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 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









June 12, 2015

Textiles Books and Historic Tree

Not many creations in the last couple of weeks. The shorter winter days make me feel like snuggling in and get comfy in the evenings instead of being active. I have a few projects on the go that I should get on with! Ha, but I'm just too lazy! 

I did make a trip to Kazari Ziguzagu last week to check out for some vintage indigo fabric that my friend asked me to get for her. It was a lovely visit as always. I found some great textile pieces that I took photos of (not bought!). 

While I was looking for vintage indigo fabric for a friend I found some for ME (naturally) from an online shop KimoYes as well. 

I did put some stitching on my swirling cloth I'm making into a blog book cover. The problem with working without pattern is that I sometimes get stitcher's block so I have to leave it for a while. Does that happen to you too? Anyway, read the captions on each photo to see what else I did. 

Leaping bunny on Noren, indigo Katazome

Vintage Japanese textiles from KimoYes

A hemp Yukata is ready to be de-constructed, Kazari Ziguzagu

Swirly weaving with added stitching

Naturally dyed samples pieced into Bojagi cloth

Ayako's crochet blanket displayed by Cobie Lee.
Wednesday craft

Another Coptic binding book

Books and friends. Dot Christian, Ro Bruhn and Jacky Williams

Colourful Eucalyptus leaves found on a windy day

Lucky find 



I'm excited to share my lucky find with you! It's not like any lucky find I've shown you before. This time it is an historic Eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis). It is approximately 400-500 years old so it predates European settlements in Australia. River Red Gums can live up to 700 years or more. I discovered it on the campus where I work. When standing next to it, I feel like standing next to those movable trees in 'Lord of the Ring'!  

After 10 years of working here I thought I had discovered all the gardens and trees on this campus, but when I found this grand old tree I couldn't help but get excited. I have organised to take my colleagues to view the tree next Monday. A real treat for us all. 

Until next time.
Nat