Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Eco Dyeing

 The first unwrapped bundle proved to be very dull, most of the marks faded when washed and the yellow of the Coreopsis just made the odd splodge of orange. How I wish I had used 100% cotton instead of the polycotton.
 As the fabric was not much use the dull pale yellow I decided to go for broke and over dye the still wrapped bundles with a dye that will work on synthetics. I used shades of red and blue looking to get a brownish colour over the top of the yellow.
 This rather messy looking piece is the result of the dyes refusing to migrate through the layers of fabric. Just a faint touch of blue and red over the yellow and brown marks.
This is the outside of the bundle with the contrast between where the rubber bands were and the marks of the twisted fabric when I squeezed most of the water out. I like this small piece particularly where the yellow marked fabric meets the blue.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Eco Dyeing Progress.

 Well, there do seem to be some marks there, but I suspect that they'll be very impermanent given that the fabric is partly synthetic. The Coreopsis seems to have given off colour to the whole dye bath rather than just making marks where the flowers were.
                                     Allowing the colour to develop as the bundles drip dry.
             Definitely some Wormwood leaf markings here, but I wonder if they'll survive the wash.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


 There were still plenty more Coreopsis in the garden so I harvested another batch of slightly tatty flowers. I grabbed a bag of alum soaked fabrics from the box and spread out the flowers on it.
                          A sprinkle of rose petals on the Coreopsis and the cloth was folded over.
 More rose petals on the last fold and then it was all wrapped around a short piece of stick and secured with rubber bands.
When I unfolded the next piece of fabric I saw that it was one with a piece cut out of it and then I remembered that it was originally a cot sheet from the op-shop and it was probably a cotton polyester mix fabric. Oh dear, I don't imagine that the eco dyeing will work on a synthetic fabric. Anyway, I went ahead and covered this piece with dried Wormwood leaves and added it to the pot with the other bundles.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Clever Christmas Ideas.

             A simple but very effective Christmas table decoration using succulents and baubles.
              A pavlova wreath, simple, but so lovely to look at and even more delicious to eat!
                        Not my own ideas unfortunately, but I enjoyed the benefits of them both.

Monday, 28 November 2016

New Potatoes.

 This is the first 'bandicooted' Toolangi Delight potatoes for the season. To harvest the vegetables in this manner you leave the plant in the soil but grub around with your hands, sort of like a bandicoot does, to find the little new potatoes. Enough here for a meal with plenty more still in the ground.
This is a different variety, though until I read the name tag I can't put a name to them yet. They are very tall, and doing very well. The wire cage is to keep out the possums and the birds,

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Beautifully Coloured Wasp!

I've never seen a wasp like this before, the markings are so bright and spectacular. It was in no hurry to move from the piece of bark, so I was able to get quite close and capture the shiny blue wings and amazing orange dots and bands. The antennae are white at the base and black at the ends with little knobs all the way along. I must try to find out what it's called.
It appears that this is called a Bottlebrush Sawfly.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Saving Flowers.

 With good recent rains recently, the flowers are doing very well, with lots of colour in the garden. These Coreopsis however were damaged by a heavy rain storm, so rather than toss them into the compost I decided to freeze just the flowers for future 'ice-dyeing' of fabric. Apparently with the right mordant I could expect to get shades of red and orange.

The roses were also battered by the storm so I harvested a good sized basket of petals and froze them too. Now to find the time to experiment with these and also the frozen bluebells, aquilegias and red rose petals that I have in the freezer.

Monday, 21 November 2016


I spotted this beautifully decorated building while on an early morning walk in Dunedin New Zealand. It must have taken someone a very long time to cover all the front wall in such an intricate design. Click on the photo for a slight enlargement.