Just Outside My Window…

Today, a really nice surprise…our state bird (Illinois)

A cardinal visits

 

And some new perennials below:

??? forgot the name…and lost the tag
pinks
coreopsis
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Eco-printing with Leaves in a Pomegranate Dye Pot

So many beautiful summer plants and flowers, so many possibilities for botanical printing!  With my coreopsis in full bloom and a surprise gift of smokebush leaves from a Texan friend, I fired up the dye pot (turned on the gas stove) to experiment with a different kind of dye bath.  Usually I use plain water to allow the plants to bring their own beauty to cloth, but this time I used pomegranate powder with a pinch of iron.

First I arranged a sandwich of cotton sheeting, homespun linen scrap, and a couple of small card stocks.  Wrapped in a square, it was clamped and set in the dye pot.

I  also rolled up a couple of copper pipes with various vintage linens and cloth scraps, using a few coreopsis and pink cosmos flowers, along with rose leaves.  I threw in a couple of smokebush leaves for good measure, rolled with cotton string and added to the dye pot.

After boiling for an hour and letting sit overnight on my deck, I unrolled the next morning to find a variety of effects.  I’m already thinking of the fun I will have with my next brew!

Full view coreopsis and rose leaves on cotton sheeting, eco-print clamped
Full view coreopsis and rose leaves on cotton sheeting, eco-print clamped
Smokebush and rose leaves on card stock
Smokebush and rose leaves on card stock
Coreopsis and rose leaf eco-printed on cotton sheeting
Coreopsis and rose leaf eco-printed on cotton sheeting
Wild rose leaves, coreopsis and cosmos on vintage buck towel
Wild rose leaves, coreopsis and cosmos on vintage cotton Huck towel
Eco-printed cotton sheeting in pomegranate and iron bath
Eco-printed cotton sheeting in pomegranate and iron bath

Dyeing with garden flowers and leaves: Early summer

Small annual and perennial garden flowers are blooming, and I couldn’t resist snipping a few, along with some leaves, for natural dyeing.  The flowers fade quickly, so the decision is whether to leave them alone to die or to clip a few and dye.

So I grabbed a few pansies, coreopsis and cosmos along with a few geranium leaves, false indigo leaves, and some golden barberry.  I used avocado pits and skins in the dye-pot and let them simmer for a couple of hours.  I was looking for a little color booster in addition to the colors I would achieve by simmering the plants on fiber.

In this experiment, I used bundled silk gauze and cotton sheeting as a sandwich with leaves and flowers as the filling.  I rolled it all around a small copper pipe, tied it with string and set it in the dye-pot.  Then I clamped a square bundle of cotton sheeting with plants in-between, and handmade paper as well.  Finally, I layered small torn pieces of a previously dyed large piece of Fabriano paper with small plant bits.

Bundles of paper and cloth were left to simmer in the avocado dye-pot for a couple of hours, then allowed to rest overnight.  The paper turned out fairly waterlogged and did not achieve a great deal of color.  However, I was very pleased with the silk & cotton sandwich.  Some of those bright colors you see were golden correopsis, pink cosmos and leaves, along with a pinky tinge from the avocado liquid.

I get the biggest thrill when unrolling the bundled packages!  You really should try this.

Handmade paper dyed with garden plants
Handmade paper dyed with garden plants
Cotton sheeting clamped in a square and dyed with plants
Cotton sheeting clamped in a square and dyed with plants
Garden flowers bundled and dyed on silk
Garden flowers bundled and dyed on silk
Garden plants bundled and dyed on cotton
Garden plants bundled and dyed on cotton
Bundled silk and cotton rolled and dyed with flowers and plants
Bundled silk and cotton rolled and dyed with flowers and plants