Messing around with old tee-shirts……

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I was joking around the other day about the fact that I could escape into the forest and nobody would find me! My plethora of eco printed tee-shirts are the perfect clothes for the disappearing.

I found an old window screen the other day….. the wood was rotting and the screen rusting. So we all know what I did! Ripped the screen out and bundled a shirt in it. I liked the negative print I got… along with the pattern from the wire.

The other shirt was covered with all of the left over leaves I had laying around. This was done before I told Irit that I needed to practice a bit of restraint and zen simplicity. Which I really need to do on occasion. I like both looks, so I should be able

Not so successful eco prints on cotton…..

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These prints were made on cotton and linen fabrics.

The fabric had been presoaked in a strong ‘tea’ made out of white oak bark, then in salt water with vinegar added, and finally in soy milk with washing soda added to it.

The leaves were soaked in either iron water or rust water, then placed on the fabric….. bundled…… boiled for almost four hours.

I didn’t leave them to ‘cure’ … or even to cool down for that matter. I wanted instant gratification, to combat the low I felt from the blotched job I did on my dress for the wedding (that fabric, by the way, is in plastic bags hoping for a bit of rust to form from the iron).

So… on that note. My mistake on the dress fabric! I thought that it would be easier to cut the dress out and sew the front pieces together, and the back pieces together and dye them at that stage. I wasn’t thinking about the flare to the bottom of the dress, until I was trying to roll up the bundle. I could keep the middle tight. But the sides were floppy and loose.

I thought of ways that I could have rolled the dress differently, but at that stage I didn’t really want to mess with it any more. The iron was leaving too many marks from little drips as it was, so I didn’t want to pick up the leaves, transferring them and more drips and more iron spots.

I will unwrap the fabric next week.

Next time? Probably I’ll dye the whole 5 or 6 yards first, as daunting as that seems. IF I can find a pot large enough to do it in!


I know that eucalyptus varieties give many different colors…. and that the growing conditions, and time of year, and age change the colors of the same tree.

But I was still surprised to see the bright green color I got last night!

I had trimmed back my new baby silver dollar euc after I planted it, in hopes of making it more bushy. I took the trimmings and dyed with them last night. I expected little orange spots of color…… no! They were a wonderful bright green!

I also used some trimmings from “Monika”….. nice prints!

I dipped the smoke tree leaves, and the maple leaves, in a solution of egg and iron.  For no particular reason. The eucalyptus leaves were left alone.

Two long strips of raw silk were dyed with eucalyptus and smoke tree…… they were wrapped around a copper pipe. Wrapped around another copper pipe were two more silk strips with  eucalyptus and maple bundled inside.

A third pipe, this time an iron one,  had a simple strip of raw silk bundled around eucalyptus leaves.

I also wove a scarf out of my left over shawl yarns!

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Mimicking the Moon

Jeph counted fifteen flower buds on the dactura yesterday…. one opened last night with the moon. Such a heady intoxicating fragrance they have….. if only I was a moth!

And no…. I haven’t tried to eco print with the flowers, or the leaves. Since they are poisonous.

This is my newest tree…. Her name is


Not sure if it’s the variety of smoke tree I ordered, it doesn’t seem very dark. But perhaps that is because of her youth?

And her name?

She’s named after my friend, whose birthday it was yesterday! 🙂

Hopefully I will get nice eco prints from her leaves!!

I had a wonderful experience yesterday in Flagstaff. I’m not sure that I can put it into words….

I went into “WinterSun” a shop selling herbs and Native American art. There was a couple in there from Peru (I believe). Very old. Dressed traditionally. The woman was seated. with her foot in a basin of water containing floating herbs. Her foot looked swollen and red…… I felt for her!

As I wandered around looking at cradle board kachinas I overheard parts of a conversation between Phyllis (the shop’s owner and herbalist) and a lady who was traveling with the couple as an interpreter (one of two interpreters, she spoke Spanish and the other lady spoke Spanish and the native dialect of the couple). The couple were healers, on tour in the USA. They had been married since they were 13 or 14….. and were now in their late 60s.

It was all I could do to restrain myself from plopping down on the floor and sit there listening. But I felt like an outsider. So mush wisdom seemed to be radiating out of them….. so much earthly energy.

And it made me sad too. Sad that I’ve never had the gumption to follow my heart and study herbal medicine/healing. I’ve been fascinated by herbs almost all of my life. I thirst for more than the tidbits of knowledge I’ve gleaned over the years.

Oh! I did find some white oak bark for sale there. Lots of tannin!! 🙂 So I bought some for mordanting my cottons. Looked it up when I got home, and it looks like I should be drinking it too! It’s good for varicose veins and kidney stones!  I could be come “White Oak Woman”!

Enough rambling…