Earlier this year I signed up for a few online workshops. One was Alchemy 2014 with Karen Ruane. I'm behind with that workshop, but made a lot of blocks ready to put together when I have spare moment. The other workshop I signed up to was Studio Journal with Sharon Boggon. The Studio Journal workshop started a couple of weeks ago. The first project I made for the workshop was the title page for my journal.
|Journal tittle page|
|Journal making in progress|
|Mark making exercise for week 1|
Update on my studio: A few people are calling my studio a Tree house. That name came to my mind too. After it went up I realised how high it really is. Higher than my apricot tree in our backyard. I think I will call it Tree house instead of just upstairs studio!
The Tree House has now got lights! We visited a lighting store last week and choose all the lights we need for it. The electrician came and installed them.
We started painting from the ceiling down. We actually finished painting the undercoat for the whole room. This photo was taken last weekend, but I didn't get a chance to blog it.
Recently I was introduced to tea drinking the old Chinese way. The particular tea I tried is called Pu-erh tea. Pu-erh tea is a variety of fermented dark tea produced in Yunnan province in China. I also found a traditional tea house close to where I live. It's called Milan Tea House. It's specialises in Chinese tea and tea drinking.
|Milan Tea House|
|Clay pots at Milan Tea House|
Wendy, the tea house owner is knowledgeable about Chinese teas and tea drinking ceremony. She spent a lot of time with us when we visited. The Milan Tea House doesn't just sell cups of tea. Wendy aims to educate her customers on healthy tea drinking habits. I have been back many times with my visitors. The shop has the feel of an olden day tea house in old cities in China.
I was taught to make and serve tea the traditional Chinese way. The first tea Wendy recommended to me was Pu-erh tea, the black fermented tea for 7-13 years. It takes getting use to the taste, but after a couple of months of regular drinking, I quite like it now.
Pu-erh tea is very dark and rich in tannin even after filling and refilling it many times it still leaves that dark rich colour. I put the used leaves in my pot plants the first couple of times, but now I use them in jar dyeing.
The richness of tannin is coating the outside of the bundle very nicely. I only had a peek, but will open it this weekend. Using tea for dyeing leads me to think about dyeing with ground coffee! Waiting for a cup of coffee one day I saw waste ground coffee being discarded in the bin. I thought that's a lot of tannin wasted!
I also wrapped and steamed more bundles and some jars last weekend. These bundles are now soaking in oak leaves bath. I hope to leave them there until spring before opening them.
This blog is taking a back seat lately, but you can visit my Instagram page where I post daily photos. The Tree-House is taking all our spare time in our weekends. We have to schedule our time with the builder's progress. We hope to get painting done this weekend and also to finish laying the flooring as well.
Until next time