July 26, 2015

The Gallery of Dye Stuff

I come to the conclusion that winter (our winter) is the best time for eco-dye and printing. Either there is something in the leaves plus water (not sure yet!) or it could be my over five years of dyeing experience, but who knows? Whatever it is, I'm happy with the results lately. 

You should always do what your heart tells you. My love of nature draws me to everything natural, handmade and home-made. Natural dye is so natural for me to get into. I still have long way to go. I really love to try more natural dye instead of just eco-dye, but that will come when I find more hours in my already busy life. It's okay though, because I'm happy with what I'm doing at the moment. 

Enough rambling about me. In this post I will share with you all sort of dye results I have been playing with. I've discovered new leaves (to me) all around me and I am trying them out. I dyed with a wool and silk blend scarf. Vintage wool fabric, vintage silk and even cotton that I'm so excited about! Please read the captions for details of each one. 

 Eucalyptus Amygdalina (peppermint)
on silk and wool blend scarf

Eucalyptus Nicholii (Narrow-leaved Black Peppermint)
on 100% vintage wool

Mixed Eucalyptus leaves on vintage wool!
Can you spot the face peering at you? 

Textures and seeds on vintage silk. Gorgeous prints!

Something green on vintage wool

Testing different leaves and fabric

Trash for some, but a treasure for me!
Maple leaves soaking overnight.

Mixed Eucalyptus leaves on 100%
cotton (exciting!)

I have recently been taking some time to photograph Eucalyptus leaves and trees for my own reference. It's possible with my iPhone always on hand wherever I go. I just put branches against the trunks so I can recognize them in the future. You love so you learn! I have also been taking before and after shot of the bundle wrapping process of each piece. 

Lemon scented gum. Eucalyptus Citriodora

This is the famous E-Cineria (Silver Dollar)

E-Sideroxylon (Black iron bark) and blue
gum on vintage silk

E-Nicholii on vintage silk

Lucky find: I found a couple of things that I consider to be lucky find. Not the usual lucky find from antique malls or op-shops, but from the garden!

Wild baby nettle plants I found near a construction site.
I've transplanted one into my garden. The witches garden.

Benches are my favourite objects to photograph.
This one was next to an E-Cineria tree and overlooking a pond!

I thought I didn't have much to blog about today, but in the end I do have enough fill a post!

It held another eco-dye workshop yesterday. It was partly cloudy with a little bit of sunshine, but it was very cold. I had warned the participants to wear something warm. It wasn't too windy! Wind is not dyeing friendly. It blows the leaves off the fabric! I will share the day with you on my next post. 

Until next time
Nat



July 15, 2015

Family Visit and some Dyeing Time

Our son and his family came to stay for a week and they just left this morning. The G-kids have to start back at school and their parents need to go back to workback to work. Unfortunately it was far too short. 

We had many sessions together at the Treehouse Studio. We stitched and created lots of small things. We also had a DS's birthday here. Mr Notjustnat and I arranged to take DGD for her first musical, The Lion King. She was thrilled and took it all in for a 6 and a half year old. We enjoyed it too!

My daughter-in-law Bron and I stole some time together and did some dyeing. The weather was as horrible as it could be this past week, but it didn't stop us putting on a couple of dye bundles! We also went out gathering some new leaves together too. In doing that we found some beautiful Australian native fruit Finger limes, and I made marmalade from them. A very busy, but productive week I would say!

Mr Bear enjoyed a visit to the Treehouse Studio

DS's Birthday Cake, raspberry cheesecake, yummy! 

One of the scenes from The Lion King, awesome show! 

DGD's framed eco-dye artwork. Never too
young to dye!

Various Eucalyptus leaves. Blue tint from red cabbage.

Intense green and red dyed on silk.

Eucalyptus leaves on wool.

Seriously red! Eucalyptus Nicholii on silk scarf.

With a little help from purple carrot.

Australian native fruit. Finger lime

Ruby red marmalade made with Finger Lime fruit

Below is a poster from one of my students Glenise who took my eco-dye workshop recently. She asked if I could spread the word for a good cause. Glenise is organizing a fun event to raise funds for Gembrook's CFA (Country Fire Authority). If you can, please support our CFA. They are doing a great job for our country communities.  


She has kindly offered me a table to sell or promote my dyeing products and workshop. I turned it down this time because it was too short notice and with our trip only around the corner. I can't fit another thing in!

Have you noticed I've changed my blog banner? What do you think? The weather continues to be horrid, and it will be the same for the rest of this week! Hope you all keeping well and warm or cool!

Until next time
Nat





July 4, 2015

Leaves Worth Dyeing For!

In this post, it's mostly about Leaves Worth Dyeing For! Since the eco-dye workshop a couple of weeks ago. I got all inspired and motivated to try more plentiful Eucalyptus leaves all around me. I was searching and learning names of some of the many Eucalyptus species growing in Australia. In doing so I came across a great and inspiring blog called Local & Bespoke. With my new found knowledge of the native trees I discovered that they are available right around me! So I'm having fun photographing and smelling them. 

Naturally in this post I have some new leaves and names to share with you. In the process of searching the web I came across another useful website Green Fingers: Australia Plant Society where I can always visit for more information. 

Following on from the last eco-dye workshop. Another date is now set for the next workshop on Sat. 25 July. I also have been thinking of offering a stitching workshop using dyed fabric. I'm working on piecing simple little stitch blocks for my next exhibition in 2016 (maybe!). So I thought I will use  the same techniques to teach in this workshop. 

An example of a simple little stitch block

With the new found leaves all around my neighbourhood I have tested them out. Some mixed results, but the main thing is I'm having a lot of fun doing it!

Image of Eucalyptus branch on the inside page
of my new Australian passport.

Extracting colour from various plants and flowers.
From top clockwise, Camellia petals, Rose leaves,
Mimosa buds and Ferns.

Extracting colour from Cedar autumn leaves.
It gives silk a lovely deep yellow!

A few more jars of various pods, barks and leaves. 

Some bundles soaking in a cast-iron pot

A tint of blue from one of the above bundles

Purple carrot and rose leaves on vintage silk. 

Eucalyptus Scoparia on Dupion silk

Eucalyptus Nicholii on silk/polyester fabric

Dyeing on paper is a new craze these days. I thought I would try and see how it will turn out! I only used recycled photocopy papers that I had on hand. When I stuffed a bundle I would do the same to papers as well. I steamed the paper in the same way as I did with the bundles. Below are the results I got from paper dyed.

A sea of papers laying out to dry

Outside page with string marks 

Eucalyptus leaves imprint

Rose leaves imprint

Another Eucalyptus imprint

Below are some photos of different plants/leaves I have been taking through the week on my daily walk. Some of you may have seen them on Instagram this last week. 

Winter Oak leaves

Eucalyptus Nicholii. A beautiful tree with reachable branches
(no, I did not break off the branch from the trunk)

Eucalyptus caesia flowers

Rusty tins from a road side, lucky find!

It's in the middle of winter here in Australia, and this weekend it is cold and wet. Good weekend to be indoor and that exactly what I'm doing, but I have something to look forward to. Our DS and his family are arriving this weekend! 

I hope your weekend is enjoyable whatever you are up-to. 

Until next time.
Nat





June 22, 2015

My Eco-Dye Workshop

A picture says a thousand words! A heavily photographed post again this time. I was glad I remembered to snap all these photos on that busy day to share with you. A couple of months ago I was contacted by Helen Dunn. Helen Dunn is my bestie Myra Dunn's sister-in-law. Helen is a quilter and belongs to the Patchworkers & Quilters of Victoria. Helen asked if I would conduct an eco-dye workshop for the members. I have only given a proper workshop once before, but not to say I haven't taught before free of charge. I was excited to be asked again. The date was set for last Saturday. 

I put a lot of planning into the workshop to make sure that the participants have good experience on their first eco-dye workshop. I included all materials in the workshop to make sure that the results turned out as well as I hoped for. I would like them to carry-on dyeing in future. As you can see from the photos below, the results speak for themselves. 

The workshop was divided into three parts. Morning wrapping and rolling then steaming. Midday break for tea and lunch then a visit to the Treehouse Studio for a show and tell of my projects made from eco-dyed fabric. Then we unwrapped bundles from the morning dye batch. Much excitement at this time! Afternoon we wrapped and rolled more bundles, this time for jar dyeing. While the jars were boiling/steaming we unwrapped more bundles of silk scarves. More excitement from the great results. 


Lovely like-minded ladies showing their first ever eco-dye fabric in a group photo. I hung my own dyed pieces to add atmosphere to the day around the deck.

The table set - ready steady go!

Silk laid out and leaves were stuffed ready
to roll.

Arranging the leaves as they please

Head down and ready to roll!

After steaming, the bundles were rested until
they cooled.

As part of the workshop I included a visit to the Treehouse Studio to share my projects made with eco-dyed fabric. I was amazed how many projects I have started since I began dyeing using the eco-dye method. This lovely group of ladies told me that they have been reading my blog so they were familiar with my Treehouse Studio. 




Once they were inside they were blown away by what they saw! I hope they left with some inspiration. 

After visited to the Treehouse Studio we unwrapped more bundles. The results they got were beyond my expectations. All the bundles got amazing prints on the silk they used. 



Leslie Edwards a pattern designer was
pleased with her piece.

Jocelyn Chavvidan showing her dyed cloth

Mandy Smith and her cloth.

Glenise Gallagher and her dyed scarf

Sarah Quilter happily showing off her scarf

All nine in the workshop and their scarves

Mandy and her scarf

A picture says a thousand words here. 

Sarah was on the lawn admiring her scarf

I think Leslie was pleased with her scarf too!

Glenise and her fabric dyed with silky oak

After I posted a few photos on Instagram and Facebook I received some inquiries for another workshop. So the next workshop date is set for Saturday July 25th. If anyone is interested in joining my eco-dye workshop please leave a comment here and I will get back to you. 

I also asked to give a stitching workshop using eco-dyed fabric. I have been thinking lately that I would really love to teach a stitching workshop. I will start on small pieces. A "simple little stitch". What do you think? As part of the ageing process one would like to pass on what one knows to younger generations. I think I'm one of those people who loves sharing! 

Until next time
Nat