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getting crafty

I love getting crafty.

Turning my dye experiments into something useful or playful is always full of surprises and learning. Here's some pics of crafty little projects that motivate me to keep dancing with the plants!


botanical dye easter eggs

When the Dolores Library asked me to teach a class in naturally dyed Easter eggs, I said sure :) And went home to figure it out! Here's some of the samples I prepared to gauge how well the different flowers, fruits and vegetables would take to the eggs. 

making paint

Sometimes when I'm finished with a dye bath I'll make a "lake pigment" which means separating the pigment from the majority of the liquid. From there, you can make different kinds of paint and ink. Here's my grandkids making art with botanical watercolors.


bundle dye

These silk scarves were made by participants at last fall's bundle dye/ecoprint and mordant painting workshop here at Bluebird Dye Gardens, taught by fiber artist Nadene of Idyllwilde. The intensity of pigment from the flowers with this direct-contact process is amazing!

a pillow for oatie

This Christmas I made my 2-year-old grandson a body pillow that ended up being a three-foot-long worm.

It's cotton flannel and felted wool, dyed in baths of marigold, cosmos, dyer's chamomile, scabiosa, and woad.


felted trivet

After doing lots of small-batch dye bath tests on wool roving, I felted this trivet. Some pieces were kind of small, so I secured some spots with hand-stitching.

solar bath

A lot of the scraps for crafting come from experiments like this. I've become a big fan of the solar dye bath because it requires no energy other than the sun, and over time the colors intensify and sometimes radically change!


bundle dye vs. ecoprint

Distinct plant imprints can be made by deliberate placement of the botanicals on the fabric, then covering the fabric with parchment paper or plastic wrap before bundling. This process, and others like it, is called eco-printing and often uses steam, leaving an imprint of the plant rather than a fuzzy blob of color. But sometimes you get the blob too!

a work-in-progress

My granddaughter requested a "horsey pillow" for her birthday, which is next week. Here's the front and back panels, dyed before assembly. The cotton flannel on the left had a chokecherry dye bath followed by Black Magic Bachelor's Button bundle dye. On the left is cotton that had a Hopi Black Dye Sunflower dye bath, followed with a bundle dye of the same.

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