Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fresh Start

A new morning and new beginning...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Women's Ways

'Women's Ways' is complete, now - my dream cloth come to life. It is an honouring of the feminine - both archetypal and personal. It speaks to deep truth - that inner knowing at the bottom of the well.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Colour Collection

When I first began gathering the copious amount of solid colour cottons on the supply list for the Nancy Crow workshop that I will take next month, it felt like reaching for the moon.

Another trip up island yesterday added to the layers piling up in the basket and I have only 15 colours left to find.
I notice photographing blues and reds

as I continue to stitch with them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunshine and Ivy

Here are two close-ups of more natural dyeing. I had placed ivy leaves on the silk and sprinkled tumeric around them, hoping to create a sun print effect, with the leaves as a resist. You can see I got one obvious leaf print and some fainter ones. I like the bright colour, which matches the sunshine outside today. The ivy leaves on silk without any other dye stuff left a few black marks on my oak leaf silk, which add some interest, but I was hoping for green. What next?

Fruits of Labour

I've used blueberries and raspberries to over dye one of the arbutus bark silk pieces and one of the onion skin dyed pieces and I have some ivy and tumeric overdyeing the oak leaf, oak seed and seed pod silk pieces brewing right now... I like how little rinsing is required afterwards with natural dyes.

From Land and Sea

Here are the results from yesterday's dye pot using natural materials. Seaweed provided the colour for the top picture - it is actually lighter then the photo shows. Green seaweed gave a gold color and the red gave a purple. The next piece of silk used arbutus bark for colour and the last has used seedpods and one red leaf where the dark spot is. I also tried maple seeds and got a faint outline. I imagine if the fabric steamed or set longer that the image would be clearer. I am interested to add different colours over top of some of these.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sushi Anyone?

After a walk to the local beach, I've got a variety of silk samples in the brew pot steaming everything from seaweed, seedpods and leaves to arbutus bark. I wonder if any of them will transfer colour and pattern to the cloth? I'll post results - if I get some!

More Colour Arrives

A glorious sunny day out today and silk threads arrived in the mail from Treenway silks, bringing more colour, along with the crocuses. I haven't sewn with silk before, although I was given some silk thread as a gift. Soon....

Spanish Dyes

I am pleased with today's purple, gold and brown dye result from using spanish onion skins. Once again the sharpest result is on the silk charmeuse. I noticed that if I manipulate the folds as I roll up the silk, it creates additional pattern by leaving areas devoid of colour. The heavier silk in the second photo shows the front and back, followed by a close up of the front - less distinct markings but soft, more subtle colour. And I'm continuing to stitch ...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Language of My Dreams

I unwrapped the two different kinds of onion-packed silk and here are the results. The heavier silk in the third photo from the top was a beige colour to begin with and now has muted markings in gold and orange. The creamy charmeuse in the second photo picked up oodles of colour! And, I've begun to add letters and text to the piece in the last photo, now, based on a word I dreamed about one night during the process of making it: wayeebi. Since as far as I know, it is not from any prior existing language, it must be the beginning of a new one and the meaning is being stitched in ...

Natural Dye Experiment

The results from these Garry Oak leaves steamed on silk are very mild indeed - slight colouring with no sharp outlines. There are a lot of variables at play with natural dyeing and I'm a complete beginner, so I have much to learn. But I like the idea of the spirit of a local tree infused into the cloth, so I will experiment further another time to see if I can get a more visable design. I have a next sample in the steamer using onion skins...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Colour of Rain

This bottom photo was the view from out of the car window yesterday - a windy, rainy day for a refreshing adventure up island, with camera in hand. I like going out with no destination in mind, seeing where I end up and discovering surprises enroute. I have also purchased a few more solid coloured fabrics for my Nancy Crow workshop supply list, although I've decided to reduce the amount of colours I had orignally planned to have - I will still have lots. I continue to be amazed by the variety of colour and I notice how much satisfaction I get locating the appropriate place for another small swatch to go on the papers I've made up to track what I have so far. Sometimes a new colour doesn't fall into any of the categories I have and, of course, the 24 choices of various values that I'm working with are only a small sample of what's possible, but the bigger picture of colour is mind boggling - and exciting! I've also stitched a velvet backing onto the handstitched piece I am making, in preparation for more stitch on the front.

Heart Surprise

I was making a birthday card for a friend, planning to put a photo on the front, when my eye was caught by silk I recently dyed and when I saw there was a heart in it, I knew it was meant to be...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I am stitching the base of this cloth, now - there is a piece of the turquoise silk velvet I dyed tucked behind the three openings in the lower left corner of this photo. This cloth has alot to say and I am listening. The three small stitched circles represent women's life stages of Maiden, Mother and Crone.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Heaven From Earth

Look what came in the mail today - I think I've 'dyed' and gone to heaven! It's India Flint's book on natural dyeing. You can see a video clip of her here in case you want to 'whet' your appetite, too!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Felt and Seen

I picked up 3 wool sweaters at a thrift shop to felt, and I especially love how the mohair one in the top photo came out. I haven't decided what I'll make from it yet, but I'm continuing to stitch the colours of the 7 chakras and the rainbow into the piece in the bottom photo. If you look closely, you can see the top thread is purple, then indigo, then blue.