New Look

December 26, 2009

Dyeing for My Presents

Before Christmas I ground up some lichens, soaked them ammonia and water for about 3 weeks then put in a little bit of embroidery thread.  The color was intense and I was pleased as punch.  I divided up the liquor I got from the two bottles and added some silk ... fiber, ribbon and more thread. 
Yesterday I unwrapped my presents to me. 

These are the results of ribbon, fiber and the previous thread.  The initial thread is much darker and it came from the jar that held the rosey color on the left.  The brown orange liquor produced the lovely deep violet on the right.  Dividing the liquor of this jar and putting more ammonia and water in one did not make much of a difference.

The lighter shade below came from the lichen that turned red almost immediately when I added the ammonia/water mix.  After the thread experiment with that jar I added a little citric acid hoping to turn it more red. I got the antique rose color.

I also have some embroidery thread from all three of these jars.

Sorry for the fuzzys...Trying to use natural light and macrolens.  But the colors are lovely...even though I'm not much of a pink person.
I guess I have to decide what to use these for.  Mostly I dye with a specific project in mind but this was a special experiment for me. Not sure how light fast lichens are ... so they need to be in a particular project.  

December 25, 2009

Peace and Joy

From Our House to Yours
May Goodness and Joy Enter Your Threshold
And Peace and Happiness Enter Your Heart

I hope you enjoy this Season
no matter how or where you celebrate

December 20, 2009

Blizzard of '09

Well, it seems that everyone wanted a White Christmas and so it came.  We had almost 2 feet in the yard and the DH spent most of this afternoon working the snow blower to dig out my VW.  Can you find it?  It's white. 

My view this morning from my bedroom window was delightful.  It was still snowing. I love the season change viewed every morning as I get up.

But you really can't tell how much snow we got from these pictures.  You have to look down the deck and it's furniture.  This gives a better idea of what DH had to dig. 

On Friday night, while I waited for the snow to start, I placed a skein of silk thread in one of the lichen jars.  I let it sit until today.  No heat or mordant.  Initially it was smelly...old *strong* urine  (don't ask how I know)...phew!  But when it was rinsed I got this:

Really purple!  And...interestingly enough...the smell was gone and instead there was this earthy aroma that is wonderful.  So now it sits and drys.  I was so encouraged I divided up the two jars into 3 sections and added silk fabric, ribbon and two different weights of embroidery thread. 
Stay tuned....these will be unwrapped about Christmas.

December 13, 2009

Snow and Ice

There was snow fall and then it warmed.  But then it got really cold.  Not below zero cold but close to single digit cold.  So the snow melted and then it froze into ice.  On my way to work there is the only covered bridge in Rhode Island.  It was a lovely drive even though the roads were not plowed well.

Then today I took the dogs for a walk before the rain began.  The swamp or bog behind the house was mostly iced over but the tiny stream had crystal ice patterns on the edge that needed a close look.
I see lots of images in the ice...
Once it started raining however, I worked inside.  I wrapped Christmas presents.  I only need one more .. but I need it for several gifts that must be sent to California.  In the meantime, I've been soaking some lichen I found on a dog walk.  I let them sit for about a week then ground them up and soaked them in ammonia.

The one on the right immediately turned pinky red.  The one on the left soaked up all the ammonia and turned green-brown.  I added more ammonia two more times before it was slushy enough to stir.  It has sat and slowly turned brown....but  over the last 2 days it is more red brown. 
The one on the right is now a deep red while the left one is a brown red....I hope to see a barn red.  We shall see.   I now go back to do a little reading and find out what I do with a stinky ammonia colored solution.

December 2, 2009

Ten More

to go.  I worked on three more squares over the last weekend.  I also did other projects and ended up being too tired to post.  Well, first I ended up watching TV until midnight.  The DH turned on the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I wasn't going to stay up and watch.....truely...but once I got to singing along, I was lost.  And I didn't post.
But I had done some felting.  And I took pictures.
Dowingia is a small flower that I found in the Sierra's when I used to hike there.


I also have joined the Hand Embroidery Network.  Have you found this yet?  I have browsed through lots of wonderful examples of embroidery.  I even started in an on-line class for stumpwork.  We are making Irises and Poppies.  I have started my first project and will post the final pieces.
Christmas will demand some of my creative time and the quilt will most likely sit on the back burner. But I've starting to think about putting the squares together.  I post one more picture....poorly taken I'm afraid....but the squares are laid out on the bed  to give me an rough idea of what I've done so far.