Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The flowers are calling.

From now until our first frost it is such an exciting time for natural dyeing. The flowers are lush and full, with more plants blooming every day.  It's time to harvest and dye!
Last week I picked an assortment of  yellow/orange flowers I knew would produce a good dye to make a sampler of sorts. The flower include calendula, gaillardia, cosmos, and dyers chamomile.

They all left their prints with cosmos taking center stage.

I wasn't too excited about the black-eye-Susan's, when just placed in a pot and simmered they produce a dull gold. But when I wrapped them in wool and steamed them

they gave a beautiful, colorful print.

I think this would make a cute scarf with my black winter coat.

I can't remember the name of this flower but it was so bright and intense I gave it a try.

Not too exciting.

I added a row of cosmos to the weaving.

Did you ever see cuter bean plants?

The humming birds love the orange flowers.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Playing with summer flowers

My little neighbor girl came over and put a few rows in the loom. We picked daisies and added a row of them, then a row of wool.

The daisies looked like a row of white lace.

Our last row was a whole mullein plant.

I planted dyers chamomile last Spring and there were few blossoms ready to use.

They look like yellow daisies and are full of dye.

I placed them on wool and a silk scarf. Steamed and let them set a week.

The silk scarf doesn't show the detail to well but the wool really does.
I'm now making a wool scarf with the flowers for my daughter for winter.

My gaillardia  (blanket flowers) are ready to pick and dye with also. I rolled these up in a silk scarf.

After a week, the silk scarf is full of color, some purple, yellow and a little rose, it looks like water coloring. The wool scarf on the right I dyed a couple of years ago, the color stayed wonderfully.

Spring, Summer and early Fall my favorite Saturday morning ritual is to get up early, make a chai latte and wander around the yard picking flowers for the house. If there aren't many flowers blooming I pick a bouquet of herbs or in the Fall branches of colored leaves.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

St. Johns wort and Vacationing

St. John's wort (also know as St. Joan's wort) is a medicinal and natural dye plant. It grows along the  roadsides here.  I've been very busy working and packing to go camping but that didn't matter it was time to harvest and dye with it. Working with plants you go by their time not yours. I love that, it keeps you moving, no procrastinating! My post is about dyeing with the flowers but Peggy has a great post on preserving St. Joan's wort for medicinal use. "Peggy we need to know more about what you will use it for".

Close up, see the tips of the stamens and the raggedy edge to the flower petals,
the moment they made contact with the wet wool and silk red dye came off them.

You can see the dye coming through before I even steamed them.

A week later I have spring green and purple print fabric.

It looks a lot greener in real life.

The left over stems I wove into my weaving.

I don't know if I already showed you this wonderful face/neck toner but this one is worth repeating. It is very easy all natural toner any one can make:  1/2 cup of distilled water
1/4 cup of witch hazel
8 drops of your favorite essential oil scent
Pour into spray bottle and shake.
I keep mine in the refrigerator, it's nice and cool when you come in from the heat or wake up in the early morning. You'll love it.

Off we went last week to our favorite wilderness campground.
The boys fished,

and fished.

Learned to kayak (thank you Vicky!)

The wild roses were in bloom all around the lake,

the water lilies were blooming,

the mushrooms were just starting to peek through,

I've never seen such a variety of mushrooms,

can't wait to come back.

When I had free time I sat on our little dock and quilted. This was printed with dyers coreopsis. I'm quilting around the spots to make them into little flowers.

I put a few stitches in leafy boarders.

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo