Thursday, June 03, 2010

Dye Bottles
This was one of my better ideas. I would find those bottle caps that flip open and closed and have both the ability to load the bottle with dye and cap it, while having a nice spout to pour the dye. I thought that softer plastic water bottles were just the right thing and there are so many that have the topper that pulls out and then snaps back closed. Or so I thought.
I tried Wal-Mart first since I was already there, and no gots. Then I went to Bed Bath and Beyond, just across the street and again no gots.
Thirdly I went to Target. I was just feeling hopeless when I spotted these Smart Water bottles which were way high on the shelf, too high for my short tyrannosaurus arms to reach.
 I then accosted another shopper with the requisite arm length and got her to fetch them for me. Only 10 were available and I need 13. Hmm. Will have to make do. The bottle is soft, perfect for squeezing the dye out and the cap flips up nicely revealing the opening which looks just right too. Happy Mel!

I am very finicky about spouts and lids and softness of bottles, from years of experience. In the beginning I used those plastic ketchup (catsup, if you like it better) bottles, but the lids dripped, just when I didn't want a drip. When does anyone ever want a drip? And they were also not clear. Clear is way better. Much easier to tell the red from the fuchsia, or yellow #3 from yellow #2 if the bottle is clear. 
I found ketchup bottles right off at Wal-Mart and carried them around in my cart for a while but thought better of it.  

If this water inside didn't have these ingredients I would just pour the powder directly into the bottle, have a shake and be all set. But I don't know what effect these chemicals might have on the dye/sodium carbonate mix that will  be involved so I will make tea or something from all the water therein.

I mentioned needing 13 bottles. When I got to the check out, there was an abandoned Smart Water sitting there waiting for me, bringing the number to 11. Then when I got home I see that I have two more caps which I can transfer to other bottles and now I have all 13. Again Happy Mel.
The dyes I mix are (from Dharma Trading Company)
Yellows, #1, #2 #3, Orange #6, Red #10, Fuchsia #13, Turquoise #25, Cerulean #23, Black #44. I mix my own greens (lime, aqua, kelly) and purple, magenta. Add those up and you get 14. Well, I don't always use black. 
I would be dyeing today but it is still looking like we'll get more rain. This can't last much longer. But I must say the garden loves it and the rain is keeping it cool on the mountain. Yesterday it was 91 in Chattanooga and 71 up here. Nice.

After my knitting group yesterday, I went over to Northern Tool and bought this garden cart which I am declaring MINE, ALL MINE. There will be no bricks, or rock carried in this darling. No muddy tools left in it. And no mud caked on the inside.
It holds a lot of stuff, but is still light enough (polystyrene) that I can wheel it up our hill or driveway.
And when I want to wash it out, I have this new fireman's nozzle which projects a stream of water strong enough to put out the Chicago Fire. And also has a nice setting for just watering the garden.
Very Happy Mel.


  1. The first thing I do when I get the putor to wake up, is check your site! You speak in a language I understand. Never did any dying by myself, or soup making. But I love to see what you are doing in the gardens and the quilting room. You are so good at concentrating at one thing at a time. I seem to flit around for a while before I settle down to quilting. Then I go into a trance and stay there for hours. (ask my back.) My Sewing room is still in the remodel. My hubby is building the most beautiful sewing table I have ever seen. So I'm being patient..... are we there yet?

  2. Peg in Southwest GA8:19 AM

    Gosh- I KNEW i should have kept the 40 smart water bottles we went through when husband was recovering from surgery and trying to stay hydrated....oh well...great repurposing - thanks mel!

  3. Mechelle8:45 AM

    OK - Now I want some smart water bottles - it seems I can never find the perfect dye bottle!! You are right, they dribble! Enjoy the cool temps, and I LOVE your new garden cart!!!

  4. I have been accumulating "stuff" for months in preparation for the next dyeing day (scheduled for June 12!), including discarded cove base (rubber baseboard) for cutting out stamps, etc. LOVE the idea of these bottles. Might actually have to venture into Big Box land for them. Thank you for the idea.

  5. Thanks for this tip - ideal for workshops (easy to decant, impossible - virtually - for someone to accidentally mix the soda up with the dye too early (I hope!). Now I just have to drink enough of the bottled water (perhaps I'll ask friends for help on this)

  6. You found them! I looked all over for water bottles with the right tops! Since i have to go to Target to pick up a baby shower gift, I will search Target for those oh so nice bottles. As ever, you are right on top of it.

  7. I'm getting so excited for the dyeing to start! When I finally get settled in my new house I'm going to come here and learn more about dyeing and fusing!
    And I have to say "good luck with keeping your cart to yourself" know it will be the perfect size or the perfect weight or whatever for one of his projects!!!
    (I'm still trying to get my living room together...picking up pieces one at a am still thinking about "the quilt").

  8. The anticipation for dyeing is almost overwhelming. Can't wait for you to start! hahaha! I love the water bottle tip. The other good thing is you can't lose the little cap. I bought some from prochem but am always losing the caps.

  9. those water bottles look like they work so much better than the ketchup bottles i have been using for years for diluted textile inks.even after hubby produced small caps from the electrical deptment of garage, i know about drips. sharpie pens told me the color within as did the drips! i find your blog refreshingly humorous and informably smart.

  10. I have to tell you, I am laughing so hard I can barely type....I was envisioning the T-Rex arms and scanned down your post and there he was short arms and all and I just lost it.
    I love your blog and your "posts" are always filled with insight, humor, inspiration.
    BTW, I really need one of those nozzles that's capable of putting out a barn fire!

  11. I'll believe you if you say you have tiny little arms.. but I know that you have a nicer smile. ;)

  12. Just don't use hot water in those bottles... they melt...

  13. i've got lots of water bottles for you, Mel!

  14. We are all so happy that you are happy! Enjoy the dyeing when the humidity levels drop. :-)


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