Tuesday, 28 August 2012

recipe for a rainy Bank Holiday

Locate left over Procion dyes in the Big Shed

Gather cloth from the box of dyeing failures.
Some very pale and others dunked in thoix
to remove dyeing 'mistakes'

Make up soda ash

Soak cloth and apply dye

Batch over night  Rinse well, wash, dry and  iron

Make a cup of coffee and enjoy the results

It's still pouring with rain but I am smiling

three of the bigger pieces
and there is a shoebox of colourful bits

the colours are rich and strong, not bad
considering the made up dyes have
been stored for at least three weeks

Friday, 24 August 2012


I received an enquiry today about my indigo dyed threads. 
The e mail came from Hong Kong.

Intrigued, I contacted Jay, only to discover she 
needed them repair to repair this fantastic Boro quilt.

With her permission, here is the photo she sent

I am delighted to think my threads are going to be
used in such a way.   Jay has kindly offer to keep 
me posted with photos of the progress.  

Happy Day

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

we have another little family in residence

Mrs. Pigeon has been sitting on the nest for months
as a pigeon's nest goes, this one is very well made
I really thought this was just a hideaway from
pigeon world, no babies involved

wrong, lots of cheeping going on, and she is busy
there are babies

it's in the wisteria and just visible 
young Mr. Ben was delighted, 
quietly watching the two fledglings
being fed by Mum

Monday, 20 August 2012

a summer weekend

a present from the birds

the house busy with the boys
lovely evenings for eating al fresco on
the balcony

indigo workshop on Saturday which
necessitated the purchase of one of these

tropical heat and humidity - perfect
beautiful blues emerged
too busy to take photos

the vat is a good one
late this afternoon I will be
dipping and dyeing

a quiet Sunday, no visitors or students
time to stitch in the sun

two applique blocks

this year has been so chaotic
no time, or inclination to 'create'
energy drained - too much housework!

beginning to feel the need to get down
 to something 'serious' 
perhaps it's the sun, or the little local
difficulty has almost resolved itself.

happy days

Thursday, 9 August 2012

indigo experiment No 1

My indigo plants are looking quite healthy, after struggling through the
weird weather during the spring and summer.    Since the plants can be
harvested and will put on new growth I just had to start experimenting
with different ways to extract the indigo and make a vat.

the leaves were picked and weighed

shredded and added to water, with white vinegar

strained through muslin - and, being mindful
of not using domestic equipment, I found
Ben's fishing net did the business

cotton soaked for two hours


light mint

The process took about four hours.    It is a delicate colour.  I read
somewhere that the plant has to go through the heat of summer
for the colour to come.  Ha!    


I wrapped the sieving cloth around a copper pipe
it is now sitting in a jar filled with liquid from the vat
 I'll let it brew for a few days in the hot conservatory

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Time to play

Brushing up ahead of the workshop here on Saturday, I dusted off my paints and
silk screens, made up a gelatine plate ready to just play.

Two pieces made a couple of years ago

Ancient Story

A smal journal quilt.   The background is printed
with a gelatine plate.   The dark figures printed
with a silk screen which had a layer of flour and
water paste applied and then scratched into
before printing


Another silk screen with flour 
and water paste.

just playing - flour and water paste

mono printing

taking a line for a walk

mono print leaf

gelatine plate printing

two friends have birthdays this week
these prints have made 
a couple of nice cards

The  workshop took place at the weekend and it was great fun.   The plan worked well.
Preparing the flour and water screens first to allow them to dry.   Gelatine printing up to lunch time, and a bit beyond.   Time to put them back into the 'fridge before they returned to liquid.  We finished off with some mono printing.   A truly wobbly, and messy day.


Yes, we did come back from Naxos, just in case you were wondering!  Six 
glorious days of blue skies, a golden sun, and the warm turquoise sea.

The first couple of days found us asleep on any flat surface, day or night.
So good to get away and relax.

We hired a car to explore the island, up and over Mount Zas (fabulous name),
traveling the east and west coast.  

the countryside verges are all dried seed heads
and herbs which give off a very evocative smell

up in the mountains thyme is still growing in
the cooler air   beehives are scattered about
how I love Greek honey

as ever, the deconstructing boat

a donkey saddle

windmils  the old and the new

We came back refreshed, and brought the sun with us.  However, it didn't take 
long to slip back into the crazy mad world. Lots to catch up with. Family matters, 
visitors, blah de blah.    

Two day back and I had a lovely day at Walford Mill.  Two workshops with children.   
Dyeing t shirts and squares of fabric

in the morning it was Procion dyes

the afternoon devoted to indigo

it was a perfect summer day