I’ve been pretty morbidly depressed the last day or two, to the point where just about everything felt totally overwhelming.Â (That’s the problem with being bipolar: I only have two modes, “go” and “stop”.Â “Go” – my normal mode – is lots of fun, but “stop” is awful.)Â This morning I decided I’d had enough of that, and decided to apply my patented home cure.
To cure depression:
- Fill a mug 1/3 full of the best dark chocolate you can buy.Â (I use Valrhona’s Caraibe or Extra Bitter myself, but substitute your favorite top-quality chocolate.)
- Fill mug to halfway point with heavy cream.Â (No, not water, and not milk – cream.Â Heavy whipping cream, the fattest of the fat.Â What do you think we are making?Â This is heavy-duty prescription medication, not some wimpy drink.)
- Put mug in microwave; microwave until cream just begins to boil.
- Stir briefly and let stand for 1 minute or so until chocolate is completely melted.
- Stir to combine chocolate and cream.Â Texture should be thick and creamy.Â You now have a mug half full of melted truffle centers.
- Add just enough milk to make the result drinkable.Â Maybe 3/4 full.Â (For hard-core antidepressant activity, don’t add any milk at all.)
- Drink slowly, in sips, savoring the flavor.Â Medication is best if you consume it slowly.
My theory on this is that, if the flavor doesn’t cheer you up, the sugar sure will.Â (Added bonus: it fills you up, so you don’t have to cook breakfast!)
Anyway, I am feeling much better now, and am happily prepping for silkscreening.Â I attempted one exposure test this morning, but the results weren’t particularly good – I think my emulsion film may be too old to be useful anymore.Â (Admittedly, it is a good two years past its expiration date!)Â So I am ordering more capillary film and will do a second exposure test as soon as it arrives.
Now, answers to some questions:
Kathy asked how the alpaca was standing up to the soda ash.Â It’s standing up extremely well; I haven’t noticed any change to the “hand” of the alpaca as a result of the fiber-reactive dyeing.Â Of course, I am treating it fairly gently – I don’t heat the fabric once it’s had soda ash added, and I rinse it out thoroughly before putting it in the simmering detergent bath to remove all traces of fiber-reactive dye.Â I am also following the soda ash bath with acid dyeing, which adjusts the pH back towards the acid dye, which is good for the alpaca.
Very interesting effects, Tien. I particularly like the experiments you did on the patterned weave. I found myself wondering how it would look if you dyed one type of fiber a solid color like blue and then dyed the other in a gradation of colors from yellow around the color wheel to red but probably skipping over blue.
This is a really interesting idea.Â I have a bunch of the twill fabric left, and may try this later this week.Â Thanks for the idea!
Plans for this evening: tackle the second dyeing with acid dyes.Â Hopefully the yarn for my next set of samples will arrive tomorrow, so I can get to work on winding the warp and threading the loom!Â That should banish the blues for sure.