When you’re feeling a bit down….. PLAY!!

It started Sunday evening…… a long day at work and was bushed. Feeling a bit low. SO, I decided to make myself (or Jeph) a new shopping bag out of some more of the onion skin dyed linen/cotton left over from last year. Stayed up until 3 in the morning (it was my ‘Friday’) and the bag was done except for the dyeing.

The next morning I soaked it in salt/vinegar water then piled on the leaves! Rolled it around an iron pipe….. plopped it into the pressure cooker along with a tea ball filled with madder and red rooibos tea. ‘Cooked’ it for about 45 minutes. 

After that was done, I went to work on four old tee-shirts that I’d been soaking in soy milk/washing soda water for a few days (stinky!).

I bundled them and boiled/steamed them for about 2 1/2 hours. Boiled/steamed? Yeah….. they didn’t fit down into the pot so I covered the whole thing with a tent of aluminum foil. A side note….. the eucalyptus leaves that I gathered at Lilly’s new apartment showed up more when bundled along with some rusty objects!

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Old stained shirts…… and their new life!

And when you don’t care about the results…..

…. because you’re just playing around.

I was going to patch the knees of my blue jeans last night. First I headed to my stash of old blue jeans, to cut patches from them. The first pair I pulled out of the pile looked to be in better shape than the pair that needed mending!

Why were they in there? Because they didn’t fit? I tried them on….. perfect fit!! I guess I’ve lost enough weight in the last year and a half that I really should go through my old piles of clothes…… but that’s another story!

I then decided to see if I had any heavier fabrics eco printed, that would make okay patches. Found some cotton/linen fabric that I had dyed with onion skins and rust last year…… and I thought, play time! So I bundled two pieces with eucalyptus and maple leaves….. threw them into the pressure cooker while I made my lunch for work and got my clothes together.

In forty minutes I got these patches for my jeans! Yippee!!

Happy Dance!



I wanted orange in my dress, dang it! So I tried one more time with some fresh eucalyptus leaves and…… ‘the third time was the charm’! You should’ve seen the grin that split my face! The jig that my feet did! Felt the soaring of my spirit!

Sigh…. I’m happy.

I think that I’m going with this one…..

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Of course the best prints are on the backside! Not many good orange euc prints….. why? The only reason I can come up with is that I let the leaves get too dry, and then didn’t rehydrate them enough before I used them. Ah well.

It’s still a WIP……. need to do a bit of stitching and have to decide on the hemline (not sure if I’m going to do a straight hem, or do upward gathers so that it’s sort of a scalloped drape).

I’ll have to get a full slip to wear…… it’s pretty sheer, even with the printing.

On the way to work last week I noticed a little walnut tree loaded with nuts! I don’t know why I hadn’t noticed it before….. but the light was perfect this day, everything was illuminated and calling out to me. So I gathered a bag full on my way home. Now to dye some yarn!!

Two ‘bad’ dresses…..

First one….

This one actually fits me quite well, although I’d like it better if it was a couple of inches longer.  But it’s a bit too smudgy and drab for the wedding. And putting in my first zipper in a decade didn’t go so smoothly. 😦

This one is in the pot as I write…. it’s my ‘oh my god, what did I do?!’ dress.

It started out as a ‘play project’, putting a couple of patterns together…… using some sanded silk charmeuse fabric. After it was sewn, I steeped it in a pot of sencha tea/salt water. As I laid out the leaves I thought ‘what about splashing some rust water on the fabric?’ Thinking that the rusty color would look nice against the carmel of the silk.  ARGHHH….. as soon as the first big splash hit the fabric it turned black!!!  Who knows what the final dress will look like (or will it become a nightgown?)….. I will post photos when it’s done.

Yes…. I sometimes think that my blog is good to read for “what NOT to do” tips. 🙂

I haven’t given up hope that a miracle will happen and one of the next two I have in my brain ‘drawing room’ might work.

Or perhaps it’s time to think about buying a dress for Emily’s wedding!?

I almost bought a dress last week…… but I am really trying to not buy new clothes, since most of what is readily available and within my meager budget, is not sustainable.

Moral dilemma versus the stress of not having something wonderful to wear to my daughter’s wedding…… a battle best viewed from the privacy of my inner skull.

Ahhh, one last photo. This is for Lizet. My first attempt at fermented elderberry dye…… a bit light, a bit on the grey side. But it was fun. I missed out on most of the plethora of elderberries…… they were too high for me to get to, and I didn’t think that climbing a latter with a broken arm was a very good idea 🙂 But I will try again next summer!!