Monday, June 20, 2011

More Eco and Natural Dyeing

Here are some pics of more dyeing I've been busy with.

These pieces were dyed by using diluted ammonia and a piece of copper pipe. Look at the fabulous blue gray colors! The doily is cotton, the ribbon strip is silk noil and the little flowerette I made is silk organza.

Results from immersion dyeing in eucalyptus bath. A very pretty dusty pink.

Silk charmeuse and silk organza were wrapped around an iron pipe with string to get the shibori effect. Organza doesn't take dye as well and because it's stiff it doesn't conform to the pipe so I got a polka dot effect. I spritzed the pieces with vinegar which aids in helping the iron rust and the rust adheres to the fabric. It's just like magic!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eco-Colour Dyeing

I've been eco dyeing these last few days. Eco-Colour is a book by India Flint and I highly recommend it to anyone who is remotely interested in natural and sustainable dyeing! My studio smells of eucalyptus with hints of vinegar, tea, and sage. Actually very pleasant and calming.

My plan before my eye issues was to be in Missouri now visiting my folks and friends. I would be anticipating taking a four day workshop next week with India Flint. Since I can't be there I have taken it upon myself to attempt the eco-dyeing using her book as my guide. I realize I am not a good book learner. I get so much more from kinetic hands on learning, BUT I am encouraged by my first attempts which I am posting here.

This is a scarf length of silk noil in which I used 3 kinds of eucalyptus leaves and sprinkled with tea. I laid the leaves on half the length of cloth, sprinkled dry black tea on top and folded the fabric length in half on top. I sprayed with vinegar water and rolled into the sausage bundle India describes in her book and then I steamed it for the recommended amount of time. I then let it set in a plastic bag for a couple of days and unwrapped it today. I am in love with the soft and subtleness of the colors.

This was a sample I did with the steam setting "hot bundle" method of ceanothus using the leaves and flowers on the stem.

Some of the bundles I made need to cure for a couple of weeks and as anxious as I am to open them (just like a little kid with no patience) I am restraining myself.

I've cut lots of flora from my property to use in sample dyeing with this method:


Rattlesnake Grass

French Broom

Spanish Broom


Monkey Flower

Elderberry with flowers and berries just starting. Will gather more when the berries ripen and change color if I can beat the birds to them.


What I know as Yerba Santa

The above photo is what I've known as Yerba Santa and what is depicted in the Western Garden Book. I see this as the same plant on some websites known as Yerba Santa but some websites say the photo of the below plant is Yerba Santa. Is is more sage like, it even smells like sage and the leaves are fuzzy like sage plants. Do you know what this plant is?

Here's a photo of the two next to each other:

For those who care to know, I had my eye exam today and got a good report. The doctor actually said I was perfect but then she wouldn't put that down in writing. lol! I still have months to heal back to normal but I'm on the right track and it's all good.

Also remember you have 10 days to pre-order Altered Couture's Autumn issue in which I have a feature article for the $2.00 off and free shipping! Go here to order your copy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Altered Couture Autumn Issue

If you recall a while back I posted about taking the challenge Altered Couture magazine presented to take a wedding dress (or a bridesmaid dress) and alter and upscale it. I am so excited to say that the dress I entered will be featured in the Autumn issue which will come out August 1. If you pre-order a copy by June 25th here you will get free shipping. You can also see a sneak preview of the dress I transformed!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hearts of Intention

For five long weeks I had to recuperate from laser eye surgery for torn retinas. No reading, no computer, no close work, and no strenuous activity. For the last two weeks I am able to start being normal again. I can be back in the studio dyeing my fabrics, sewing, and creating. I still have to take many breaks and gaze out at the horizon to exercise my eyes and I realized at this point how thankful I am for my sight. Even though my left eye feels tight from scar tissue, even though I still have floaters and may always have them, I can see. Grace and gratefulness is what I hold.

I found myself back in the studio flitting from one project to the next. The many ideas that swirled around in my head those weeks wanting to come out all at once. I needed to focus on one piece but had a hard time with it. My heart went back to what I had been through and what it is that’s important. I thought about the little hearts I made in Nina Bagley’s class at An Artful Journey back in Feb. and I knew I needed to make more of these.

For the last few days I have gathered my remnants of hand dyed fabrics, laces, vintage pieces, and snippets of my hand faux written script silks and began to cut and stitch these little hearts which I am calling “hearts of intention”. There is a small pocket stitched on the back that holds a folded piece of handmade paper for you to write your intention on and secret it away. The heart can be held in your hand, as you would a worry stone, while you ponder your intention.

The hearts are completely hand stitched with my intention of gratitude sewn into each one of them. I am listing 8 of these on my Etsy shop and hope they find a good home and carry good intentions with them.