Thursday, May 30, 2013

Plants, Flowers, Colour

Recently we've planted a bunch of new things in the garden, some herbs, vegetables, and flowers.  One that I was looking at last season was false indigo (Baptisia).  I just added a small one to the garden last week.  It can, apparently, be used as a dye plant, like 'true' indigo, though does not produce as good a blue colour.  I will have to wait until the plant is a bunch bigger, at least 2-3 growing seasons I think, before it's big enough to try it. It's got buds on it so once the flowers come out I'll share a picture.  I've also got rhubarb, beets (not a dye plant, but maybe a good stain?), red onions, and possibly other things that might make good dyes or stains.

Also, I'm going to be changing the layout of the blog shortly, so if you notice anything that isn't working properly, let me know?  Thanks!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Leaf Prints

So many plants have great shapes and textures.  Yesterday I was feeling a little badly about neglecting my artwork in favour of the outdoors, so I decided to bring the art outside.  I set up a little space on the patio table, newspapers as a table cover, a small sketchbook, old paintbrush, bottle of black India ink, brayer for pressing/rolling, and a small selection of leaves from the garden.  Especially in the breeze, the ink dries quickly, so only ink one piece at a time, but the idea is simple - brush the ink onto the leaf, top and/or bottom side, place on a blank page, cover with the next page or a scrap piece of paper, roll the brayer over top (this helps get a better print, though you can just rub with your hand or put some weight on the page), then gently open the page and remove the leaf to see the print.  If the first print had lots of ink, you can sometimes get a faint second print.  Here are two of the best ones from yesterday:

The first is celandine (a wild plant), the second is top and underside of lovage (an herb).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Textile Museum

Friday and Saturday the Textile Museum of Canada (in Toronto) had its yardage sale fundraiser - they gather donated fabric, notions, patterns, garments, crafts, yarns, books, etc. and have a tent sale each May.  I went on Friday, and scored some super beige silk dupioni (which I use in both my butterflies, and my clutches), 4.6m + 1m for $20!  I also got two bags of wool fibre, and a cute frog pattern 'batik' style piece of quilting cotton. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Sorry it's been almost a month since I updated.  I've been working on adding and reorganizing my website content, gardening, cooking, watching soccer, and so on.  I've decided to add thin cord straps to my silk clutches, so I am working on those.  The MARTY Awards were handed out on May 9th, and you may remember I was nominated in the Creative Community category - I'm happy to tell you I received an honourable mention!  I also attended, and donated a silk clutch to, the Ontario Crafts Council's Maker Shaker cocktail party & silent auction fundraiser, a social media workshop, and hope to check out the Textile Museum's yardage sale this weekend. 

I have also been watching the spring birds, and have started a personal blog on that subject, so if you're interested in casual birdwatching, gardening, backyard wildlife, and such, you should follow!  Visit A Year of Birds