my faithful old hiking sandals would provide enough support.  Nope.  I was barefoot most of the day as a result.  Your feet may swell, especially if you are outdoors in the heat standing up for most of the day.
  4. If you need electricity be prepared for extra charges and the need to cover up your drop cords due to state law.  I am going to look for battery or solar-powered fans for  the next outdoor event.
  5. Don’t post your prices in a proominant place.  Even though mine were consistent with those of other vendors for the same thing people would stop, read my sign, and walk away not bothering to look at what I offered.
  6. Take a mini first aid kit. Include headache and stomach remedies.
  7. Carabiners work better than zip ties for some things.  You will need a hand truck or cart on wheels.
  8. Other handy items include extra tarps, trash bags, paper towels, hand sanitizer, bug spray, and sunscreen,  clothes pins, painter’s tape,and a box cutter.  A portable cell phone charger pack is a requirement.
  9. Sports drinks and electrolyte placement if outdoors in the heat is extremely important.  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Don’t skimp on salt.  Bring your own cooler full.
  10. Make sure your online presence is up to date before the festival.  I had been sloppy about maintaining my social media sites.  People would take my card and go home and look me up.

 

Overall, my first festival was a positive experience.  I didn’t make a lot of money, just enough to cover my entrance fee, but the lessons learned were priceless.  I was in tears often over the kindness of strangers and the camaraderie among vendors.  I made some great connections, met wonderful people I want to stay in contact with, and  have begun to refine my craft techniques as well as what I will be offering in the future.

 

Teal and Black Shirt

Dani

I thought ya’ll might like to see one of my shirts on a real person.  It’s nice to have friends who are willing to model for me.

 

 

Wild Spirals

wild spirals

Health problems and weather have finally given way and I have been able to get back into the garage and start experimenting again.  These are “warm-up” shirts, exercises in color mixing to get back into the groove.  Plans, oh, do I have big plans now!  The challenge will be to get the images into my head translated into fabric.  I have started to  name my custom colors mixes after friends who have made particular requests.  In the mix up there you will find Zim’s Purple and Tom’s Yellow.  Let’s just hope my notebook survives the splattering.  I still have Technicolor hands.

These are what is left of the last batch of 6.  I am flattered that friends grabbed the others before I could photograph them.  The one on the far left with the big red spiral is already spoke for but the other two are available for adoption.

Middle shirt, purple and green, Fruit of the Loom me’s size large crewneck.  $25 includes shipping and taxes.

Right shirt, dropped spiral, FOTL men’s V-neck size 2x (I think it would be fun as a woman’s sleep shirt) $30 includes shipping and taxes.

PayPal only.  freakflagdyeco@gmail.com

Fly your flag, peeps!  Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!  Much love to all of you.

 

A Question For You

profile pic

Oh, best beloveds, I need your input concerning marketing, etc.  Any and all constructive criticism will be very much appreciated.

The header of this blog is also the front face of my business card.  I added the definition of Freak Flag from Urban Dictionary in order to explain my thinking behind the name.  It is also a reference to the song from the musical, “Shrek” and a nod to a favorite  tune by Southern Culture On The Skids.  On the back of the card above my contact information it says “Fly Your Flag.”  My intention is to encourage people to not be ashamed of or hide who they are but rather to celebrate and embrace our differences, to boost self-esteem, and add a little fun and joy to the mix.

A much younger friend recently schooled me on some of the darker, kinkier, street meanings of the word “freak” and suggested the phrase, “Recreating Individuality” instead of “Fly Your Flag”.

I kind of like it, but need some input here.  I am out of touch with popular culture in a lot of ways largely due to my age (64) and lack of interest.  I don’t have the developmental issues the most influential up and coming age group has now.  Been there, done that.

But I also need to sell stuff.  Already I live in a very conservative rural area and do not sell much locally, thus the push to develop an online presence.  I have been on the receiving end of some negative remarks about my company name and motto, but for the most part people around here just don’t seem to understand it.

Speak up, please.  Share your thoughts.  As long as you are not intentionally being rude I will welcome anything anyone who reads this has to say about marketing and branding.  I am already part of an online group concerning this, but I would particularly cherish input from my readers.  I feel I have a closer connection with you.

Many thanks.

Ice storms, etc.

Update: Ice storms, rain, Nasty weather.  Cold garage and a stinky kerosene heater.  Still moving stuff around and cleaning up.  Illness.

But I have shirts and I have dye.  Not progressing as fast as I want, but I guess this is a prime opportunity to practice patience.  Feels like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere, but I know better.

Stay tuned.

Update

I am enjoying my vacation from Facebook.  My anxiety and annoyance levels have dropped dramatically.

I am still working on the studio, getting organized and cleaned up.  We had a cold snap with temps in the teens and a couple of days of snow that made working out there impossible in spite of having the kerosene heater going full blast.

I have signed up for free business classes offered by the local Chamber of Commerce starting in February and continuing through March and have connected with some photographers who have been very helpful in advising me about product photography.

I have a meeting soon with a local business about doing some stuff for them.

Still looking for an online store.  Maybe I am being too picky.

More to come.  Stay tuned.IMG_20180117_125225530.jpg

I know this doesn’t look like much to those of you who live further north.  My house is on top of a ridge on a very steep hill.  My road wasn’t cleared for two days and even after it was cleared the steep part of the hill was still ice since it does not get direct sun.  Cabin fever, anyone?