I remember the '70s. Rather fondly in fact.
Sometimes a little trip down memory lane can be a lot of fun, sense of humor intact of course, because really, there is no hope if you can't laugh at yourself. When your little jaunt into the past involves the 70's and disco music, humor is a good thing, but only if it is a gentle humor.
Friday night I was reminiscing and laughing away as I went out with friends to Classical Night Fever with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Motor Booty Affair. I do remember the 70's. I remember most of the songs that were played, although a couple of the songs dated from my days on the sidelines, where I might have been dancing in my bedroom late at night, rather than on a dance floor, But I definitely remember the clubs, dancing all night, the clothes, the hair, the sounds of that era. I remember the fun.
But I also remember my own naiveté -- I was just a girl who wanted to dance. And dance I did, but looking back on it all, the exuberance, the humor, the anger, the sex, the drugs..... well, those things all continue to exist. Nothing has changed, and yet everything has changed. In many ways we were all naïve then, and we are cynical now. I'm not saying the world was better then, or even now. Just different. I was a child of privilege, white, middle class, liberal arts college, a child pretty much oblivious to the darker sides of 70's culture. I still knew it existed though, the darker side. The walls between affluence and poverty were not quite as high, life was rougher around the edges. And I encountered this other world daily, even from my privileged world, even from my bubble of obliviousness.
I saw it then. I still see it today, and I still see that girl, that girl who is always a part of me, that girl who still sees obliviousness as often the only sane response to coping with pain and ugliness that would otherwise overwhelm. And perhaps today I am more kindly inclined to appreciate the power of obliviousness, not exactly innocence, but a willful blindness, an ability to live in the world, rather than separated from it by walls, while still letting much of it wash over you without drowning. That kind of obliviousness could also be used as a tool, when needed, to protect oneself. Perhaps obliviousness is not the right word as I don't mean it in the sense of "not aware" but more along the lines of "not mindful of". But enough pontificating.
Friday night was about the exuberance of youth, in spirit and memory at least. We were all older, but all young at heart, celebrating lost youth. In many ways it is easier now. We could have fun with it, embrace our younger selves with kindness, and no small measure of humor. We could sing. We remember the YMCA. We can laugh and dance and have a good time.
How could we not? How could we not?
I'm walking again, walking distances over a few feet here and there, and it feels good to be out in the morning stretching my legs and just walking. I need to walk. A few weeks of abbreviated walks have only proven that stretching alone is not enough. Movement is the key.
These first two days of walking have not been auspicious, weather-wise. Or have they? This morning there was a constant light mist. I wore a raincoat, in case the mist turned to something wetter, but it did not. Only my glasses became smudged with layers of dampness, but the walk itself was nice, and ended with a cuddle as I wrapped Tikka up in a big towel for a bit of drying and fluffing time.
Yesterday at dawn the sky was heavy with fog. Though we left slightly before sunrise, the presence of the sun could only be discerned through a subtle variation in the light. And then, if you are lucky, you are out in the fog at that perfect moment when the light and the fog begin to shift, and there is a brief liminal moment when the world is neither dark nor light, almost as if the world is neither here nor there. For a fleeting moment the concreteness of everything you know seems called into question. Even the leaves of the holly bush appear soft and caressing. Then, poof! The moment is gone, and the world returns to normal.
Sunday ended up being a very full, but also very enjoyable day. I almost missed it though. Saturday had been my "unplugged" day and I neglected to check my calendar on Sunday morning before going off to the 9 AM church service where I was scheduled to serve as a greeter. Note to self, even on "unplugged" days, it may be a good idea to at least check my online calendar, to confirm my obligations for the next day before going to bed. That is a small modification I can live with.
Luckily I did go home after church, where I promptly was reminded that I had a lunch engagement, a concert, and a party in the evening. I had about an hour to enjoy a second cup of coffee and do a little reading before heading out the door again. I decided that coffee and reading were more important than changing out of my church clothes, partly because I was wearing a favorite fall skirt, a skirt purchased simply because I loved the fabric, even though it is not really my colors, and altered to fit more than once in the last couple of years. Also partly because I still have this old-fashioned idea about looking nice for concerts, although it is not, for the most part shared by most concert-goers, most of whom are of my generation or older. The young, almost always dress up however, and I enjoy seeing the college students in their nice shirts (men) and sparkly dresses and heels.
Lunch consisted of a rather simple but memorable bowl of chicken soup, something I would like to try to duplicate. The soup was basically a clear broth, a generous amount of shredded chicken, and finely shredded scallions and green mango. The flavor was nicely rounded out with ginger, more than would be needed to be subtle, but less than would make the dish actually spicy. I suspect that will prove to be a tricky balance to achieve. Alas, as is usual I took no photos. I am still not particularly comfortable taking photos of my food in restaurants, although those around me seem to have no such scruples.
The chamber concert was very enjoyable, and admittedly more to my taste than the opening concert of the symphony season had been. The opening piece, Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture caught me by surprise somewhat as I tend to think of Mendelssohn's work as emphasizing beauty and melody over depth. The Overture is one of his early works, and it has the lightness and airiness I tend to associate with that period, but in this performance the undulating movement of the opening really captured my attention with a sense of space and presence that remained through the more tumultuous middle section, and settled perfectly into the quiet sense of reflection and awe in the closing notes. This music seemed to capture so fully this sense of wonder at perfection that has so captivated me this month as I am constantly being slowed and calmed by my perceptions of the sky around me. In the final moments of the Mendelssohn, I felt that same calmness, that same sense of perfection in the moment.
I also enjoyed the Weber Clarinet Concerto, a piece I know in my bones. It was not the most compelling performance I have ever heard, but that did not make the performance any less enjoyable. The clarinet solo was beautifully played by Victor Chávez with elegant phrasing and a richness that captured the song-like qualities of the melody. The soloist and the orchestra were also well matched and played well together, creating a sense of a conversation being conducted in song that made the piece very enjoyable.
Only the Schubert seemed to be a bit of a let down to me, although it seemed like it was the audience's favorite, based solely on the applause and comments around me. The 2nd Symphony always strikes me as a happy and cheerful piece, and it was, indeed a cheerful performance, luckily one which avoided the all too frequent tendency to make the work too sweet, too wrapped up in the youthful prettiness and innocence. Some of this was ameliorated by placing some emphasis on the obvious Beethovenian influences, but at the same time I felt the performance was tepid, without the budding dramatizations that Schubert was beginning to develop in these early symphonies, and at the same time lacking that haunting tenderness that also marks Schubert's work, both early and late.
Still, it was a good concert, and I left in good cheer, to head off to the opposite side of town to a party. It was particularly nice to spend time with a group of people after my musical interlude. Even though we did not speak of music, just chatting and socializing proved to create a good transitional space for mind to settle from the music back to "real" life, satisfying that social pull I always feel after a concert.
I had to make a quick stop at the grocery store on the way home from the party, where I snapped this photo of the clouds rolling in, a cloud cover that would later fill the sky and make local visibility impossible for those of us who wished to see the lunar eclipse. Oh well; it seemed like a perfect, if also perfectly exhausting, day anyway.
The sky has been amazingly beautiful this September. Every day it seems I just want to pause and hope that its breathtaking perfection will seep into my every pore like the air I breathe. This sense of perfection is present much of the time, not just at the sunrises and sunsets, which have been profoundly lovely, not necessarily spectacular, but often with a hauntingly quiet play of color and light. I cannot pinpoint the difference; it is more than the lack of humidity, more than the flatter angle of the Autumnal light, more than the clouds themselves.
Perhaps it is just something in me that has changed. Perhaps the sky is as it has always been, perfect in its own right, but I have only recently slowed enough to really notice it, really absorb its beauty. Perhaps this is the natural progression of my attempts to slow down, to be present in my walks, to see the small things that surround me every day. Perhaps I am only now taking time to say "This, this alone is enough". Perhaps I am only now giving myself permission to be a person who is content to occasionally step off the treadmill of constant striving and to celebrate simply having and being enough.
I don't really know the answers. I don't really need to know the answers.
I've tried to take pictures, but my cellphone does not capture what my eyes see. Or perhaps it does, and the camera does not capture what my brain interprets my eyes as seeing. It doesn't matter. One morning I hypothesized about bringing my big camera out, setting up a tripod, and trying to capture the light. But I realized that the process of trying to record what I saw would only mean that I would lose the experience of seeing. It does not seem worth the price. Far better to accept and remember than to lose the moment altogether.
The photo at the top of this post, a quick snap while Tikka was occupied with some scent or another, is the closest I have come, and I have since stopped trying. The light near the sunrise is too bright, but the reflection of the light in the clouds seems to almost capture that almost painterly beauty, that sense of something so perfect that it cannot be real..... except that it is.
Did you know I originally started blogging to keep a journal of my projects? I suppose it still is a place to keep track of projects and musings and jottings, more for my own use than anything else. So much better than bits of paper here and there, or the frustrations of lost notebooks.
This means, of course, that this is also a good place to record those bits and bobs that I might otherwise misplace, such as this photo of a fabric dyed by one of my classmates. The dark lines are caused by the string that was used to wrap the fabric; it bleed into the fabric while in the dye bath. This strikes me as something that has all kinds of possibilities for future explorations.
Next up the remainder of my projects, possibly unfinished, possibly not. This first one is unfinished. It is silk crepe de chine, wrapped, and painted with a weak solution of cerulean blue. I intentionally wanted it to be light, to be the first stage of a multi-step process, but that was as far as I got during the workshop. I've been thinking I will wrap it again in a different direction and dye it in a related mid-strength color. There may be a third process as well, but I am still playing with possibilities in my imagination. I am willing to let this percolate in my imagination a little bit before proceeding.
The last two pieces were experiments in immersion dyeing, which was explained as being similar to the vat dyeing we had done. The main exception seemed to be that the fabric was not stirred to insure even dye absorption, and different effects could be achieved by knotting and tying, or by adding dye to the water at different stages of the immersion process.
Lana and I each dyed two pieces of fabric. The top one was Liana's in a pot of light green (I forgot the color) with some blue added in later. I also believe the fabric was knotted. The second pieces was my dye vat. I used 8 parts lemon yellow to 2 parts fuchsia red, with the tiniest pinch of warm black. Then, later in the dyeing process I sprinkled in a little more fuchsia and another pinch of black, letting the dry powder dissolve into the bath at its own pace.
Both of these fabrics could be used as they are, or they could be the first step in a multi-step process. I think a lot would depend on what I wanted to do with the pieces next, and I'm ok with the rather open-endedness nature of dyeing. If I've learned nothing else, I've learned to trust the process, to leave things be and let ideas evolve. What is the worst that can happen? A bit of wasted fabric, a little effort applied to learning rather than a finished something? A slow start doesn't imply a wasted effort; beauty arises out of iteration.
I disliked Gershwin when I was young. No that is not true. I had no feelings for Gershwin himself one way or the other, and I didn't actively dislike his music, but I also can't say that I was particularly fond of it either. I did however rebel at having to play Gershwin in my piano lessons. After wanting to play the piano for as long as I could remember, I finally got to take piano lessons my junior year in high school. My teacher wanted me to play Gershwin and I hated it. I wanted to play Bach and Beethoven.
My tastes in music at that time were probably heavily influenced by my father. The music in our house revolved around the "three B's" (Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms), although I remember being allowed to play recordings of Corelli and Couperin, which I checked out of the Tarleton University Library. I did have a small portable transistor radio, but I mostly heard popular music at friends' homes, and my tastes, until I went away to college, were mostly shaped by my friend's tastes.
In college, the influences were wider, and I moved on to exploring music on my own. I fell in love with Tchaikovsky and Mahler and from there to Shostakovich and Stravinsky on the classical front. Swing dancing was popular, which led me to explore jazz, although I still claim bop as my first jazz love, a preference that continues to embarrass some of my jazz-loving friends. And of course there was rock, punk, reggae and much much more...
Eventually, I came back to Gershwin, although admittedly that took me a little bit longer, not because the music isn't worthy, but because shaking old biases sometimes requires a deeper look at the roots of that bias before one can be clear-headed. I came to love the music of Leonard Bernstein too, although he is another composer I did not take to on first listen. Odd as it may sound, I probably came to appreciate both Gershwin and Bernstein through my love of Shostakovich. What can I say? Some of us seem born to take the complicated and complex path.
But why Gershwin? Why Bernstein?
Last week was the opening concert of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra season, and both Bernstein and Gershwin were on the program. Opening concerts are rarely adventurous and this was true to form: lovely, enjoyable, but hardly inspiring. In fact the combination of Gershwin's Concerto in F with Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, and Samuel Barber's Adagio, is a fairly popular combination, and we once had an LP, conducted by Bernstein, that contained just that program. George Chadwick's Jubilee was also in the program and it was well suited to the program, which was, overall, well performed.
Despite my late start with Gershwin, the Gershwin piece was one of the highlights of the evening. There is perhaps an advantage in coming to something by way of a roundabout path, in that, having discovered something one had missed, one may be able to listen more closely . The problem with most of the pieces on the program is that they are in fact so popular that they almost become background music. They are familiar and comforting, and one can easily escape into melody and memory and expectation. The Concerto in F in particular alternates bold, almost jarring brashness with subtle sophistication, a contrast that I have only heard effectively captured on rare occasions. That does not make the piece less enjoyable however; it may be in fact be more enjoyable when the performance is less unsettling, and there was enough emotional resonance in this performance to be enjoyable. Sean Chen's performance on the piano, particularly, brought a strong consistency to the music, with an understanding of how the melody provides a unifying structure in both its contrast and eventual unification with the clashing dissonance of the piece.
The blues influences of the Gershwin piece also meshed well with Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, an intensely meditative work filled with tranquility, but also powerfully rich with emotional depth. The interpretation of the piece was perfectly balanced and sonically rich, with a sensuously lush performance by the strings. The memory still makes my heart sigh.
It was, of course, the Barber that prompted this trip down a musical memory lane. The Adagio is often played to mark occasions of public grief, such as at the funeral of J.F.K, and in movies to mark strong emotion. I could not help but recall its use during the movie, Platoon, and this layering of memory with the sound of the music only intensifies the experience. Listening to the Barber reminded me first of George, much in the way funerals always remind us of those we have lost, and his love of the music of Leonard Bernstein, and then of my father and my own delayed understanding of Gershwin.
Connections within connections, loops within loops of memory and experience. We think when we are young that life will get easier as we age, and it does, in that we hopefully learn to hold things more loosely, but our associations also grow richer and more complex, perhaps holding us more than we hold them.
And back to dyeing. I need to record what I did, what I thought. Have patience.
The third technique we learned on that first day of dye class was how to mix and stabilize dye for hand painting. My initial thoughts were mixed. When I imagine hand-painted fabric, I tend to imagine beautifully detailed flowers and designs, but of course we weren't talking about that kind of painting. Big relief. My skills at drawing are pretty close to nil. But I was tired, and had fabric to spare, so figured I should give it a try.
Three of us spread out some plastic on a table and got to work. Liana and I were both working on the linen/cotton blend, and using crimson red and cobalt blue dyes. Liana found a muse in abstract expressionism, but I was not so daring, seeking more discrete shapes. I made wide brushstrokes with the red, and tried to make swirling lines and curlicues with the blue paint. Frankly I wasn't too happy with my results. Inspired by my more creative classmates I decided a third color was needed, I dipped the end of a stirring stick in lemon yellow paint and flicked it over the fabric, creating random dots and splotches. Then I folded the fabric in plastic and left it cure overnight.
Exhausted as I was, I still lay awake fretting over what to do next far too long on Thursday night, finally deciding wrap the fabric tightly for to Arashi Shibori and overdue it with black. However, while I was wrapping my fabric another classmate was painting with a watered-down black that was close to a deep charcoal gray, and I decided to use the gray dye to paint the edges of my fabric rather than submerging it in dye.
I rather like the results, although as you can see, there was not enough dye to soak into the innermost layer of fabric, so only 2/3 of the fabric shows much pattern from the dye. I am still perhaps more attracted the random patterning on Liana's fabric (right), but think there is room for further exploration here, perhaps in a combination of random and control patterning using multiple techniques.
I particularly like the way the string has created a texture in the fabric. I know it will wash out when I wash the fabric, and I know I need to wash it to rinse out the any excess dye, but I am reluctant to do so at this point. I am wondering if the fabric is useable now, without washing, or if I need to just get over it and move on.
But even without the texture I love the way the colors are blurred together. For the moment I am happy to leave it just as it is.
(Warning. This is a post about process, my process of working out my own process, and as such is pretty rough around the edges. I am pretty uncertain about tossing it out into the world of the internets, but I also know it is the kind of post that can never be finished, just as process is never really finished, until I toss it out to the world. Part of the purpose of this blog is just that, the tossing out, the letting go, my ongoing journal of the various projects and processes of life. I am not looking for help or sympathy or anything else. Also, as tends to be the case, the process of writing serves both as a means to understanding my own thoughts, and a jumping off point in the evolution of that same thought.)
The past few weeks have been very busy, busy in a good way. I needed to be very organized and focused and I was and the whole process fed that part of me that is happier with a fairly high level of busy-ness, that likes to be challenged, to be pushed, and yes, even to be a little bit unsettled. That sense of purpose, that sense of doing feeds me, feeds my energy level and drives me onward. Even last Sunday, after spending two days at the event, after spending 6 hours on my feet, in my element, inspired by everything going on, I felt simultaneously tired and full of energy, ready to move on and tackle the world. As I drove home I was making mental lists of all the things I wanted to do next.
Until I got home of course. I walked in the door and all energy drained away. My foot started throbbing, crying for elevation and ice. As soon as I settled down with my icepack, a small dog took a flying leap into my arms and a lonely cat snuggled by my hip. Contentment enveloped me and by 5 PM I was down for the count.
It didn't help that I had broken my toe on Wednesday, nothing serious mind you, a hairline fracture at the terminal joint of the second toe of my left foot. Not my driving foot, thank goodness. Not a fracture that anything much can be done about: tape it, wear a firm shoe that doesn't bend, stay off it. Oops, well I didn't stay off it on Sunday (but I had spent a good deal of time icing and elevating my foot the previous Thursday and Friday in anticipation even though I know healing doesn't work that way.) But its a toe, a minor fracture of a toe, and I am perhaps a little too conscientious at times, and perhaps not always attentive enough to self-care.
But I would have been exhausted regardless of my toe. The weeks of focus take a toll, the weeks of pushing at personal boundaries take a toll, The hours in a crowd, much as I revel in it all, simultaneously exhilarated me and drained me, and I needed to withdraw into myself to take it all in.
But the ideas in my head were spinning away, and I couldn't stay down long. Down time was good for organizing my thoughts following the dyeing class I took with Liana two weeks ago, and for thinking about creating a small dyeing space in the upstairs bathroom. But going upstairs prior to further healing was not a wise option.
I still needed to do something however, not just dream of doing something. I had a bag of fruit that needed to be used, fruit that had been offered up by my church community and needed, as I saw it, to go back to the community, perhaps the wider community. I imagined pies. I probably could have brought the bag of fruit to church for people to pick up and eat. But there was an overabundance and, having been offered, I did not want it to go to waste. I was still tired on Monday, tired enough that I realized that there could not be pies and crusts, at least not homemade, so crusts were procured. Thank goodness for modern grocery stores. Tuesday became baking day and 5 apple pies and 3 loaves of banana bread went out into the world. They were not the best pies I have ever made; in fact store bought may have been better, but they were a gift, a gift from one community to another, channeled through me, into the homes of people who needed a small gift. The intent of that offering was hopefully realized: gifts of the earth, gifts of our labor, gifts of intention.
But the gift I almost forgot was the gift of time, the gift of rest.
At the end of the week I felt overwhelmed. I felt like my brain was scattered and my thoughts had short-circuited. I also felt frustrated with myself. I felt like I had done nothing all week. Exhaustion dominated my thoughts and erased all else from memory: I remembered feeling drained, coming home and collapsing into mindlessness, the naps, the hours spent with a book. I remembered the things I felt I should be doing but wasn't. Fatigue ruled. Weariness opened the door to the demons of obligation and inadequacy and those things I had done, the normal weekly responsibilities and activities, the extras like baking pies, all of that slipped into the mists. I felt like I had wasted a week and I was still exhausted, and I couldn't explain it.
I couldn't explain it until I actually started to rest, until I gave my thoughts permission to be still. Friday rolled around and I took a day to rest, a day without obligation or responsibility to the wider world. I try to take such a day each week, and I often turn off internet distractions as well, taking a personal Sabbath of sorts. Sometimes I garden, or walk, or do something fun, just for me. Sometimes, like this past week, I just let myself be still.
As I rested, and later, as I wrote this post, I realized that this sense of failure and laziness was not at all true. It was true that my efforts had been more scattered, but that does not mean they were any less meaningful. Even when I am at or close to my limit, purpose and meaning will push me further. Especially when that sense of purpose is fulfilled by doing something for someone else, even a small thing, the sense of revitalization and peace cannot be duplicated. I realized that I needed that period of transition between being totally focused on some big thing and being able to shut down and be completely at rest. Between the grand and the small, between the world and the soul, there needs to be a liminal space, a place of transition. I needed to bake pies, I needed to work, I needed to transition to restfulness, to let my motors slow at their own pace.
Perhaps the winding down is as necessary as the rest.... not quite a full stop, but a slowing, a scattering, a laying of the groundwork before settling in for a full recharge. Mind, body, soul, all need time. We are not machines that can be switched on and off at will. The recharge will come if given time and space and respect. Release the demons and honor the process.
After completing our first attempt at using a dye bath, it was time to move on to Arashi Shibori, and wrapping fabric around a PVC pipe for dyeing. I had more trouble with this part of the class, not so much because it was difficult, but because I let my head get in the way at first, over-complicating things. I attempted a rather complicated fold with angles, and probably too many layers of fabric for a first project. I also procrastinated a bit, and found myself attempting to wrap my too small, and difficultly folded piece of fabric around a rather large diameter piece of PVC pipe that was too large for the job. The pipe was too large for me to hold, the fabric too short, my fold kept coming apart, and it took me a while to learn to hold the pipe and fabric in such a way that I could also wrap the string tightly. Rather than untying everything and starting over however, I decided to go ahead and see what I got, egging myself on with the hopefully comforting thought that it would at least be a learning experience.
We dyed our fabric fuchsia red. Even in the dye pot, one thing was obvious. My fabric was taking up more of the color than Liana's. I had randomly decided to use one of the cotton sateen pieces in this experiment, rather than the cotton/linen I had used for the green. Liana was using the cotton linen. At the end of the afternoon, our pieces were removed from the dye bath, wrapped in plastic still on their poles, and left to cure overnight.
Friday morning we unwrapped our fabric, rinsed it and hung it to dry. My fabric was initially a brighter pink, but more of the dye washed out during the rinse cycle. Liana's fabric took up less dye, but held it better. There was still a difference in the color of our pieces, but it was not as marked as when wet. Mine is the piece on the right, a bit more vibrant than the piece on the left.
I was appalled at my piece. Despite the depth of color, which I do like, I took its rather free-form and amorphous pattern as a sign of failure. For all my self-encouragement the previous day, I was pretty much feeling like I should just stop right there and walk away. Everyone else's pieces were more uniformly geometric, neater, and more precise, and I wished my work was more like theirs.
As we worked on other pieces throughout the day, however, I came to accept the more random characteristics of my pink fabric. As I played with clamping the green linen/cotton, worked on hand painting and other ideas, I realized that my pink piece was very much my piece, very much in character, and try as much as I'd like, I'll never really be the precise, neatly organized, methodical dyer. Yes, I will keep records, but my experiences in dying reflect in many ways my experiences in life. Yes, I can be precise and nerdy about such things as finances and a few other things, but I am also very circular in my thinking. I am not drawn to symmetry. Balance yes, randomness yes. But I am much more interested in the happy accidents, the random connections, than I am in measured results. And yet the struggle between precision and randomness continues to define much of my life. I am both and I am neither. Notes, order, and structure are the backbone that allows the randomness to find harmony. I've said that before; I don't think I ever really believed it until I took a dyeing class.
As I worked on other projects on Friday, I struggled with what I would do with my pink fabric. It needed something, but I didn't quite know what. Liana took her pink piece, folded it, and dipped it in some orange dye that was in a tray. I don't know if it was a stabilized hand-paint, or the remnants of a dye-bath that was mostly spent, but I was drawn to the way the soft orange blurred and muted the pinks in Liana's fabric. I decided to do something similar
I folded my fabric in half lengthwise, and then in half again. Then I folded it into small triangles using a flag-fold. After clamping the fabric together, I dipped all the folded edges in the orange dye, holding it in a few moments to allow the dye to soak into the fabric. Then, when I was done with the orange, I noticed that one of my classmates had mixed a small batch of scarlet red for hand-painting. I took a brush and dabbed the red over parts of the edges that I had just dyed orange.
The orange and red provided just the balance the piece needed to make me happy. Despite the precise fold, the pattern of the dye on the pink is not precise, and I like that effect. I also like the way the color moves from light to dark, with the orange softly muting the contrast between white and pink. I like the way that something that starts out all wrong can still end up being so nice.