Time to start again

Let’s see if I can remember how!

When I closed my FaceBook account, I promised to start writing my blog again, to keep in touch with my friends…… and to share what I am doing in my ‘creative’ life.

A quick start. Two little organic cotton tee-shirts for my grand-daughters.

My stock of leaves in the refrigerator were all moldy…… my sinuses were not happy! The only leaves that weren’t, were my liquidambar . Luckily, my geranium outside, which hadn’t even been watered in months, still had a quantity of leaves on it (why it wasn’t dead is a leafy miracle!) And of course the guava is evergreen. And I still had maple leaves in the freezer from a couple of years ago.

I dyed with shirts with lac. Then a layer of leaves. Sprinkled with logwood and turmeric and covered with a rust cloth. Steamed for an hour.

I’d forgotten how frustratingly slow the photos upload here 😦 And not only that….. I keep getting an ‘error’ message, and am told to ‘try again’….. sigh. Will post this for now, and try to go back and edit some photos in later.

For Josephine I used geranium and guava leaves. This photo was taken by Lilly and sent to me 😀


And for Eleanor I used maple and liquidambar.

Where does the time go?

I seemed to have disappeared into my self these last several months. No blog posts, not even the thought of it!

Hopefully that will change. I mean it to, but you can never tell what will happen in the future.

I’ve been doing some eco printing. Not always successful, but don’t let the ‘failures’ keep me from trying again.

My most recent experiment came after reading a post on Facebook about using alum acetate followed by calcium carbonate for cellulose fabrics. Had a linen shirt that needed a facelift….. it’s eco prints were fading out. So decided to try this new method on it. I was very happy with the results! Definitely not as messy as my usual technique.

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There is more color than shows up in the photos. Also was intrigued by the guava prints….. have never gotten the rusty orange from them before!

I also made four “West Fork” tee-shirts for the guys in my life…… should have made 5, sorry Corey!….. didn’t realize our time in Portland would overlap by a night. Should’ve made one for you too 😦

West Fork is a side canyon in Oak Creek Canyon…… a beautiful place to hike!  I gathered leaves from a day excursion there and printed some tee-shirts. Oak, walnut, wild rose, blackberry, cranesbill, fern and some other plant that was perhaps meadow rue. The blackberry left no prints, much to my surprise! And neither did the meadow rue.

The shirts are pre-mordanted like crazy. First alum acetate and washing soda, then tannin, then the first combo again…….. then as a final hedge, soy milk. Have to admit, it was worth it! For the first time ever I got great oak leaf and fern prints!

After the eco print simmering, they went in for a quick indigo dip (while still bundled) to simulate the water in the creek.

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Was going to show photos of two of the West Fork shirts…… but it’s taking too long for the photos to upload.

I have errands to run….. my last day off before I leave on my grand adventure! 😀

Two weeks in Portland. Now that might not sound like a grand adventure to many….. but during that time I will be attending a 5 day workshop with Irit!!! I am SO excited!! My eco printing will definitely change after this workshop, for the better I believe.

Am hoping my arm will hold up to it. Remember when I broke my arm/elbow a couple of years ago? Well, a month or so ago I fell on the stairs at work……. and where did I land? You guessed it, my arm! It was not broken again……. although amazingly swollen and bruised. And ever since then it’s been bothering me. Went to the chiropractor two days ago (had gone when it first happened too)….. she put everything back in place (muscles and cartilage were out of place, shoulder was not quite in it’s socket). She knows about the workshop I’m heading to and told me to buy an elbow brace for it…… no heavy lifting, or wringing out fabric with that arm……yeah, right.  But even if it pains me, I will do it all! I’ve been looking forward to this for over 6 months….. won’t let a bit of pain keep me down.

I’ll post photos of the workshop when I get home! Promise!!

Update to my last rambling….

Here is the blouse I mentioned I was making.

Raw silk fabric sent to me by a dear friend….. it had been dipped into the ocean and soaked in soy milk.

I printed with with eucalyptus leaves, that another friend brought me from a trip she just made to southern California. Half of the leaves were dipped into iron water, and the other half were dipped into rust/egg water.

The ruffle and bundle were dyed in a walnut dye bath.





Whiling away the time….

Took a tumble on the stairs at work yesterday, nothing major, just missed the bottom step. But whacked my arm pretty hard and it swelled up impressively 😀 Got to come home, and stay home again today. Hopefully I will be back to work tomorrow….. I’m planning on it, but it all depends on what the boss says. She wanted me to go in for an ex-ray, but everybody who has looked at it seems to think it’s just a bad contusion and not a broken arm (I even called the doctor who treated my broken arm a couple of years ago and he seems to think, from what I told him and no loss of mobility, that it is in all likelihood not broken)….. I am not in a hurry to waste money and time in Urgent Care.

Other than that little boo-boo life is good! I got into a class/workshop with Irit Dulman this summer in Portland!! Yippee!! A double blessing since I will also get to spend time with my kids and my little grand daughter (who is growing like a weed and changing by the moment!).

I think that the workshop with Irit will propel me into another level of eco printing. I’m okay at it, but she is so far ahead of me that I will come away will a new fervor and momentum. PLUS, she is more discriminate with her leaves….. a discussion we had a few years ago. I tend to pour the leaves onto the fabric, like fallen leaves on the forest floor, while she seems more contemplative with her placement.

Here are a few of my latest eco print scarves……

This one is handwoven out of raw silk, then eco printed. I thought about over printing it, it seems a bit insipid to me, but Jeph talked me out of it.



And these two are more circular sanded silk charmeuse scarves.


I am also working on a top for myself….. it’s almost done. And a purse…. ha ha ha, the purse is taking it’s time. I wove a length of fabric out of hemp, cottolin and raw silk…… making 4 inch squares down the middle that would just be raw silk, that I then eco printed. All went well so far. BUT I am finding myself spatially challenged with the folding up of the fabric (turning it into the purse). It’s the purse that was found here  http://donisdelis.blogspot.com/2009/01/little-tutorial.html  AND I have made it before, although it has been a few years. Each time I make it, I find myself scratching my head and thinking “huh?” You would think that it would come back to me….. 🙂 it will!

Really? It’s been a month since I’ve written anything here!?

I have gone ahead and decided to keep the etsy shop open…… as a ‘micro shop’ ! Just pop things into it as I make them, without the stress of filling it to the brim (haha when have I ever worried about that?!)

Posted three scarves, along with the piece you already saw. Two are eco printed silk charmeuse circle scarves.

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And one was a wool scarf I bought through Dharma


The top silk scarf sold already! I was very surprised…. and happy!!

Had meant to dye the fabric for two more scarves this ‘weekend’….. but only got as far as washing the fabric and setting it to soak in some sea salt/rainwater. Guess it will have to wait until my next days off.

What I did do this week is experiment with using symplocos as a pre mordant for some organic cotton onesies for my grand daughter. First they were soaked in a combo of symplocos and tannin….. then soy milk and washing soda.

They didn’t turn out very well 😦  But I’ll post a couple of photos here anyway.

Ellie can always wear them while playing in the dirt, without her mama worrying about her getting dirty! 😀

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And wove a scarf for my sister-in-law’s birthday, using left over cotton yarns (bought before I’d committed to only buying un-dyed or natural dyed yarns)


Re-opening my etsy shop?

Am not quite sure about this… it’s still in the contemplation stage.

Oh? Really? I listed a piece of eco printed fabric today… dipping my toes into the water of indecision.

Not sure that I want to have the hassle of shop upkeep again….. maybe just post a thing here and there? Would it be worth it? Guess I will find out.

Here is what I posted. A piece of eco printed wool fabric, measuring 54 by 68 inches.

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Eucalyptus and madder prints…. with a sprinkling of turmeric around them. Bundled and boiled in  indigo/soapnut bath.

Jeph’s CD pouches…..

I really thought that 20 C.D. pouches could be made quickly, after all, I had already printed the fabric for them!

But no. He ended up having his Christmas present presented to him in various  stages of completion. Some were totally done. Some had their side closure stitched and were waiting for the sides to be hand stitched. And the rest were sewn and turned right side out, but with the hand stitching still to be done.

The outside is raw silk printed with eucalyptus. The inner cloth is old madras fabric that was purchased over a decade ago (intended as rags for a rug). There is batting between the two layers….. making a nice soft pouch for the C.D.s

Now all he has to do is create the music 🙂



Some close ups



Did some weaving too, during the pre holiday rush. A scarf for each of the kids. Alas, I didn’t get photos of them before I packed them up and shipped them off. 😦

Lilly did send a couple of photos of her scarf…. on her, and draped around Ellie. Her scarf was inspired Susan’s scarves (aka avalanchelooms) ….. I was showing her photos of Susan’s, and she said that she always liked my old samplers (from 30+ years ago). So I combined the great rose path patterns that Susan uses, with all the odds and ends of Harrisville yarns I had left. It actually turned out to be a bright, happy scarf! We were both pleased with it.

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