Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bleaching/dyeing disaster

A couple of years ago I bought DD a cute turquoise cotton sundress.  At the time she was sharing an apartment with a young woman whose concept of cleaning was to pile her dirty socks next to the door and stash a month's worth of empty beer bottles in the coat closet; still, the girl cleaned the kitchen at least once. I know this because DD leaned against the counter in her new dress and the harsh cleaner left big white bleach spots all down the front of the skirt.

I couldn't bear to throw the dress away, so I stashed it in the closet determined to fix it. This last week DD and I rediscovered it, and I picked up a box of teal dye at Michael's (unfortunately they didn't have turquoise).

Obviously,  the first thing I had to do was bleach the whole thing white so it would dye evenly. Ha! Easier said than done when the only bleach available is a cheap dollar store brand or an equally useless Aldi brand. Dear readers, it simply was not possible for these awful products to remove the color from the fabric. I started at one part bleach to four parts water, increased the concentration to 1:1, soaked the thing for thirty minutes and it was still bright blue. I finally gave up and moved on to the dye.

Next disappointment: look at that awful color! Even though it was supposed to be teal, and I was dyeing over turquoise,  there's hardly any blue in the color at all. And even worse, the spots I hoped to get rid of are still visible. Ever the optimist, DD thinks it can be beautiful again, but this mom is skeptical.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What's Old Is New Again

This post was originally published a year or so ago. I somehow managed to inadvertently move it to the top of the queue. So sorry!

Long ago, in a faraway land, when our now nearly-adult son was three, I kept my jewelry in the top drawer of a low dresser. Sure enough, one day I discovered the little guy gleefully beating a malachite necklace against the hard marble floor of our African paradise. Green chips flew from the beads, and the string broke just as I arrived, sending what was left of the beads flying around the room.

This wasn't a precious necklace; I had paid three dollars for it at an outdoor market in Nairobi; nevertheless,  the beads were lovely green stone, so I stashed what was left of them in a Ziploc bag with the intention to do something with them someday.

Well, dear readers, that day was today, fifteen short years later. I added tiny lime green glass beads from our daughter's abandoned collection to make up for the ones that had broken, and restrung the necklace. It took about forty minutes to create a whole new necklace. I like the new version better than the original, and can't wait to wear it.