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I get antsy about my closet sometimes.  I tend not to buy new clothes, especially at full price, much anymore.  If I do, it has to be something classic and worth the investment.  That being said, I also avoid buying something just because it is on sale.  I have a series of questions I like to ask myself before I purchase something.  I feel like a better consumer that way, and I tend to avoid the buyers remorse that tends to nag my brain.  I used to have a shopping problem for sure.  But now, I carefully think about my purchases not only to de-clutter my closet, but also my brain, and produce less waste. If I get desperate, I try to stick to my budget friendly ways by getting creative.  I go to the Goodwill or trade clothes at Buffalo Exchange. I love the thrill of the hunt, styling pieces in my mind with my wardrobe to make sure it fits.  And in the end, I am proud to have found a piece that is second-hand or at a great price that suits my needs and values.  Sure, I have my trend indulging moments, but these moments are few these days.  I am more stoked to get something in a really nice material that is comfortable and looks good with a lot of different things in my closet.  I am way less concerned with looking a certain way, I just want to truly like it and wear it often.

This brings me to a new way to refresh ones closet.  Indigo!  Before you roll your eyes because you have been seeing this thing called "Indigo" all over the blogs and Pinterest, just think for a second.  A NEW and FUN way to refresh your closet or linens at a very LOW cost and with friends!  What do you have to loose?  Indigo dying is a true craft, and takes a lot of time and effort.  Below you can find my tips and opinions about the process if you care to know.  I invited my friend Cristie over for a dye sesh as she also wanted to try boiling walnuts to extract a natural dye.  She dyed some yarn for her new found talent of knitting, and I had a tablecloth to dye.  However, I was not prepared and could not find my tablecloth, so I just grabbed stuff that was white or lighter colors to dye.  I dyed a cute Dace tunic I got at a clothing swap a few years ago, a scarf, sweatshirt, and some scrap cotton fabric.  I am now in love with my top and scarf again!  I am considering dyeing everything I own.  I know, I can get carried away sometimes.  But the color can be so neutral, because it is such a natural hue.  I wear a lot of navy (my version of black), and the Indigo looks radiant next to navy.

Indigo Dye Tips (for an impatient DIY'er):  I purchased Indigo dye crystals from Dharma, and created a vat (bucket) of the dye mix (following the instructions of course!).  You can keep the vat around for a handful of dye sessions too.  Indigo crystals are the quick and cheap method.  I have no experience with the old method, but I am sure there are a lot of resources out there out there if you want to have a go.  For me, I just wanted to try this out the easy way.  Also, consider the cost of water usage.  Rinsing out the dye can take a good 5 minutes under a running faucet before putting into the washer for a load.

-Directions: Dyeing is like baking.  You sort of have to follow the directions.  This is very hard for me, as I like to approach things more organically.  The first vat I made was great.  The second was a dud.  The third was just right!  Also, you can't make a vat and dye right away, the longer you let it sit the better.  So set aside a Saturday morning to prepare a vat and then dye the next weekend.  This allows for you to have plenty of time to gather materials you want to dye.

-Wabi Sabi: Embrace the imperfections!  Don't think you can get the same results from each vat, material, etc.  Dye vats are very sensitive to PH as well, so you may have to do a series of tests to get what you want.   I however, did not go so far as to test the PH because that sounds boring and annoying.  But, if you plan on doing multiple dyes and you want consistent results this step will be necessary.

-Messiness:  Prepare to be smurfed!  Don't try to dye with your favorite pair of boyfriend jeans and clogs.  Do yourself a favor and take the extra 5 minutes to put on the shittiest pair of clothes you have, plus an apron, and rubber gloves.  Everything you use, minus the clothes, cannot be used again for any other purpose except dyeing and other crafts.  That means your pot, bucket, apron, gloves, spoon etc.  Cleaning all this stuff sucks so trust me on this one.  Oh and check the weather before you do this, because this is an outside project.

-Directions:  Again, follow the directions.  You are not done once you made your glorious dips into color heaven.  By now you are drooling over the oxidization of the color and you cannot seem to stop yourself from throwing everything you own into the dye.  You still have to rinse and wash ever thing and clean up the huge mess you just made.

Have a fun dyeing party and don't get smurfed!

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