When I first started my teaching career in rural Saskatchewan, I had a secret. The winters in Rouleau were cold. Really cold. Add to stay warm, I needed to dress in layers. During the coldest of days, one of the bottom layers that I would wear to work was a sleeveless T-shirt that had “Same Stuff, Different Day” across it in bold, black letters. It didn’t exactly say, “Same Stuff”, but you know what I mean.
That little secret message helped me to keep my sense of humor while teaching all of the grade five and six students in the school. Believe me – a sense of humor was necessary.
For years, I tried to figure out how I could recreate a work-worthy garment that could carry a sentiment that only I would know was there. Something that said what dared not be spoken. Something that I could smile and calmly touch rather than mutter under my breath.
I eventually had an idea. If a message were written on the center of a scarf, it would magically disappear when the scarf was gathered up and tied around my neck. To make the idea a reality would require me to take up a new hobby. I would learn to dye silk.
The last time I had dyed anything was when we tie-dyed some t-shirts back in the ’70s. That wasn’t quite the look I was after. So, like any self-respecting person that really wants to learn how to do something – I went to the source: YouTube. I’ve learned how to do lots of things from YouTube like repair refrigerators, unclog hair from sinks, and build a blog. Certainly, lessons on dying silk would be there.
Sure enough. I found plenty of instruction, and was led to a couple of ebooks that gave me step-by-step instructions on where to order supplies, how to make a frame, dye the fabric, and steam and wash the work! I dutifully completed the ebook lessons, and from there – I started creating. Thank you, Pamela Glose.
I am NOT very artistic – that makes silk dying my kind of art. The dye has a mind of its own when it meets with the silk that I use. There are things that a person can do to control it, but so very much of the finished work is left up to chance.
I‘ve created scarves for each of my HOV friends and others. I’ve made some for people at work. My Mom has one with all her grandchildren’s names written on it. And I’ve begun a small collection of my own. I love the colors. I love to watch them move and flow on the fabric. I giggle at some of the things they secretly say. I’ve smiled and gently touched them while wearing them at work – safely keeping to myself what I might otherwise slip out of my mouth.
I’ve learned something new – how to dye silk AND that maybe I do have at least a little art in me.
And I’ve found another way to stray from the recliner.