Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Eco Printing/Dyeing....

A couple of weeks ago some good friends and I visited a local Crafters Spring Market. It was a fun day out! And of course seeing many of the items for sale in my head and out loud I say I can do that or I have read about that....

Information. I am an information junkie! This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing because I am not afraid to try new things. Bad thing because I find it hard to focus on what things to do. I am like a squirrel running around trying to do it all!

So after our day out I offered to eco dye some scarves with my friends.

I hadn't done it before but of course had read about it. Followed the andthenwesetitonfire blog posts on the subject, googled you tube clips and checked out India Flint' s website who wrote a wonderful book on the subject.

I already had some blank silk scarves and had been collecting rusty metal and had an old canning pot that had seen better days.

I went to the local re use it store and supplemented my rusting metal collection and bought some old pails.

I was ready!

I invited the girls over after I had got the equipment ready and tables covered.

We watched a few you tube video's and I answered a few questions.

Now remember that we are total newbies to this process and they have never done any kind of dyeing before.

Here my friend Alice is setting up a piece of treated cotton with her chosen plants. She is a very knowledgeable plant person and came with many different forged plants. 

This is my friend Caroline. She also is a very knowledgeable plant person and worked as a florist. The flowers she choose came from some beautiful left overs from her son and daughter in law's wedding. These are treated silk scarf blanks. 

Here are the four of us. Alice, me (Jo), Caroline, SueAnn poising for prosperity sake! 

My re purposed canner is filled with rusty water silk scarf bundles on copper pipe and branches. The cotton bundles went in too! My kids did not think that this looked at all appetizing but it did smell quite nice with a vinegar and eucalyptus smell!

Next day was the reveal after everything had cooked and cooled. Notice my old wash tub comes in handy and my dog lurking behind in the next picture. 

We hosed the fabric off with my garden hose to remove the remaining leaves and debris. 

Again Moe the wonder dog had to be underfoot the whole way!

Cotton piece


All in all it was a great project. For the ones of us that went with just wing it  mode it was a great surprised  to how the scarves turned out. For us who wanted a controlled outcome were surprised and trying to analyze what and why happened. 

Lessons Learned

Learn more about the process... so I can understand what causality. 

Buy more scarves and fabric... so I can experiment more. 

Do some controlled experiments... so I can be more intentional about placement and effects. 

Record results I can remember what I did in the experiments. 

Buy India Flints Book Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes For Beautiful Textiles .... so I can do all of the above! 

I did order India's book while at my sisters in the US last week and spent a good time reading it. Now I need to go back and make some notes as to what experiements to do from the plants in my own back yard. Today I also plan to order some more silk and cotton to play with. So you may be seeing some more experimentation in the next few weeks! 

I am linking up with 

Mid Week Makers

Have a wonderful week.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

WIP Wednesday.....and thoughts on blogging

I have all kinds of things to post about until I sit down to post. Then I think who wants to hear this or are they interested in that... ?

So I have been reading a bit about blogs and what would interest people. There is a whole lot of advice to get more readers or increase your following. Does it become a numbers game of what makes you more in to read.

So I thought why do I read the blogs I do?
In no special order it is
- work I am interested in
- a story
- developments
- experiments
- learning something
- someone who asks questions and really takes the time to listen and reply to comments

I guess I feel like it is a community a give and take.

My favourite Blog for sharing, learning and experimentation is andthenwesetitonfire Judith and Beth are wrapping up the blog this month. The commitment these and  the other  co- bloggers have put in is amazing and for no benefit really to them accept the joy of doing it. They are going to leave the content up so you can go there to still see all the wonderful work that has been done.

If you have enjoyed their blog please do use the link to leave them a thank you for the work they and others have done.

Another blog I enjoy is Elizabeth Barton She is a wonderful author, teacher and artist! She talks about her work, teaching and asks questions! I enjoy reading her blog very much. Please check her out if you like to learn more about art quilting and you can also take her classed at academy of quilting
Sample I did in an Elizabeth Barton class online. 

Over the next while I am going to write why I like the blogs I do.... It would be great if you would share some great blogs with me.

Another thing I am going to try to do is finally document some of the experiments I have done on certain subjects. Usually I find a topic that I want to investigate and research. Often I take pictures and plan to write up what I have done. I like to learn this way. It gives me tools for my toolbox. I hope to point you to the books, DVDs and resources that I have come across.

Then my other goal will be to document my own journey. This may be my own Fibre Art or my more run of the mill sewing for home, family etc. I still love to traditional quilt for my family and think I will continue to do so.

So what I have I been up to this week? It is working on not much. I had great intentions but have spent the time with my sister and her family. Watching live soccer games, movies, and just hanging out.

I have been trying to do some hand quilting on the baby quilt for our first Grandchild due in 3 weeks. It won't be done for the shower next week but the baby will be in a bassinet for the first few weeks anyway.
Picture on phone.....uggh

I also finished up this for the Art Gallery of Burlington for a call for blocks for the 150 year anniversary of Canada. Of course this is  on my beloved peach blossoms of Niagara. Growing fruit in the area of Niagara I grew up in and still live is near and dear to my heart.
Peach tree in Niagara 12"x12" block for AGB

I am starting to update my experiments with Lutradur so I have created a page on my header. First done is the references I used. 

Hope you have a great week. I am linking to

Please share your favourite blogs with me! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thats What Friends are for....

Today is a wonderful day. I sit and hear the birds singing, the sun shining and only a few tasks on the to do list. None of them items I  hate....well maybe the dishes.

But that is not what makes it a wonderful day. Today is the day when at 5:30 or 6 pm DH walks through the door and is officially retired. My best friend will be spending a lot more time with me and also doing the things he has wanted to do for a long time.

In the worlds standards he is young to retire.... 57. But he has been a smart guy all these years with our finances despite my fabric habit and my book habit. It is actually me that worries about finances. My mom said it best when she said Jake wouldn't do it if he knew there was a risk.
Jake at Canada's Wonderland the summer before we were married. Always has been up to do what I ask for a laugh. 

It is interesting to hear peoples comments from joy for us to I think a bit of envy. And if I know my hubby he will be humble and down play the whole event. We celebrated with our wonderful kids on Saturday at his favourite restaurant. And he said you can have anything on the menu. My beloved did not choose a steak but his favourite a Panzorotti.
So happy to be a Dad with each one of our 3 children but here he is in 1990 shortly after our DD was born. 

When asked at work if they could throw him a potluck he declined it. So it is cake at 3pm in the lunch room. My guy just goes quietly about his work with a lovely quirky sense of humour.
Here in 1995 we posed at my sisters wedding. Our family.

He even worked a full week longer than his notice date given last December because there was more info to pass on and work to get done before he left. And has suggested he go in a couple days a week after we take a few weeks to visit the cottage and my sister.
On his 40th birthday with his mom! Year 2000

He is a good guy and I am so blessed to have him. I look forward to having my best friend around doing what he likes, what I like and what we like.
Always leaning into a pose! Year 2005

Playing on Vacation in his beloved Vacation shirts! Year 2010

So we are in another phase of life. Kids grown and well on their way. Grandchild on the way. And some time to be together a bit more. Many don't get this chance.
See that love of the Vacation Shirt! And the spirit of fun ! Year 2015

It is my hope and prayer we use it wisely, to value it's worth, to help others as opportunities arise and support those who come in our path. And I know this man who I have been married to for 31 years will do it as he has done his work life, quietly, diligently, lovingly, with honour and with a quirky sense of humour.

Doing what he loves! 2017

Love you hunny!