dye week again

The shop is empty of fabrics, so it was time to gear up again. I used an old piece from 2009 as a colour inspiration guide!

I do need to revive my indigo vat though for some blues and soft greens, and wind and prep some more thread skeins!

 

Well, these are a *bit* more vivacious than the “source” ๐Ÿ™‚ , but oh oh oh, such eye candy delights. It’s grey and smokey outside, neither summer nor fall, with only a liminal edge that says “day”, so i’m spending a lot of time in the Dye Dungeon. It’s therapy, passion, joy, science and chillin’ out all at once in these times ๐Ÿ™‚

Madder, cochineal, onion, marigolds and quebracho rojo on cotton and silk

Listings will start appearing in the shop on Sept 18. Live! Now! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sotto voce part 2

After smashing our trusty Nikon D90 last month, i’m still trying to get used to the new Settings and Things on the replacement, a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. Apparently i need to read the manual, go figure ๐Ÿ™‚

The Nikon would allow me on the automatic setting to get the most beautiful daylight shots that showed texture, true colour and fine detail. The Lumix does fantastic close-ups on several settings, but the light effects are not the same. I suppose i should be thankful though that testing it doesn’t ‘waste” film, HA.

So, with 4 different settings (that i of course did not take note of), here’s “Sotto voce” again with different looks. None of them portray it properly, so i guess that’s this evenings reading, and tomorrow’s testingย  on the to do list.

And those green dots are coming off, changing to the tawny fox and peachey colours instead. I have a few things more to do to it, and then it gets mounted, hopefully for a virtual exhibit. (If anybody from the fibre group i’m in ever answers my emails and FB questions that is………………………………….)

yesterday and today

Yesterday, i felt like this:

Pomegranate dyed/mordanted cotton, post modified with iron solutions. A base for bad days, i haven’t decided if i should work on it ON the bad days, or wait until a good day to do! Either way is valid–maybe both to see how it affects the work?

When the going gets tough though, it’s time to get out the brightest crayons and have a good scribble. My version of that is vivid natural dyes, and today these results on mostly cellulosic fibres (linen, cotton lace trim, cotton scrim, cotton threads– and small skeins of wool thread on the far left) came out of the quebracho rojo dye pot.

I’m thrilled with these results as previous experiments, while gorgeous on silk threads, silk habotai and silk velvet were rich, my cottons were pastel pinky browns, nothing exciting, and the threads were even more boring. The water IS different in this house, obviously quite different from the Grand Old Lady’s 100+ pipes.

I *might* use some of the wool thread on the top grey piece, still auditioning thread colours for it.

Scribble, scribble, scribble.

 

warming the vortex

-40C wind chill today, risk of frostbite in 10 minutes. I ain’t goin’ nowhere this week!

The last week’s results, correctly in dye journal ๐Ÿ™‚

I think my soda ash tests needed a fresh mix as well–i adore that orange from the test above, not as apparent in the sample on the bottom of the page below!

Below, the two on the left are linen, quite disappointing! The linen i ordered before Christmas is crappy quality, stiff and feels cheap. I know linen is supposedly harder to dye because of the plant waxes and pectins, but the results were abysmal! I followed all my usual protocols so not sure what the difference was. *Usually* i find rhubarb, whether root or leaves, somewhat inhibits the uptakeย  of dyes……… For that reason, i never use the leaves anymore. I think it’s the oxalic acid, but also would suspect the roots have more than the leaves, so it’s a mystery!

A mystery because look at the quebracho rojo on the same linen! I was thrilled to see that once rinsed and dry, it was a definite pink, quite the surprise as usually qr is touted to give only pinky tans and browns on cellulose, and paler in range than protein fibres.

I have a different batch of linen from the same supplier that is supposedly the same thing, but the difference is amazing–full handed, thicker, FEELS like linen, so we’ll see what the results are on it.

And the rest of the qr tests:

It’sย  bit hard to photo these correctly: the velvets on the 2 top left are pinker than here, not as orange. (And OH do i love that lavender from the third extraction with an iron post mod!

I’m also testing Ugandan marigolds! My son brought me some when he came back last week (and YES it was all legal, above board and phyto-sanitarily correct, according to customs regulations! I wouldn’t dream of having anyone smuggle or mail un-regulated product to me!)

studio time finally, and a shop update

This past week i have said to hell with unpacking boxes, shuffling furniture around and organizing things in our new home. I finally got down into the studio and had fun!

Digging through the silk velvet scraps for the elf mentioned in a previous post, had me wondering what to do with all the dinky teeny itsy bits. If you love velvet and other luxe fabrics, you get that–no small left behind! ๐Ÿ™‚ And when they’re naturally dyed, they are even more precious!

And yes, they DO come as PAIRS ๐Ÿ™‚ Hmm, might be cute Christmas ornaments as well!

This weekend however, the two of us will be descending to the depths, and getting laundry appliances moved around, a laundry sink and water filter hooked up, tools settled into shelves, and the last of my studio stuff IN the studio, out of boxes, bags and piles. Once that is done, i plan on settingย  myself a schedule of sorts to get work done, the serious stuff (Samara, poor Samara!), and some more fun things as well.

 

sometimes a week has a lot of days to deal with

 

The weight of the apples this year was too much. Picking before this happened would sadly have not prevented this: the big branches are thoroughly rotten inside where they “attached” to the tree…… And of course, this was the best year yet for the fruit. Golfball sized and rosy, they make an astonishingly deep pinkycoral sauce that needs no sweetener–but does necessitate hours of cutting up hundreds of them for a score of 3 litres of sauce.

The whole thing may have to come down, a very sad heartbreak. It’s 90 years old we bet, and if/when it’s gone, there will be no shade, no explosive mass of blossoms and bees, no woodpeckers or porcupines or deer visiting, and another part of this house’s history gone…..

There’s a new “baby” who has joined the family.

This is Sally, as sweet as her name. From the face, you’d think she was a grey tabby, but stretched out full, she’s a “torty” with tab markings. Sally belonged to my departed MIL, and it’s a good thing we rescued her when we did, the night before MIL passed away (Aug 30), because apparently after a death, only the executor of the estate is allowed to enter the home until everything has been inventoried. (We know they would have fed her, BUT they are still in a foreign country far away, and not back until Sunday night of this coming weekend! Try changing a whole family’s tickets for an early return–3times the price of the original airfare return!!!!!!!!!! She’s have been one very hungry and dehydrated kitty!)

We have wanted this girl for a long time. She lived under MIL’s bed for the most part as she was petrified anytime someone came in the house. We figured cleaning staff may be responsible for this and are so pleased, that while still skittish, she makes herself at home every night on my bed, with plenty of purrs, head butts and long luxurious stretches. She is HOME. Slapshot and Nessie are really not interested, except for the extra “Fud” being doled out ๐Ÿ™‚ The family will blend well once again.

I am still trying to decide which natural dye i will use to transform the white swiss dotted cotton to the body of a dress.

I did two little tests (to the right) with quebracho rojo “leftovers”, the paler almost brown an exhausted bath, the pinker an alcohol extraction, less used. I’m leaning towards them with an overdye of tansy, to get the coral i want, but may slip some madder dips on some areas for a slight ombre effect.

I’ve also been working when i can on the new hexes for Samara.

They’ll replace the original ones cut from the background, which will also be embroidered this way and re-attached.

We’re just taking each day as it comes, slow, doing what we can as we can.