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Monday, January 31, 2011

Cyclone Yasi

Picture from NASA of Cyclone Yasi.

Poor Queensland just can't get a break. To all of my customers and friends in Queensland-I will be thinking of you as will the rest of Australia and the blogging community. Members of my family experienced cyclone Tracey and from their experience, I imagine there is a lot of concern and preparing going on now. So best wishes and heartfelt concern to you and yours.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

And it Rusts!

This is a variety of rusty stuff that I have used on some linen and cotton fabric.


This is 3 days on from when I first wrapped the pristine white linen around the outdoor brazier.

Looks like some ribs to me.


Unwraping the soaking pile of linen and cotton, 2 days on.




Mmmmm, ok I guess. Needs more though, so wrapping it up again.


Into plastic and weighted down with stones to increase the connection with the rust.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rusting Fabric and Maria Apostolou

2 linen shirts, cotton scarf and a badly dyed silk piece all dipped in a solution of mild vinegar and water.
Chosen piece of rusty outdoor equipment. A fire that keeps Dean warm when he is outside making his brews. Dirty and rusty! ( I mean the fire, not Dean)

Wet Linen wrapped around and held in place with plastic wrap.


Black garbage bag over the top to stop it drying out and encourage solar heat.


Dean called out from inside- "what are you doing?" I called back- "wrapping your fire grate in wet linen." What else would I be doing?
Tomorrow I go looking for more interesting rusty stuff for the rest of the fabric. Thanks to Rae for supplying yet more goodies from the op shop.

Here is Butterball relaxing no matter what. Taking a short break from attacking absolutely everything and anything. In my next life, I am definitely coming back as a cat.


And....I had to overdye Vespa mulberry silk. White patches! That's what you get when rushing. I know this too, but I still occasionally think I can get away with it. Have to say though I love anything I over dye. It always looks more yummy than when I get it right the first time.



This lovely piece is by Maria Apostolou. Her work is amazing and unique. Especially her silver jewelery.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dyeing Paris


First pics are of the birthday cake I made for Tashi on the weekend. Heaps of chocolate.

There she is, sweet 15. Best friend of Brianna.
AAAANNNNNND, how I worked out the Paris colourway.


So here is the photo I love on the ipad. I've looked and decided that the most striking, or dominant colours are silver, blue, pale terracotta and stone. I asked Dean what he thought were the most significant colours and he basically said the same. Though he called the blue -grey!

Once I've worked that out, it's about selecting which dye colour I have that most resembles the colours I want. Then I mix, dilute, saturate and play with them until I get it right. I usually do this on silk yarn or wool fibre.

This grey is too dark, it's in the picture, but is too dominant and needs paling down. The first blue wasn't right either- which is why it's followed by a subtly different blue- so subtle you probably can't see the difference.

Trying it out on mulberry silk. It's the same dark grey but it comes out different on fibre.

Better blue and grey on the right.


Once I'm kind of happy, I set it in the microwave and check it when it is dry. Luckily it's a hot day. It can look so different when it's dry. I don't dare dye a big batch until I have checked it dry.


Yarns are silk, they wont get the cream colour that I set into the wool and slushie. There is only so much room on one hank. if I try and cram too many colours on, it becomes all about the secondary colours that are created at each transition.


The real test for me of whether a colourway works or not is when I twist it into a spiral.


So here is the slushie,

and here is the mulberry silk. Did I get Paris? I am thinking I wont know that answer until I visit in the flesh. What do you think?




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What does a dyer do on her day off?





Dye of course! But, this time with tree resin and ash from the fire. Sorry no 'before' pics, or pics of the tree. I can tell you I picked red/ black resin off the bark of a Eucalyptus tree on the banks of the Goulburn river and placed it in an enamel pot to simmer with a handful of white ash from a fire made from Eucalyptus wood. I simmered the concoction for about 45 minutes and left it to cool. ( I did not stir or cackle like a witch in Macbeth. Rinsed it off in the river ( which is rich with tannins) and out with a lovely hand stitched linen (or cotton, I can never tell which) doiley that someone had lovingly stitched years ago. I found this treasure in a Warrandyte Op- shop. The shirt front is linen- very good quality, never worn. ( Buttons would not do up over a certain area) So any item of clothing that offends me by reminding me I am not a size 12 ( or 14, or......) gets ripped up and redyed. My other dye attempt with leaves sucked, so I will have to try it again. You live and learn....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time to Breathe.





I took off Saturday for Jamieson to set up camp on the banks of the Goulburn river. It must be the only place in Victoria not in flood. Came back today to a full load of emails, then I realized I didn't actually let anyone know I was going....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Strange Times

Where I live in warrandyte, we usually prepare for bush fire threats. We check the weather every day, pack special belongings into a box that we can put in the car at a moments notice, I keep the cat cages and dog's lead near the front door. Important papers are stored together and a fire plan carefully considered and agreed upon. According to the Victorian emergency services, people who live in warrandyte are living in the most dangerous place for potential bush fires in Victoria. So, on the 11 th and 12 th of January each year, I am prepared for evacuation. This January has to be the weirdest yet. I found my self checking storm water drains to ensure they were clear of debris, diverting drain paths away from shed where I work and watching the rainfall radar on the weather site. Apparently now I need to be prepared for flash flooding! In Warrandyte! In the middle of our traditional bushfire season.
I spent the last week watching the horrendous pictures coming out of Queensland, floods, immense loss of property, livelihood, tragic loss of life. It is biblical in size, pictures of snakes and crocodile been washed into people's yards freaked me out. Floods in Queensland, bushfire in Victoria, both in New South Wales. That's how it goes, but it seems the patterns are changing. Anyway, I am fine where I am as long as I don't have a snake or crocodile knocking at my door anytime soon. Look out Perth, apparently you are in for some tropical humidity......

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Challenge


I bought this beautiful photo from Etsian Petekdesign because the colours were so sublime. So my challenge tomorrow is to interpret this in dye and create a new colourway for The Thread Studio for a new Series based on Cities. I will post pictures of how I go and the process I go through to get it right. That's if I get it right!


Friday, January 7, 2011

rusty blue door detail


rusty blue door detail, originally uploaded by Zé Eduardo....

I just wanted to direct attention to the fantastic colours in my favorite photographer's photo. This photo is by Ze Eduardo and the picture was taken in Peru. Pictures such as these are great for teaching you about colour- what works and what doesn't. I have found in dyeing that every potential colour goes can go with any other. The trick is to get the quantity right. In this picture the dominant colour is pale blue with various shades of blue. There is also a green, rust and very small amount of red/pink.
How I would dye this would be to make up dye of the deepest blue present, clear water, green the same strength as pictured, a rust and a small amount of red.
To apply the colours, I would start with the green, then deep blue, apply clear water, rust and then lastly the small touch of red.
If we broke the quantities down it would be mostly blue- pushed into the water to create the shades of blue- dark to light, a touch of green, a smaller area of rust and just a touch of red.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stitching by the pool.


Remember this scarf? I had attempted to felt dyed vintage blanket onto the scarf. They stuck, but certainly didn't felt in. So this week, I have been taking Belle to swimming lessons so I finally got to stitch the circles with matching silk thread.





It's just a good old stab stitch, not blanket stitch. I have taken the yarn through the middle of the felt so the stitching does not show on the back.
Two more days of swimming lessons so I am looking around for something else to stitch. look out kids....

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ooops a daisy, I dyed the cat again.


But this time, her fur was not attached! Princess Willow had been crawling through grass seeds again and I had to remove a lot of her underbelly fur. Willow is a Ragdoll cat and her fur is like silk to touch. I couldn't resist. I've sent it to Dale.

This is another dye job, this time cashmere. OOO LA LA. This stuff is divine. So soft. So I have kept some aside that I am either going to spin on a stick and weave, or needle felt a piece of jewelery.
One of Dale's needle felted batts she sells as flimsies. I had to leave it to set for another day. The raspberry colour is particular about staying put.


And another batt, in the mail winging it's way to Thethreadstudio wet as usual. It is hot in Perth, it will dry in a minute.

Silk rods of the same batch Indian Splendor.




Assorted silk fibres, silk strippings and some other silk product that feels like horse hair but takes the dye wonderfully.