I’ve been dyeing all week:

Swanky Panky: Packs of teasing texture in pearlescent cotton damask, mellow cotton velveteen, sultry silk habotai, crisp cotton and slinky silk/rayon velvet, naturally dyed in madder, quebracho rojo, lac, marigold and eucalyptus with historically accurate processes.

Earthing: A more rustic version of the Swanky Panky mix, each pack with a different fibre mix. Naturally dyed in madder, quebracho rojo, lac, marigold and cutch with historically accurate processes.




Making piles. Sorting bits. Prepping projects. Skeining threads.

And then it’s time to play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



(drum roll, please) Unknown Sister is back

I love what i do,  but it’s time to add a new approach. I had a reasonably successful run as a wearable art designer (Albedo Artclothing) from ’93 to about 2001, and my big big studio was always humming with work. Over the last couple of months, ideas have been popping into my head as to how to translate what i do into something one would wear, fun, bright, unique but comfortable, un-contrived and mixable with a person’s favourite skirt, top or pants, not so over-the-top as to be laughable or “inappropriate” for an occasion, but still completely different from what every one else has.

I have NO idea how long each piece will take at this point of planning. Making art by hand is not the same as whipping up something on the sewing machine or serger, slapping on a few applique and some exotic buttons—not that at that time there was anything wrong with that–it was “of the times” after all, and there were not a lot of truly hand crafted pieces, unless you were one of the 11tybajillion dollar rich persons who shopped bespoke couture somewhere in Milan or Paris or some exclusive by appointment only atelier on a hidden street in Lower wherever……

Yes, there will be machine work to assemble, because the “hand crafted” aspect i’m talking about is the design, the fabrics and embellishments, and the embellishing itself.

AND it’s still going to be with natural fibres and natural dyes, because that truly is my passion in all of this. I’m rarely attracted now to commercial fabrics, and i never wear synthetics as they make me feel strangled, hot and stinky, as they just don’t breathe.

This piece is what started me thinking about wearables again:

Tower to the Moon, 8″ SOLD

I’ve culled other ideas from previous work too, most done in the last 2 or 3 years. I’m also going through photographs of the previous work i did as Albedo Artclothing, because i know there’s stuff there that can be distilled as well, without being re-hashes or cop-outs. I believe it’s just ambitious enough to accomplish but not so much that i get bogged down or lose interest. Waking up excited this morning tells me i could be right about this, as i haven’t felt this way for a lonnnnnnng time!

“Unknown Sister” was a separate online shop and blog for awhile, for wearable accessories, and i decided to resurrect the idea specifically for this again.

Since i have no idea how long it will take to finish something like this as a wearable, i am projecting the first project won’t be done until the end of March. I’ll be keeping a log of sorts about time spent on it, so i can pre-plan future pieces, and re-learn time management (not a strong suit anymore!). Maybe it will be done before that deadline, but that IS the deadline, so we’ll see!

Let’s have some fun!

Return of the DogFaced Girl!

Nessie, the DogFaced Girl is home! She faces doggie physio, lots of meds, massages and short short walks in the next few weeks, and REALLY wants to go shopping today to buy an inflatable post surgery collar–we *all* hate this one!!!!!!
She says a big thank you to all those who “chipped in” by buying Mom’s beautiful fabrics and art, and sends lots of Doggie Kisses to you Blossoms.

Update on my DogFaced Girl’s diagnosis

I just wanna cry. Nessie has a ripped off the bone ligament, and a broken knee which means all the bones below her knee are shifting around and moving freely every time she takes a step or puts weight on it. She’s scheduled for surgery on the 17th (ouch the bill) and in the meantime gets to laze around and have her back end supported by a sling we must use when she needs to go out for business or into the car. She will also have a thyroid test to perhaps explain the big weight gain she’s had, particularly since she’s never been a big eater, often skipping a day between meals. We are lucky to have had her booked as early as this with a surgeon who does this 4 times a day sometimes (never mind hip dysplasia in mid to big dogs–ask your vet about meniscus and ligament damage if your dog is having problems!). Throughout all of this, our beautiful useless good for nothing flop eared mutt has maintained her loving, patient, sweet disposition.She picked the right people to adopt when they visited the Calgary Animal Services, because we love her SO much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To help partially with the bill, i will be listing fabric packs this week (just give me a day or two to pull them together and list), as usual priced in Canadian dollars for decently sized packs (no scrappy bits) and as always too, will refund any extra shipping/postage paid.
Thank you all for your patience with the “irregular” posts here, for your support, your kind words and your faith in me.

Sort of a Sale: for the DogFaced Girl!

As is our usual practice to decompress, we went to the mountains for some much needed peace and quiet, some fresh air and exercise and to appreciate the natural beauty of where we live. DogFaced Girl *always* comes with us!

Unfortunately, DFG had some sort of accident! We had turned our backs to give her some privacy while peeing and were shocked by the biggest yelp of pain we’ve ever heard from her. She IS a wimp, partially due to her nature and partially to her bad hip, but this time was different. Because we didn’t actually see what happened, we surmised that she had either stepped in a hole, or slipped, and then wrenched her knee and hip, the end result being a torn knee ligament and further hip damage, as we found when we took her to the vet.

The only good part of this was that we had not ventured too far into the woods, because making her walk as far as she did to get back to the car was painful enough to watch and to participate in, for about 30 metres, the longest 30 metres of helplessness from both of us. We couldn’t carry her because the leg would drag and pull on her hip, she couldn’t walk for more than 3 steps without lying down and crying. Greyman moved the car so she could get in easier, but he still had to lift her back end in, not an easy feat with a crying 75 pound muttski!

Her hip is also much worse than we thought. We’ve known since we got her (a rescue dog) at 6 months that she has a bad right hip, but until we saw the xrays had no idea HOW bad. It was always slightly “off set” due to some fucking asshole picking her up by the back leg sometime in the first 6 months of her life, but the accident pulled her hip out of the socket even further.

We are waiting for referrals to either one or two surgeons who have to operate, once on her right knee and once on her right hip. The poor girl is so sweet tempered that all she does is whine, limp and flop down right now. She’s on a anti inflammatory, which should help with swelling and pain BUT she needs those 2 operations. And of course, they are quite expensive!

There is NOTHING we wouldn’t do for our furry babies, so to that end to partially finance some of the costs, i have decided that from Dec 1st to Dec 5th INCLUSIVE, all my shop ART will include the shipping/postage to anywhere in Canada or the Continental US. It may not seem a big deal to save that, but with postage costs on the increase, you will save a fair bit, especially since my prices are and always have been in Canadian dollars.

I thank you in advance for your support, whether it’s a purchase, a share of the information or a good healing wish, all is appreciated! The shop can be found at FybreSpace.

I need my Best Shop Assistant to be with me for a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time!


OH MY GAWDZ, my Indigo suffruticosa is getting flowers!!!!! It’s been under a professional level grow light since Sept 30th, has doubled its size and is looking properly woody shrubs and now there are flower spikes in the leaf axils!!!! I was going to harvest at the end of October, but I want to see now if the flowers go to seed. Hoofies crossed!

Advance notice, mark your calendar!

ONE DAY ONLY. Inglewood neighbourhood, Calgary, Alberta, Canada—-a bit more planning for me this year for logistics as i no longer reside there! (Figures, huh? 🙂 )

The Contextural Fibre Artists are coming together for their annual Christmas Artisan Sale. Join us to see original textile work and meet the artists. Contextural is a group of professional artists who meet to support each of our individual fibre practices. Our artists work with fibres or textiles in many different ways, from hand-dyed clothing and home decor to woven items, printed and painted fabrics, embroidery stitching and more. Admission is free. We are implementing all AHS Covid protocols to keep you safe and comfortable while you shop with us.


I have been in my studio, the Dye Dungeon and my stitching corner on the couch, working my hoofies down. (Yes, this busy bee has hoofies…)

In a sense, i have left it late to produce, but then again, i know my speed and hopefully can make a fair showing.

See you there, Locals!!!!



This bodes well. I bought Indigo suffruticosa seeds from the vaunted Deb McClintock in Texas, and soaking the seeds yielded what is usually the beginning colour of an actual indigo vat!


Of course, i don’t know if this is actually “normal”, and i don’t know how many will germinate or what success i will actually have at the end of the season, but WHOO HOO anyways 🙂

In Texas, Deb gets these to SEVEN feet tall, where they are also more of a perennial. Mine will certainly not reach that height, and our growing season is shorter, with cooler nights, but i’ma gonna baby these babies as much as i can. Whatever i can harvest is a bonus. I may have to store dried until next year when i have enough, but that’s worth the wait as well. Natural dyeing can be a long slow process, but that’s what it IS all about. I did grow indigo one year in a pot at the old house, but hail and an early frost got it when it was barely 3 feet tall and rather sparse. I still have the dried leaves though!

Hoofies crossed!

EDIT May 20—-15 of the 24 planted have sprouted–WHOOOOOOOOHOO!!!

bored bored bored attention span antidote

I’m so bored and going so squirrelly with a very short attention span, so keeping it simple. Never know what haphazard clamping and dyeing will result in! (Note this is ONE piece, but due to the IG algorithms, things have to be square to “fit”, so i had to “tile” it but oh what an idea now for other pieces!) Cutch on linen.

Now i want to do wider pieces! Repeats! Combos! Hey, boredom done with!

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.