Sunday, 14 September 2014

out of the baskets

A splendid workshop on Saturday, with wonderful enthusiastic students.

the baskets of Banjara work investigated

this one has a collection of dowry and envelope bags

in here a collection of stitched squares and small bags
the shiny piece at the top is a 'hair band' all jingly with
bells, mirrors and paise (old coinage)

I had no idea my collection was so large!

I have been gathering over the years
this piece was bought in Goa
it looks very dirty, but, in fact is is old
I think the threads were dyed with natural dyes and
over the years have faded    the brighter colours might
be from 'fast' dyes or, perhaps chemical dyes

the actual size of the piece is 34 x 24 cm
the stitches are so tiny a magnifying lens is needed
to really study them

amongst the treasures, this little piece

I spend the morning on Baga beach, Goa, stitching with
Anil, Laxmi and Rajeh - lovely memories

so a happy day was spent - after studying the textiles that spilled 
out from the baskets, each student worked on a piece of fabric
measuring 20 x 20c, taking inspiration from the colours,
stitching, and embellishments.

interesting work in the making  I'm looking forward to seeing
some finished pieces when next we meet

a lovely end to the Summer 2014 workshops

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

more blue!

in fact quite a lot of it.     Indigo workshop at home on Saturday, and then the very last one of 2014 with the lovely ladies of Sherborne West Country Embroiderers.

The vat was set up in the lovely grounds, with two very convenient trees for the washing line.

hubble bubble

dipping and dyeing

it was the best summer ever for indigo

autumn colour, a tad early - three weeks apparently
probably brought on by the lack of rain 
everything in the garden is looking a little sad

still, we can enjoy the Indian Summer a while longer
according to the weathermen  and I am not complaining

Monday, 1 September 2014

hello September

Of mist and mellow fruit fullness - we have mist, or rather the remains of smoke from a landfill site about four miles away.   Can't open windows 'cos the smell is awful!

The last two weeks of August were a combination of getting out and about,  enjoying the weather, sitting on very comfortable new sofas and finally giving the kitchen a good tidy, a scrub down and discovering the joy of clean cupboards.    So all spic and span, feeling very virtuous.  Decorating materials put away.

the Kurta quilt is on the wall

The last of Art Festival children's tie dye workshop on Friday.   I was swamped, didn't really have time to totally unpack.      At the end of the day I worked out that over two sessions I sent out into the world eighty seven fabulous t-shirts and with their happy makers.    Hoping I might receive photos of the finished t-shirts eventually.   With no fear. or preconceived ideas, there were fabulous colours combinations.     

print from dyed t-shirt on cardboard - love it!

On Saturday I did absolutely nothing, that is after I cleared all the dye pots and brushes and put all the workshop paraphernalia away.   

On Sunday we spent a very pleasant day at the end of Bournemouth pier, watching the Air Festival.   Posh fish and chips for lunch.  As we were high up and some of the planes were flying low, the pilots were visible as they whizzed by.     Blue skies and 20c, who could ask for more!

looking over towards Shell Bay - Poole Bay was full of boats of every description.

the fabulous Red Arrows

The Lancaster, it's huge!
thoughts of my father-in-law who was a Lancaster pilot, aged 23

Whilst I was dealing with the mini dyers on Friday, Keith took Ben to the
 Air Show.  First stop, the Birds of Prey area.    Here he is asking the Barn 
Owl to look at the camera

Sunday, 17 August 2014

a colourful week

The children's workshop on Tuesday was pretty full on - no pix!
a gazebo was set up outside the restaurant on lovely decking
oh dear, we moved it on to a grassy area - can you imagine the
result after dyeing t shirts, forty three in all, should you ask!

People strolled through the garden, interested in what we were
doing. As one group of children finished, another group formed.

Buddhist monks sat around relaxing. Perhaps they felt at home.
Tie dye flags and t-shirts?   Could have been McLeod Ganj.
(they were performing in a concert that evening)

Yesterday was a much more relaxing workshop.

Babs taking out ties on a muslin scarf
on the line indigo with soy wax resist

Mary's amazing clamped cloth
it's oxidising at this point

comos daisies with spots of blue

another fantastic day

after a post workshop tidy up I grabbed a slightly grubby pair of
white churidar (Indian trousers).     Fork and cotton bud pattern

over dyed potato print rings

Definitely the last indigo workshop here in 2014(!) 
is on 6 September - a couple of places available

Monday, 11 August 2014

summer tie dye

Two workshops this month as part of Arts Week organised for the school holidays.     Last year I was overwhelmed with eager little dyers.     Forty t-shirts (in one day - but I did have a helper, thank goodness).     

First one is tomorrow.   I am gathering all I need today.    Loads of t-shirts in different sizes, old shirts and rubber gloves to ward off spilt dye - plus advice on putting feet firmly under the table.   Well, we don't want dye on posh trainers do we?!!!

a few essential ingredients

chickpeas, rubber bands and sponge brushes

pots of dye ready to go

I've been taking children's workshops for years.   Over time the workshops been refined - hints and tips to myself!    The children have no fear of colour, love splashing painting on the dye, and, if time permits there are always squares of cloth to make flags. 

however, there is something new to consider

the loom band monster!

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

annual outing

Summer Blast at Walford Mill (  A fabulous range of workshops for children, and I get to take the dyeing workshop.

first I upgraded some patterns

bulls eye

                                                               accordion pleats


it was chaotic and colourful fun 

In the morning there were nine eager students.  T-shirts and squares of fabric were bound, tied and pleated ready to be dyed using  dozens of elastic bands and handfuls of chickpeas

The afternoon I set up a small indigo vat.   A different pace to this workshop.     Eight students this time who spent an hour preparing their t shirts and fabric.   Then the magic of the indigo vat was revelled.    The enthusiasm was amazing.   I explained how to use the vat.    They listened, and then just splashed away!  Rivulets of indigo, bubbles in the vat.
There was also lots of smiles and laughter plus a very impressive line of blue cloth.

A little bit of the washing line.   The t-shirts have been bound using large stones gathered from round and about.    I can tell you that the shapes emerged were wonderful    The now blue stones were returned from whence they came.

Sadly no other pics - too involved in dipping and dyeing.    I have to thank Jazz my very able assistant, and the children who were marvellous.   Maybe some of they are wearing their master pieces today!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

the vat is still going, with a little addition of Hydros and indigo  to sharpen it 
even more cloth dipped and dyed yesterday - such a lovely stack of blue
piling up - there is a quilt in there somewhere


lavender harvest

an abundance of French parsley

Tiny Tom tomatoes growing by the table on the balcony

add parsley, thyme, chives, oregano, Greek basil plus
'cut and come again' salad leaves, all you need is a
plate and French dressing to complete a salad