Dyeing, sketching, shopping….

These two tree trunks both have lichen on them.  The curly lichen is found absolutely everywhere in NZ.  My mother’s best friend, Dulcie, used this lichen to dye her cream wool and got the most gorgeous chartreuse colour.  I wish she was still alive so that I could ask her how much lichen she needed, what mordants etc.  When I was in high school I helped her collect it off the fence posts.  There were always lots of big white buckets with wool and weird plants soaking in her laundry.  I wonder if she wrote notes…..  Although I was fascinated, being a teenager, I didn’t pay enough attention to what she was doing.  I love the texture of the lichen and have added these two photos to my growing bank of textures.

I am quite confused about the whole Procion mx dying thing.  There are quite a lot of conflicting notes, views, stories about what you can and can’t do.  One of the stories is that once you have added the soda ash to the mix it goes off and won’t dye well after 4 hours.  So here is my experiment.  The dye mix was  Navy, Marine blue and medium blue, 1tsp of each powder, mixed together with 1 cup of water and 1 tb of urea.  Both pieces of fabric were prewashed , soaked in soda ash, dried, ironed and then dyed from dry.  The dark navy  was scrunched and put into a large plastic beer cup then had the dye poured over.  Quite a lot of dye mix was left with the fabric and I added about half a cup of the soda ash mix about half an hour after pouring in the dye, mainly because someone said this made the colours more vivid.  I had also used this mix to dye the batting last week.. and this also had about a cup of the soda ash mix added to it.  All of the left over dye including what was left from dyeing the batting was poured into a large cup.  Then a week later I dyed the second piece.  Because I wanted this piece lighter anyway I also added extra water to make it about 60/40.  This second piece was folded, pleated and rubber banded then put into  a small shallow dish.  I just turned the edges around in the dish to get the colour on and left it overnight.  Its not too bad!  I still have some of this mix left to try again next week, so I will let you know how it goes. This is a design I  drew up this morning after looking at some photos sent to me by my friend, Pam.  The photos are a quick tutorial by Carol Bryer Fallert.  If you click on her name it should take you to the photo set on Flicker.   Other wise you can go to her website – http://www.bryerpatch.com  This is quite an interesting website, she is very inspiring.  She has a lot of information about printing on fabric with Bubble Jet Set.  I really like the negative spaces in this sketch which is why I got out the big thick black marker!

Last Friday I went to Brisbane, I wanted to have lunch with my daughter who is a bit stressed about having to present for her Confirmation of PHD Candidature.  I also went to a caterer’s supplier called the Black Pearl.  I had found out that Chefs use sodium alginate.  So Mark called Absynthe to see where they got their sodium alginate and the answer was The Black Pearl.  I found the stuff, called Algin, imported from Spain, and $55 per can!  I will just wait patiently for my order to come from Dharma Trading.

This little heart is for Valentines Day!  It is made with scraps of wool attached to a wool base with an embellishing machine, then a few hand stitches added.  While I had the machine out I also attached some fabric scraps to a batting base, when I have made something with this I will post a photo.  I needed to get the embellishing done so that I can return the machine to its owner!  I can do the same with a felting needle but the embellishing machine is much quicker and you get a much neater finish.

Happy Valentines Day!


5 Comments on “Dyeing, sketching, shopping….”

  1. PamelaJ says:

    Interesting concepts. I knew you would love the Carol Bryer Fallert site. I found it fascinating. I love the heart Maybe I can make one when my machine comes home.!

  2. karen says:

    Isn’t it fantastic that Carol Bryer Fallert is so generous passing on information.

  3. Laraine Lord says:

    I love any kind of heart but there’s something about checks that add a zing. Will look at the website of Carol Bryer Fallert.

  4. I savour, lead to I discovered exactly what I used to be taking a look for.
    You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  5. Elisabeth says:

    Hello there, You have done a fantastic job. I will definitely
    digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

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