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.


deanna7trees said...

your fabric dyeing is always beautiful. i'm very much attracted to your dyeing of paper....such beautiful results. would make great pages for little books. how lucky you are to have such a wide variety of beautiful eucalyptus trees. those pink flowers are outstanding. enjoy your time with family.

Needled Mom said...

The colors you are achieving are really wonderful and I LOVE that little stitching. Is that done with machine or by hand? Those are such tiny stitches.

The papers are so interesting and pretty as well. In the cast iron pot, I suppose that there is some pick up of color from the metal too...no?

Enjoy your houseguests this weekend. I'm sure you will be busy.

Jeannie said...

Gorgeous results with your dyeing. I keep telling my hummingbird mind to focus on what I am doing and then I see your results and think maybe I should try eco dyeing again. LOL! Your stitched piece is gorgeous. I love embroidery and its tactile qualities. I am amazed at the number of different eucalyptus. Have a fabulous weekend!!!

Terry said...

The stitching is lovely and enhances the dyed fabrics. The orange color is great. Enjoy the family ours is coming tomorrow. Happy Sunday

Penny said...

We are so lucky to have so many eucalyptus trees to try dyeing with here. Love that little stitchery.

Thesis writing service said...

Wonderful work you shared here. So creative

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Congratulation Nat on your upcoming workshop....how cool! Gorgeous colours you show us along with the paper! Enjoy your family tine!

neki desu said...

curious about the mimosa buds

Bev C said...

Hello Nat,

Oh my goodness, so much goodness to see here. Just love the carrot and rose fabric. Interesting to see the paper dyed as well. Your creative workshops will be a delight for the attendees.

Thanks for the links to the garden sites as well.

Happy days.

Els said...

I LOVE that first piece you're working on ... love to see it evolving ;-)
Your fabric is always great, but I admire the paper too !
Very special to see how much colour you can extract from plants

ARTISUN said...

Hey Nat, looks like you've been busy!! So wish I was closer. I'd be attending all your workshops :) Question for you, when you extract color do you do it only in water or do you add something to the water? Also, do you boil it or just let it steep in the sun?

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ria vogelzang said...

Hi Nat, so great to see your dyeing creativity! Hope everyone is well and you all had a lovely time!
Great those little tins!
Love, Ria.

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