OHsier, shop update

Always so dependable for ecoprints!

Clarity 1 bCAbove silk,

below cotton:

clarity 2b

In the shop now.



I should have remembered that any time i have used hibiscus blooms in an ecoprint bundle, it imparted lovely shades of blue, a bit disappointing when the jar and first pull was so beautifully purple, but oh well. The purple tones disappeared, but oh my, i do love these blues!

hibiscus day after dry

I also picked my tansy a bit too early: the blooms have developed but are not showing a lot of yellow yet–nonetheless, i got some lovely soft shades:

first 2014 tansy

I know, i know, yellow IS SO EXCITING IN THE DYE WORLD! OH MY GAWDZ SHE GOT YELLOW! YELLOW, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! (Considering how many plants do give yellows, i doubt anyone else is as thrilled as i am………) Adding natural colour, other than rust though, builds my stash! And putting that blue with this yellow makes them a wonderful complement to each other.


I’m down to the last slogging part of the red pieces… to go, then all the edges must be finished so i can put it all together. At least it’s a really mindless task that can be done in front of some tubage.

90s stitch designs C

I find myself alternating on these between brainless space filling and then more planned intricacies, which fortunately means that no two pieces are alike. Starting to get my freak on too that it’s not going to be together enough to show in any form at the end of residency exhibition.


hibiscus dyed threads

Promising, promising!

hibiscus dyed threads wet july 20Clockwise: white silk, white cotton embroidery floss, previously dyed perle cotton, previously dyed embroidery floss—i *think* the previous dye was an exhaust solidago or tansy, but can’t remember….

I’m not going to rinse until they have sat for at least 2 days. They won’t be heated either, as i have previously done, usually resulting in a colour change! I know they will be lighter, as the colour is darker when wet as with any dye, but i also don’t know whether whether the colour will actually fade as they dry, or change colour—have had purples turn green, beige, grey and anything but purple in other tests with anthocyanin laden plant materials!

Hoofies crossed!


Posted by on July 20, 2014 in dye experiments


the dyeing season starts

Picked tansy this afternoon as Nessie chased butterflies and rabbits. There’s a dyepot steaming on the back patio now–i love the smell, but Greyman gets all wrinkly so out in the sun it goes!

I’ve collected hibiscus blooms all year and decided it was time to use them as well. It’s all fine and dandy to stockpile, but if they never get used, it’s kind of silly.

The release of the anthocyanins was almost immediate! (Here’s your science lesson today :) ) Left to right, after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes and then in the sun as a solar jar.

hibiscus release

anthocyanins chart

I dropped these threads in various cottons (2 predyed already in something last year–tansy? solidago?) in along with some white silk, and as i noted in the little jpg above, i don’t expect deep colours or lasting-ness–but then again, ya don’t know until you try. (Water colour does not always indicate actual dye potential, “stick” or have “uptake” on fibres, for those sticklers, self included, who are going to object to this. Bwaha.)

predye threads

I’ll leave the jar in the sun for a couple of days–i also know that longer than that and things go rather foosty!

PS this is the hibiscus (and the actual colour of the fresh bloom) i save from–i get at least three a week, which takes a while then to make it worth it!

mar hib 1b



flying soon

 i still haven’t found the name of the work that all this red will go one: usually a word or phrase pops into my head, but not this time!

july 18hoping to be done this wing by Monday evening………..

“Red, of course, is the colour of the interior of our bodies. In a way it’s inside out, red.”  Anish Kapoor


Posted by on July 19, 2014 in in progress



tansy sketchy close up

tansy page science corrected c

the tansy loot

(All photos above from 2 or 3 years ago.)

Back to walking muchly with Nessie along the riverbanks, scoping out what’s left of the indigenous plant material i can use for dyeing. The flood last year washed away so much of the riverbanks and a huge area where we played quite often, her snorfling in the bushes and then going for a quick dip, me throwing sticks and picking handfuls of leaves or flowers.

Tansy is actually quite invasive, so i’m finding lots of it left where the water didn’t go. It’s starting to bloom, and i’m seeing a lot of yellow cloth and thread happening in the next few weeks. I’m even thinking of a little yellow work next :) Maybe i can work my way through the rainbow with natural dyes–except of course for that elusive madder red…..

I’m not a really big fan of yellow, except in small doses. It brightens and lightens (thanks Captain Obvious) and comes in so many warm and cool hues, that i can’t resist starting to incorporate more of it in my own work.

alberta wild roseLast year’s Alberta Rose donation above, centre threads dyed with tansy and solidago.

“Hippie Chick” cloth below from several years ago also, tansy and hollyhock on silk:

hippi chick tansy and hollyhock

And even when the pot was abandoned in the sun, there is possibility for design:

tansy moldI can see that stitched as i did “All Water Under the Bridge”!! Lots of fine detail and reverse fabric manipulation!

I’ll be picking this weekend for sure!



Posted by on July 16, 2014 in hand dyes and ecoprints


a sea of red

sea of red 1

sea of red 2Covering an area like this of 25×25″, the majority of the feathers are done. When it’s all put together, the wing will be approximately 22″ at its widest point, and 40″ long. (Photos clickable as always–when it opens, click again on the “size” above the pic.)

I realized last night that if i can’t finish the figure and background in time for the show (set up on Aug 24), that i had better have an alternate plan for its display. I’m not going to sabotage myself by working towards just that and not even trying to finish, but if necessary, i will mount the wing as though torn from the body. A trifle cliche, but c’est la vie. I’ll have to do something about the background, but if i have to be really swift, i’ll leave it as it is, slightly stained by mildew and time. (Mildew is dead, just its marks left!)

I don’t think this is a “cheat”, possibly showing it as “unfinished”, but rather a good example of process and practice.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 357 other followers