I did some eco-printing on fabric today for probably the first time in months! I’ve been engulfed in learning new skills but it was so nice to go back to my first love of eucalyptus on cotton. I never get bored with the incredible range of colours they can give together. On this top alone there are greens and blues, oranges and browns as well as a hint of gold. For all my eco-printing followers, what is your favourite fabric and leaf combination? 💗🌿✨
Geranium robertianum - Herb Robert. You can see why I love this little plant. The leaves, stems and flower spikes all print such a beautiful golden yellow. It grows prolifically around the corner from my house and I feel okay about picking it regularly because the council often mows the patch anyway. At least this way it is being used and living on in a beautiful image.
I had the best day in the studio today ☺ I unbundled some very exciting test results which have me super inspired and I steamed a silk bundle full of gorgeous roses and coreopsis.🌹🌻 Can't wait for tomorrow's reveal!I hope you've all had a great day too 🙌
More cotinus/ smokebush love. It really does have amazing leaves. I was looking for cotinus everywhere, then realised I had a tiny bush in my garden! I can’t pick too many leaves so I use them very carefully.
It was sweltering in the studio today but the pots were calling! I love the anticipation of revealing what natural magic has taken place inside the bundle. It's like a butterfly unfurling from its cocoon. This one is eucalyptus on silk. The under sheet is an iron blanket of cotton which has seen many dye pots! 🌳🍜🌿
The results from last night's dye pot hanging out to dry. This is an upcycled cotton shirt I pre prepared with soy milk. I'm very happy to be getting results like this on cotton, nature you are amazing! 💚🌳🌿
Thank you everyone who left such thoughtful comments on my last post. It made me think about how another way to give back to plants is to talk about this stuff. To help normalise the idea of respecting plants as beings and of considering their needs as well as our own. Letting go of our sense of entitlement to the natural world and re-opening to a sense of responsibility and reciprocal relationships. It is lovely to know that so many of you care about this too. When I was picking these Japanese maple leaves yesterday, I asked the 3 trees near my house which one could spare some small branches and the biggest tree graciously offered some 🍁🙏🏽❤️
Some lovely details of my merino yoga top printed with eucalyptus and sheoak. Merino is the perfect fibre to exercise in as it is naturally anti-bacterial, is breathable and is known to absorb both moisture vapour and odours. It is comfortable to wear in all seasons as it reacts to changes in body temperature helping you feel cool in summer and warm in winter.
I realised I never posted the results of these other indigo samples that I did in December. They were dipped a few less times than the top and I love how they have more green tones. My shibori folding and tying skills are still very newbie but it is fun to be learning something new!
This is another experiment in re-printing over an underwhelming eco-print. I’m glad it worked so well, because I think that most of the other paper I unwrapped today is destined to return to the dyepot for another go 😂🙈
This is another print I loved from yesterday. It makes me think of autumn and blazing fires. I am finding that eco-printing again on top of the ‘duds’ brings extra colours and complexities, more interesting than a single layer of printing. Swipe right to see the other side 🍂🔥🌑
Happy New Year everyone! It feels so good to be back in the studio creating again after a very busy time. Phew! Lots of insular reflecting and intention setting going on for me right now. Can't wait to share some of my 2018 plans with you all! 📷 Eucalyptus print on (unironed)silk 🌳 #thesimplethings
I spent the first day of 2018 gathering leaves and wrapping bundles and today I got to open them. This is my favourite. It feels like a good omen for the ways I want to extend my eco-printing practise this year. I hope you all had a relaxing and happy holiday season and best wishes for a beautiful 2018 ❤️🌿✨
The easiest natural dye- coffee and tea! ☕️ This was a solar experiment with organic cotton, so results are muted. I'm interested to really push the concentration and see how dark I can go. Wool more readily accepts dye, so I'll start there.⠀
After cold processing the fresh indigo leaves, the left over leaf pulp still had plenty of colour. I’ve been soaking it in lidded buckets, giving it a gentle stir each day and watching the beautiful blue pigment rise up. I’m excited to see how much more fabric I can dye from this batch of leaves.
More adventures with Australian Indigo. Yesterday some lovely friends gave me a big bag of clippings from their well-established Indigofera Australis. On my way home I stopped in town for a few hours and left the clippings sitting in direct sunlight in my bike basket. Then I got home and started researching what on earth to do with these beautiful leaves. And promptly discovered that for other types of indigo at least, you should use them as soon as you pick them 🙈 This made me pretty convinced that it wouldn’t work so I don’t have any in-progress photos but basically I whizzed the leaves up in a blender with icy water and a little bit of vinegar, then strained it. I used soy-mordanted cotton for this experiment, folded and tied it, and immersed it in the beautiful green water. And it actually worked! This is after the first dip, but I have been doing a couple of extra dips and the fabric is getting darker and bluer! But because I am using the fresh leaf method I am not expecting the classic indigo blue. I will be pretty stoked with whatever I get! I’ve just added a few extra bits of fabric to the dye bath because it is so much more potent than I expected.
Daily practice 25, 26: hurried.
A year ago I injured my left wrist while roller skating. Exactly one year later my daughter fell while ice skating and injured her left wrist, at this point it is not clear yet whether it is a fracture but it is treated as one.
The last two days have been hectic, because they were also my last two days of college. In a year and four months I managed to take close to two years worth of classes.
I was looking forward to some peace of mind at the close. Instead, I have worry. My child goes to her other parent today, it is the first Christmas season that we won't be together. Thankfully, I will get to see her for the Christmas eve, the rest of the year she will be gone.
Birch leaves on top, red onion peels on the bottom.
Daily practice 22: luck.
A couple of days ago spotify sent me an email detailing which artists and songs were my most listened ones this year. Every song in the top five ties directly to a traumatic period. Perhaps the four-leaf clover in this bunch will bring me some better luck in the coming days..
Daily practice 19, 18.
Last lingering splash of walnut on felt low immersion dyed with embroidery floss dyed with colorful fall leaves from day 10. Teabags went into a pot yesterday so I could squeeze out the last bit of color.
17 and 16 are bundle dyes of ferns that I forgot to take a photo of.. now they have to wait until unwrapping.
I have 6 days of college to go, I'm looking forward to a little break in intense learning and hoping to have a bit more brainwave for fiber arts.
Today's harvest and forage in my #dyegarden at home.
So interesting to see how these plants would achieve such diverse, rich, and often significantly different colors once they get into the dye pot.
Btw, the beautiful handwoven basket is made of bamboo and rattan, handcrafted by a mother artisan in Poso, Central Sulawesi.
I've been doing comparisons between different brands of watercolour paper. The best so far is Arches, so good for bright and clear eco-prints!! Swipe left to compare with the dismal Moulin du Roy print. Both pages were printed with Japanese Maple, ornamental Plum, Blackberry and Eucalyptus, no mordant 🍁🍃
Naturally dyed, 5 row stripes, men’s size 13.
It’s hard to tell from the photo but these are, hands down, the largest socks I’ve made yet, and with most ends to weave in.
Most socks I knit have 10 or 12 ends that need weaving in to finish off the pair.
These? 70. For each sock, so 140 altogether, and that doesn’t count breaks and knots in the yarns that made for a handful of extra ends.
Yep, epic socks like these can only be made for and gifted to family or long standing friends-like-family with patience enough themselves to wait for me to be inspired and patient enough myself to make them.
These yarns I dyed some years ago. The superwash/nylon sock blend soaked up the dyes quite nicely. So, from memory and a few tags still on the yarns:
🍎Red: madder root.
☀️Yellow: probably yarrow or tansy.
🧡Orange: coreopsis. 🌰Brown: black walnut. 🌿Green: cottonwood leaves. 🐺Grey: ? Unknown. Something in a rusty iron pot, I’d guess. Wishing I knew now what it was.
Finished about a month ago with plenty of surrounding fall colors still for inspiration. And now, there’s a socks 🧦 emoji!
#botanicaldyes#naturaldyes#operationsockdrawer#mylocaldyeplants #🧦 #handknitsocks#wovember
How about these delicious colours I made last week on some raffia?! I gifted it as a thank you present to a special friend today. I might have just kept a little bit for myself so you may see more of these colours one day!