It has been difficult keeping up with my blog, time passes so quickly that weeks turn into months and I haven't made a single post.
The scarf above is one of my recent scarves in a blend of silk and wool. The leaf print is seeded eucalyptus, an amazing dye plant.
It seems that I have my favorite scarf and then a week later, I seem to have a new favorite.
I'll be showing my ecodyed scarves and shirts at the unPlaza show in September. I'll make another posting a bit later with the details.
I have been gathering native plants and gathering plants from my garden. It's so special to wear a scarf that has the memories of the plants that I collected and grew. Natural dyeing seems an extension of the gardening process.
This will most likely explain my absence from blogging...I have been dyeing almost daily. It's what keeps me young these days.
You can see more of my work on instagram - just search for juliepishny and you will find me.
After weeks of focused work humbly learning how to extract color from plants for dyeing natural fibers, I return to this blog to share that I am still here. Just consumed with a renewed love affair with plants and the magic they contain to heal our bodies, fragrance our homes and dye our clothing.
I have challenged myself to make a dyeing attempt everyday as I know that it will takes years of devotion to the cauldron to master the dyeing process. Dyeing everyday isn't practical, but it does keep me focused...tis what keeps me young...
I heard a couple of fellows laughing at me this week as I was carrying a fallen branch home with me after my morning walk. They were city workers with a truckload of branches from brush clearing and pruning of the city areas. It most likely went like this... "look she's trying to put us out of a job"...but more like "crazy b*%#@*s everywhere". I waved my branch at them and laughed along and they at least had the decency to look sheepish and wave back.
Those fallen leaves added a nice golden hue to my dye pot and looked ever so nice on silk.
With twelve inches of snow falling softly and blanketing my world in fluffy white, my birdfeeders were busier than they have ever been.
This sweet Robin came to feed on snow covered seeds. I was fortunate enough to capture him with my smartphone. Robin's don't seem to migrate away from our area any longer.
My visitors were doves, titmice, chickadees, cardinals, bluejays, sparrows, wrens, finches, cowbird, starling, woodpecker, flicker, and a robin.
I cleared my feeders of snow covering throughout the day so the birds could find nourishment. It's our agreement. I supply the seeds, nuts and suet and the birds will allow me to marvel at their beauty. I feel that I am getting the best end of the agreement.
One of my favorite birds is the Flicker which are one of the most beautifully feathered birds with spots on their breast, a red V on the back of the neck and bright yellow on the underside of their tail. He came to enjoy the peanut suet feeder throughout the day.
While the bird's enjoyed the buffet I presented, I have been honing my stone setting skills.
The above stone is a variety of opal that I have had in my stash for quite some time that I had picked up at our local gem and mineral show.
What attracted me to these stones was the tree like shapes. It reminds me of silhouettes of trees in the snow.
I love large jewelry in general, primarily because I have long fingers and large rings just suit my hands.
So, the rings are coming along nicely and I would love to create special ring boxes for them similar to this vintage version below.
Commercial ring boxes never fit my large rings and their wide bands, so a custom box would be perfect for my rings. Something to add to my list of things to try.
For those in my neck of the woods, enjoy the blessing of being snowed in...snuggle in with a good book, sip your favorite tea, do a little knitting, watch your favorite feel good movie, put on a pot of hearty soup, make cookies, enjoy a yoga session, pet your furry friend, and breathe in bliss.
I am currently reading, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morten. It's a delicious mystery of three generations of women. Without giving anything away, it has fantastic fairy tales interwoven within the novel, a lovely walled garden, takes place in Australia and England and will take your breath away.
Mending with heart is when you cannot bear to toss out those favorite jeans, but they are falling into a state of "I can't leave the house in them anymore".
Needle and thread girls! Have some fun with thread colors and fabric swatches. Your local Joann's Fabric has a great quilting section that you can browse for inspiration. But, even better how about feedsack cloth?
While you are in Joann's browse the embroidery thread section for fun thread to coordinate with the fabric.
An embroidery hoop will also help as will fabric glue to hold the patch in place as you sew.
Let your heart lead your hand.
I hope this inspires you to give those dungarees an overhaul!
Ah, the learning curve. Don't you just love it?! I love the mental and physical struggle involved in learning something new. This usually involves a new art technique in my case, as those are the ones I enjoy the most.
It's a good pastime during the cold Winter days we have in the Midwest. I am working on enameling, handspun yarn, iphone use and plant based fabric dye. Really takes the blah out of cold and dreary days. Highly recommend it.