10/26/2012

Still in holding

So I have finally completed that cleaning job in my studio. Floors and furniture scrubbed down, everything sorted and put away. I removed everything from my dye table and took boxes of items into the bathroom wash area to be scrubbed down. I have piles of bottles and little glass containers that I mix dye in. Eyedroppers and other pieces of equipment. After removing them all from the studio and also removing the tubs I use to soak the material in soda ash and placing them all in the bathroom I noticed that when entering the studio my allergy symptoms did not go berserk as they have all week when I have been cleaning (I have a small bathroom that connects to my studio that is used only for work)
This whole process took me almost a week as I was only able to work in the room for a short time before my eyes were itching so bad, my nose was tickling, I was sneezing and the headaches returned in the first few days. So I can safely say whatever is causing my allergies is in that bathroom. Now with the door closed. Now I still don't know what it is. Maybe whatever it is has nothing to do with my dyes and always came from the bathroom. I never closed the door before so it very well could be that. Next step is to actually go in that room, clean all the items in there and seal them up and see if that makes my allergies stop.
In the meantime I have a huge pile of items here in my living room that I found all about my studio that have never been listed in my shop. I spent part of this week measuring pieces and trying to find the photos to match to the item, etc. I am really quite taken aback at the amount of work I have here that was never listed. How did I fall so behind on all of this? I know that for a good two months or maybe even more I suffered from severe headaches and facial pain so bad from the allergies that I really wasn't working well but never realized just how sidetracked and forgetful I had become. It is hard to concentrate when your head hurts so bad you keep the shutters rolled down because the light is too bright.
Thankfully the medicine my doctor gave me, Aerius, seems to have greatly reduced the symptoms. The headaches are almost completely gone. Still itchy eyes and nose but the facial pain has also diminished to a tolerable level.
My two up and coming goals are to completely catalog the contents of this huge box of dyed goods and start listing them AND to go into that bathroom and finish the cleaning in there. I am determined to get this under control and hopefully after this is all said and done still be able to continue with my dyeing. If it is the dye itself causing the problem then I will have to build a dust free mixing box. I have seen them before and I think building one wont be that difficult. If it is the soda ash then I will simply have to start soaking my fabric in a sealed container and not allow any materials soaked in it to be exposed either (I have several pieces of cotton, t-shirts and such that were soaked in the soda ash mixture, allowed to dry and then not dyed. The soda ash dust can possible enter the air from them I suppose)
SO though I feel I am still in holding with this whole situation I do feel I am making progress.

On a happier note: I received my drawing supplies finally in the mail yesterday. I plan on doing some real drawing in the up and coming weeks. It's been a long time since I challenged myself to do more than just a sketch. Wonder if I still have it in me?
10/19/2012

Are natural dyes really as safe as you think they are?



Message: Are Reactive Dyes eco-friendly?

I wanted to direct you all to the link above because this is a subject near and dear to my heart. I struggled mightily with this in the beginning of my dyeing adventures because I felt pressure from many to do natural dyeing instead of using procioin MX. The more I read about it and studied the subject the more I felt uneasy about using natural dyes and just wasn't so sure that they were really as eco-friendly as they were believed to be. I finally concluded that I truly felt the procion mx was the better choice and that is why I went in that direction. Now I'm not saying I will never use natural dyes. I think there could be some fun small projects using readily available natural dye stuffs on a small scale. For large and extended dyeing I have already made my choice though.
10/12/2012
I told you all I would post some pics of my trip to Scotland  and I certainly took my time getting back here to do it. Since my last post I've left again, this time for Paris and I had a wonderful time there. September was a fun filled month and I was very fortunate to get to visit two very beauiful places. Both inspiring in their own ways. I can't even tell you how many amazing Impressionist paintings I got to view at teh Musee D'Orsay. I still get choked up thinking about it. It was that good.
Since coming home I have discovered that my allergy symptoms have almost completely disappeared. I have been out of my studio for a bit over a month now with the door shut tightly. I am finding myself more and more reluctant to open that door and go back in even though it is preventing me from doing any but the smallest jobs. I so fear the return of the crushing headaches. The other symptoms were aggravating but tolerable. Headaches so bad I can't think though...those are not.  It seems lately that I have had one thing after another barring my way and I feel frustrated by it all. I am an artist though and even though I have created little these last months it is still screaming to get out so soon I will steel myself and enter into that room again. If I find the allergy comes from my dyes then I will move on and find another outlet. I have so many things I love to do in that room that dont involve the dye.
I did do a small study in pencil this last week. I plan on refining it and I did enjoy getting the pencils out again. I am not sure where this is going but here it is:


And here are a few shots of Scotland. I hope you enjoy them :)























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