Tag Archives: Color Hue Dyes

Scarf Dyeing at a Birthday Party

Saturday I had a booking for my ColorHue silk scarf dyeing activity at Jillian’s 9th birthday party at a local home. Jillian, her sister Tiffany and their mom had participated in my scarf dyeing workshops at Cypress Hills Park last summer.  I would be doing this scarf dyeing workshop with 12 8-9 year olds. A nice size group and a good age to work with.  They were an enthusiastic and well behaved group.

We had a little discussion about colour choices and did a few exercises to become familiar with our tools and how the process works. Then the colour choices began and the girls started creating their scarves.

Busy hands creating their scarves

Busy hands creating their scarves

he finished scarves drying while girls have more birthday party fun

The finished scarves drying while girls have more birthday party fun

I was invited to have some of the birthday cake made by Jillian’s mom Ava. It was an amazing looking cake with strands of hair on the dog and blades of grass.

Amazing birthday cake

Amazing birthday cake

I enjoyed being invited to share in the birthday festivities and see what happens at birthday parties now. Some things never change but I noticed some differences from when I used to give parties for my children. These lucky party goers also got to make 3 crafty things at this party!

I offer my ColorHue silk scarf dyeing activity for groups as small as 4 at my studio. I can do it at your location as well.   I have also done it with family groups creating gifts for Christmas, friends, senior’s groups, educators, school classes and in drop-in public settings with people from 2-92 years old. Contact me if you are interested in booking your own scarf dyeing party either here at my studio or another location.








First Workshop for 2012 – Silk Scarf Dyeing

 Tonight was the first workshop for 2012.  It was a private booking for Dyeing Scarves with Color Hue Dyes activity.  We ended up with 4 girls, a mom & her friend + another mom (my friend) who helped out.  These are usually fairly relaxed events that take from 1-2 hrs depending on how many ppl there are plus how involved in colour mixing the participants want to be + how many scarves they make. Sometimes it’s a birthday party activity (love getting to share in the birthday treats!)  I’ve done this activity with all ages (2-92 yrs), all kinds of groups (seniors, youth, school and special needs groups) and even families wanting to make gifts for themselves and others. I’ve even done it on a drop-in basis as guest artist at Cypress Hills Park last August http://skysweptdesigns.com/2011/08/silk-scarf-dyeing-at-cypress-hills-park/ .    

New method of twisting scarf

  Angie ( a mom) used a new (to me) technique for twisting her scarf.  She did both of her scarves in the same fashion.     

2nd scarf done with new twisting

results from using new twisting technique

  The colour choices for her second scarf were quite interesting as well.  I may have to try this combination myself (another bonus of having different people in the studio is finding new colour combinations I may not have thought of on my own.  

another new technique - dyeing the hem itself

  Chloe  took the time to painstakingly dye the hem by itself which was a very nice and different effect I had not seen or done before.  Another technique to try!  

Kaitlin's Scarf - such rich colour

  Kaitlin  used just one colour and kept adding dye until she achieved the rich colour she wanted.   


adding dye drop by drop

Jessica took the time to add her dye drop by drop to achieve the look she wanted.   

Jessica's scarf completed

I love the subtle colour changes and pools of colour in Jessica’s scarf.   

Corey used a variety of colours

 Corey used a variety of colours in her scarf to good effect, escaping the dreaded brown results from mixing opposites on the colour wheel.  She had made a scarf previously when Girls on the Move visited my studio in May 2011 and had requested her mom to book this activity to celebrate her birthday.  

Marvann's scarf using another new twisting technique

Marvann gave me a challenge – to mix her the 2012 Pantone colour of the year Tangerine Tango.  I had a bit of challenge mixing it but came up with a colour she liked.  Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of her finished scarf using her new (to me) method of twisting the scarf before dyeing it.  

Each participant ended up making 2 scarves so it was a fairly busy couple of hours before we got the the cake Marvann had made (very tasty!).  All in all it was a great way to start 2012 workshops.  

If you’re interested in having your own scarf dyeing or other fun crafty activity for yourself and at least 4 friends, contact me by phone or email (info on contact page) to set up an activity for you.  I can handle up to 10 (sometimes) people per 1-2 hr activity in my studio.  More might require an alternate venue.  I’m happy to discuss options with you.    



Saskatchewan Handcraft Festival Day 1

my booth - ready for sales!

This is the 37th year for the Saskatchewan Handcraft Festival in Battleford, SK.  It’s my first show as a Juried Marketing Member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council (SCC).  I’ve been more than a little nervous about selling here because of that but very glad I’ve reached this level in my art/career.

The local paper sends out an insert about the sale the week before – this year I was mentioned as a new artist (using copy from my SCC press release).  I actually had one person come and say they’d read about me in the paper.  The newspaper person brought us a copy of it and asked me to send pics/story next year if I’m coming again and she might feature it.  How can you not want to do that!!   The doors opened to the public at 1pm sharp – there was line up of folks waiting to get in! 

what customers see when coming in from the entrance doorright side of booth (looking in)

back of the booth

right side of booth

I was quite pleased with how my booth arrangement worked out.  I asked for comments/ideas  from some of the other sellers and they were were very  helpful.  I am really enjoying this sale.  Everyone is so friendly and helpful to each other. We are all juried marketing members, most are professional artists and have been making their living doing this for years. 

My first sale happened in about the first 15-20 minutes – one of my rayon sarongs and a hat dyed the same color.  I was pleased to have such a nice sale first thing.  It was nice to talk to appreciative folks about my work and the different processes and fibres used in creating it.

One customer decided she needed a cotton sarong for a visit to one of her children who lives on a tropical island (lucky her!!).  She showed me some alternate ways (to me) on how to tie a sarong and volunteered to model it when her friends came by a bit later to see what she bought.  She also gave me permission to show her in it on my blog (Thanks Ivy!!).

Ivy modelling one way to tie a sarong


Ivy showing another way to wear her sarong

Ivy  purchased one of my cotton gauze sarongs. 

It seemed like a long day (and was) due to my lack of sleep and forgetting to eat before the sale started.  One of the other vendors came over and volunteered to sit in my booth during a slow time so I could go get something to eat.  I had brought my food but ended up going and trying a hamburger from the outdoor concession booth then sat in the “marketers lounge” with some other sellers and ate it.  A nice little break!

There was supposed to be a parade at 8pm (co-incidence re: our show time?) but due to a severe Tstorm starting just before parade time – it was cancelled or postponed (not sure which).  I never did find out what the parade was for but still plan to ask about it.  The evening was slow so we got a chance to chat with other crafters. 

I was happy about the sales I made (even though I had anticipated more).  Some of us ended up waiting a bit before leaving due to the torrential downpour and high winds outside.  When I did get back to my motel, I ended up getting fairly wet bringing things into the room on more than one trip.

I’m looking forward to a busy Saturday at the sale.  Sunday is apparently “you get what sales you get” day according to one marketer.

Scarves now available at Drury Lane Fashions in Maple Creek

Today I took my scarves to Drury Lane Fashions in Maple Creek, SK  http://bit.ly/boEdZT  for the owner, Joanna Drury to choose some for her store.  And choose she did!  18 scarves ended up being chosen – one of which was bought by a customer while I was there.

Here is the assortment of scarves she chose:

Scarves for Drury Fashions

 Joanna liked the scarves I had dyed with the Procion Mx dyes (upper left hand of the photo) so I will be making more of them when I am dyeing other things. They have a more overall solid look too them than the ones with the Color Hue dyes.  She also told me that the blue in the snow dyed scarf I was wearing that day would go good with denim (a very popular fabric here) so I will also be dyeing more of that color.  I really appreciated her insights and comments and will be using them to create a karger variety scarves.

More scarves on their way


Scarves chosen by Jacinda for sale at Empire Clothing

These are the scarves that have headed over to Empire Clothing in Swift Current after Jacinda picked them out on Monday evening. She has a selection of my scarves including the jewel toned silk velvet, hand woven rayon ones with fringe, and the  silk habotai brights and painted scarves – all but 2 of the painted scarves that were there have sold, including the one I borrowed for my jurying interviews in March.  Looks like I will need to get to work painting some more scarves in May!  Jacinda has a shop full of interesting accessories and is the only retail location carrying my scarves in Swift Current.

Otherwise it’s been a fairly busy day preparing to leave for Quilt Canada in Calgary next week.  I finally found my Delegate package so I can gather and pack my supplies for the 2 2 day workshops I will be taking with Sandra Meech.  I am looking forward to 4 days just working on my own work!!

Scarf Dyeing Activity

Today I had another group of 7 ladies come to do a silk scarf dyeing activity in the studio. I planned these workshops at the request of a local recreation activity co-ordinator. They are more of an activity for the folks that come than a how-to- workshop.  It sure is a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.

Studio tables set up for silk scarf dyeing activity

I bought a kit of Color Hue Dyes last fall and had a great time using it to  dye silk scarves.  I tracked down a wholesaler, picked up my first order a week or so ago in Sweetgrass, MT,  and brought it back through Canada Customs commerically.  That was a learning experience in itself.  I now have all the colours available from this wholesaler so I can offer workshops like this in my studio or on site somewhere else.

We spend some time picking out colours from the scarves I’ve already made plus the colour samples and practicing how to apply the dye on paper towels.  This lets them get used to how the dye works and how they might want to apply it for the desired effect.  

 Since the first batch of scarves was made by me just having fun with the dyes, I didn’t write down amounts when mixing colors.  I remind them that they want something unique for themselves.  For these groups, I mix the colours for each person but other groups may want to do it themselves.

For privacy reasons, I am not showing students faces on the blog. All photos are clickable to see larger versions.

participants dyeing their scarves

some of the students' scarves drying before leaving

Our activity concluded with coffee and snacks brought by the rec coordinator.   Everyone seems quite pleased with the scarf they’ve created.  Some have taken the option of making a scarf for an additional fee to cover the scarf and dye costs.  Several of the participants have expressed interest in coming back to make another one.

Feedback from the recreation coordinator about last week’s participants is that they have been wearing the scarves they made to other activities.

Another Studio Saturday

I consider Saturday to be one of my workdays.  If I am not teaching that day, it gives me a time and place to catch up on things, plan/work  ahead for the the upcoming week.  I find that if I get up and get going at my usual weekday time, things happen. If I don’t treat it like that, I can get distracted by other tasks and ideas.  Today was an early day at the studio.  I had a couple of things that didn’t get done yesterday to catch up on – and they got done much quicker than if  I’d done them last nite. 

I spent some time working on a flyer for a vendor to use at the sale next week using her pics and text.  She was away at a Volleyball tournament elsewhere in SW Saskatchewan for the day so we talked on the phone, I made a few changes and emailed it to her.  I also tidied up in stages as a break from other activities.  There was a training event going on in this area of the building and when their lunch came, the smell of the soup made me realize I was hungry so I stopped for my own lunch.    While I was eating, I looked out the window and saw the “deer” friends again!

my lunchtime companion

my lunchtime companion in mid-bite

After awhile I heard a horn, so I looked out


two deer grazing outside studio window

and my lunchtime companion had a friend

with her.

After lunch I had to make a quick trip to the dollar stores to get some plastic tongs and some eye droppers to use while dyeing .  Then I mixed up the colors to start dyeing.

set up for dyeing with Color Hue dyes

Color Hue dyes mixed and ready to use

 Using these dyes is entirely too much fun!!  They are protein dyes.  You add the dye concentrate ( I used between 25 and 40 drops for darker colours) per half cup of water.  You add the dye mixture to wet silk in a variety of ways and it is IMMEDIATELY soaked up by the fabric.  I was using the clear plastic top of a cake or platter container.  No batching, no waiting, NADA.  in fact when you squeeze the silk out……..the water is clear or very close to it….all the dye is in the fabric.

dyeing container
my low tech dyeing surface

I did find the dyes to be brighter and more pastel than I would like, even though I mixed them up as “dark” colours according to the directions on the CD I bought with the sampler package.  Since I was learning how the dyes worked, I did a few with the colors as mixed up. Once I had a sense of how they worked using several of the suggested techniques, I started mixing colours.  I found adding 3 drops or so of black or brown to a color toned it down considerably to more like the palette I wanted.  I also mixed a few colors to see what would happen and was pleased with those results as well.  

overdyeing a "too bright" scarf

overdyeing a "too bright" scarf

Here are the scarves grouped together as I’m writing the blog…….most are already dry.  The hangar is one I picked up at Ikea in Edmonton last Sunday - bought to display scarves or fqs. 

results of today's dyeing session

results of today's dyeing session

 A close up of some of the scarves, showing overdyeing in the pink/blue ones  and the green ones.  I used the same color mixture for the green scarf on the bottom but added about 3 – 5 drops of black to it to darken the green.  The blueish colored scarf next to the one on the bottom left is the same colour family but overdyed with a electric blue with black added.


Close up view showing some of the overdyed scarves next to original colors

 All in all it was fun to use these dyes and would certainly make a wonderful make and take workshop.  I will probably have another session of scarf dyeing before my Open Studio so I can have more available.  I dyed a variety of weights and styles of scarves today, trying out the blanks I have in stock.  I do know I liked the cranberry scarf that Elizabeth did in our previous play day dyeing session with the MX dyes.  It was more the type of hue I want to do for many of these scarves.